The Day After 56.0: Edmonton Oilers choke 4-1 lead in 5-4 shootout loss to New York Rangers

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
9 months ago
It was 4-1.
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After the loss to the Detroit Red Wings, I wrote about how the Oilers had been lethargic out of the All-Star break. It appeared on Friday night against the New York Rangers the Oilers were ready to shake it off.
I mean come on, did you see the way the Oilers started that game? They looked shot out of a cannon taking a 3-0 lead 12:30 into the game. Connor McDavid got point 100 assisting on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ opener, then goals from Tyson Barrie and Derek Ryan only extended their lead.
Sure, Chris Kreider may have got one back on the powerplay, but Leon Draisaitl scored a powerplay goal of his won with 1:33 left in the first. A 4-1 lead! Things were going great for the Oilers who very well could’ve chased Igor Shesterkin from the net. Wrong. The Rangers stuck with him, and he didn’t let another one get by him.
By the end of the night, the Oilers were left wondering what happened as they dropped their third straight loss, and fourth in their last five games.
“We had a 4-1 lead, but it wasn’t really a 4-1 game,” said Connor McDavid. “We got to find a way to close one out in the overtime or a shootout. We haven’t done a good job of that.”


Since the All-Star break, the Oilers now sit with a 2-1-3 record securing seven of a possible 12 points. It’s not a great time in the season to be leaving points on the board, and the Oilers have left three with their shootout losses to Philadelphia, Detroit and now the Rangers. A huge issue? No, I suppose not, but it’s a concerning trend to say the least.
The Oilers have had a very up-and-down run here out of the break. They’ve at times looked disinterested and sloppy letting games slip away. Edmonton walked into the All-Star break with a huge eight-game point streak. They were playing the best hockey they had all season. Now? Things aren’t looking too hot.
What’s good: the Oilers are still controlling play at 5×5 in this six-game stretch. They’re above average in terms of their shot attempt share (54.38 percent), goals scored (12-11, 52.17 percent) and expected goal share (53.39 percent). Their 5×5 save percentage of .9214 has them 15th in the league — good, not great.
What’s bad? The Oilers have given up a putrid seven goals on the penalty kill. Now sure, they’ve scored three shorthanded tallies, to partially make up for it, but that’s an unacceptable stretch here. In that eight-game point streak heading into the break, the Oilers had allowed just two powerplay goals against. They cleaned things up when down a man, and it was making a difference. Now? Out the window.
The Oilers’ season has been filled with highs and lows and while the schedule looks decent heading into the NHL’s March 3rd trade deadline, these next seven games could really dictate the way the team approaches the deadline.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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