The Day After 17.0: Oilers suffer familiar fate in back-to-back losses

Photo credit:Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
6 months ago
After a three-game winning streak kicked off the Kris Knoblauch era, the Oilers are back in the same spot as before.
They’ve now dropped the first two games of their four-game swing through the Southeast, with Monday’s loss in Florida looking much like the one in Tampa on Saturday, as the Oilers went up early but couldn’t close the door and hold the lead.
Connor McDavid and Evander Kane scored in the first half of the first period to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead but the Panthers were able to tie the score before the end of the frame. A penalty shot goal from McDavid put the Oilers up in the second before Florida scored three unanswered goals to win by a score of 5-3.
Florida had 32 shots on goal, Edmonton had 28, and the momentum changed hands frequently, but the Panthers were able to keep things tight in front of their net while the Oilers weren’t. The Panthers doubled the Oilers in terms of high-danger scoring chances and were able to erase the early hole that they fell into.
Calvin Pickard made his Oilers debut on Monday and allowed four goals on 31 shots, good for an .871 save percentage. He made a handful of huge stops, allowed a couple of forgettable goals, and let in a couple that weren’t hit fault. All in all, it was a solid showing for Edmonton’s third-stringer in his return to the NHL. Pickard wasn’t able to bail them out but he gave the Oilers a chance to win the game.
The Oilers are now 5-11-1 on the season with two more games left on this swing. They’ll play the Hurricanes in Carolina on Wednesday and then they’ll play a matinee game with the Capitals in Washington on Friday afternoon.


What they said…

Head coach Kris Knoblauch on the team’s effort level…
“The effort has been great. I have no questions about that,” Knoblauch said. “But when you’re frustrated, you often aren’t thinking clearly with a clear mind and often you forget an assignment or you work too hard, you over back-check and you open up the slot. Those kinds of things are where we need to just step back and just make the right place.
“You have to do things right to get the luck, and over the course of the season or a stretch, hopefully, it works out that you get your breaks as long as you’re working for them… I think we had enough chances to win, we just have to limit the opportunities the opposition gets.”
Connor McDavid on the Oilers fighting back after allowing goals…  
“There’s lots of fight,” McDavid said. “I don’t think the resiliency is gone. I thought tonight was an emotional game, it could have gone either way, until we find ourselves on the wrong side. Like everyone says, we’re in the business of winning and we have to find a way to win.”
Evan Bouchard on the Oilers learning from their mistakes… 
“I just think we’re not playing the full 60 minutes, deviating away from what was making us successful in the early going,” Bouchard said. “That’s something that we’ve got to figure out.
“We’ve got to learn from this, go forward, watch video, but then we’ve got to get focused for the next game. You can’t really focus on that too much or think about it too much. I think you sleep on it, learn from it, and get going to the next game.”

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