Photo credit:Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
The Day After 57.0: Oilers blow three-goal lead for second straight game, fall to Avalanche 6-5 in OT
By baggedmilk1 year ago
Five goals should be enough to win. Final Score: 6-5 Avalanche in OT
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Heading into yesterday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, the Oilers had been struggling mightily with their execution in all three zones on the ice, which resulted in three straight losses that were mostly avoidable. In each of those games to the Habs, Red Wings, and Rangers respectively, the Oilers made mistakes that simply weren’t happening during their undefeated streak. And going up against an Avalanche team that’s finally starting to get healthy, eliminating errors had to be at the very top of Edmonton’s to-do list. But first, the Oilers needed to come up with 60 minutes and they needed to get going from the opening draw. If there is one team in the league that you cannot give an early lead to it’s the Colorado Avalanche, and the only plan had to be finding a way to get on the board first. Besides, the Avalanche played yesterday and that meant there was no room for excuses when it comes to getting outworked.
So when the game started out with the Oilers building a three-goal lead for themselves with a pair of goals by Warren Foegle and one from Draisaitl, it looked like we were well on our way. But exactly as we saw against the Rangers on Friday, the Oilers kinda took their foot off the gas and allowed the Avalanche to slowly chip away at their lead with quality shifts in the offensive zone and timely goals to inch their way back into the mix. Yet, even as the Avs found their way back into the game, the Oilers kept finding ways to answer with goals of their own to restore the lead and put themselves back in a good spot. But the Avalanche weren’t about to give up, they knew they had the Oilers on the ropes. Instead, they just kept pouring on the pressure until the floodgates opened and the Oilers just couldn’t do anything to stop it. And for a second straight game, the Oilers ended up blowing their three-goal lead and walking away with only a single point instead of the two that looked to be a sure thing.
I don’t know what the answers are as the Oilers continue to spin their wheels, but the boys, coaches, and management need to figure it out in a real hurry because this team is once again teetering on the edge of disaster.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
- Warren Foegele opened the scoring (1-0) with his eighth goal of the season after he found some space at the side of the net and Mattias Janmark found him with a nifty pass that he could tee off on. Just before that goal, Foegele had taken a pair of penalties that the boys were able to kill off, and it was nice to see him make amends with a big goal to give his team the lead.
- If the Oilers were going to have a chance at beating the Avalanche, they were going to need quality goaltending and that is exactly what Jack Campbell provided through the first 20 minutes. The busier of the two keepers by far, Campbell was called upon early and often but was able to come up with 16 saves.
- You’ve gotta like the way the PK was able to kill off three penalties in the first period and avoid falling into a hole early on. As we all know, the penalty kill hasn’t been great lately and so I wanted to make a point of saying something. Baby steps here, people.
- Outside of playing with fire in the three penalties the Oilers took, I thought they had a very strong road period that saw them not only keep the home side off the board but take a lead into the intermission. As far as starts go, this one was pretty solid for Edmonton.
- Tyson Barrie restored the Oilers’ two-goal lead (4-2) with a floating wrister from the blue line that weaseled its way through a few bodies before beating Gieorgiev high on the blocker side.
- Warren Foegele added a second goal (2-0) to give his team some insurance after Darnell Nurse made a very pretty play along the boards before feeding McLovin’ with the pass. I know Warren Foegele is always going to be a streaky scorer but the way he played last night is the way he should play every single time he steps on the ice. Great game.
- Leon Draisaitl extended the lead to three (3-0) with a one-timer from his office in the circle after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fed him with a quick pass to his wheelhouse with a wide-open net to shoot at. Make it four straight games with a goal for Draisaitl, and 69 points (nice) on the season for RNH.
- Shortly after Draisaitl put the Oilers up by a field goal, Nathan MacKinnon got the Avalanche on the board (3-1) after his shot from the high in the circle was able to weave its way through traffic and between Campbell’s legs. If you’re into betting, it’s always worth dusting a MacKinnon anytime goal because the dude absolutely feasts on the Edmonton Oilers.
- Valeri Nichushkin pulled the Avalanche back to within a goal (3-2) after his centering pass took a friendly bounce into the net off of Cody Ceci’s skate. And just like that, the Oilers’ three-goal lead was down to only one.
- We knew that the Avalanche weren’t about to roll over and die even though they were down by three goals, and the Oilers struggled to manage the pushback that came in the middle portion of the period. Shift by shift, the Avs seemed to get stronger until they eventually chipped in a pair of goals and pulled themselves back into contention. The good news is that the Oilers were able to throw some water on the fire in the form of Barrie’s late goal, but having Colorado back to within one was getting too close for comfort.
- For a second straight period, the PK came through with a big kill on Nugent-Hopkins’ penalty late in the period, which ended up leading to a goal for the good guys in the moments immediately following its expiry.
- Only 25 seconds into the third period, Nathan MacKinnon halved the lead once again (4-3) after breaking into the offensive zone with speed and ripping a shot past Campbell low on the blocker side. I don’t know how the Oilers allowed him to have so much time and space, but they got the result that normally comes when you allow that to happen.
- Mattias Janmark restored the Oilers’ two-goal lead for a third time (5-3) after McDavid found him in the high slot with space, allowing the native of Danderyd, Sweden, to walk in and tattoo his shot.
- Logan O’Connor narrow the gap to one once again (5-4) after he was able to sneak a loose puck over the goal line after whacking away at it near the post. While Campbell thought he had it covered, the puck stayed loose long enough for O’Connor to get the job done.
- Artturi Lehkonen tied the game (5-5) late in the third period with a deflection in the slot that came as a result of another lost faceoff in the defensive zone.
- Mikko Rantanen completed the comeback with the OT winner (6-5) after the Oilers gave up an odd-man rush, leaving just enough time and space for Rantanen to make a play and cash in the chance.
- I don’t know what’s going on with the Oilers in the bonus period but they do not look anything like the squad that was basically a sure thing a couple of years ago.
OTHER THINGS WORTH MENTIONING
1) Warren Foegele took two of the quickest penalties I think I’ve ever seen. After the Oilers killed off Foegele’s interference call on Nathan MacKinnon, McLovin went right back to the box only seven seconds later after getting caught for tripping on Bowen Byram. Amazingly the Oilers killed off both penalties, but I can’t say I remember an instance of a guy doing the Grandpa Simpson in and out of the penalty box so quickly. What I didn’t expect at the time, however, was that those two penalties would be the fuse to ignite what might have been his best game as an Oiler.
2) Jack Campbell was back between the pipes for the third straight game, and he was going to need to be great against an Avalanche team that has plenty of skill, speed, and players that can rip the puck. Seemingly up for the challenge, Soup started off strong with a very good first period but then started to almost wear down as the game rolled along. As the game went along, Campbell started to shrink in the net and while he played mostly fine, he couldn’t lock in key saves at the most important parts of the game. Campbell finished with 36 saves and a .857 save%.
3) How can you not give the penalty kill some love for the way the boys were able to handle all four of Colorado’s chances with the man advantage?
4) Make it three games in a row where the Oilers have gotten scored against immediately following a lost faceoff. Artturi Lehkonen’s tying goal would have been avoided if the Oilers could consistently win faceoffs in their own end. The same thing goes for the OT winner.
5) The refs were absolutely not to blame for the Oilers losing that hockey game, but I do find it odd that our side was only given a single power play opportunity. Surely, I can’t be the only one that saw how often the Avs got away with murder.
6) The Oilers have now lost seven consecutive games that have gone to extra time or the shootout. I don’t know how or why this black cloud has decided to follow the Oilers in OT, but it’s here and it’s ugly.
7) Did anyone else get nervous to hear that Evander Kane missed yesterday’s game with an “upper-body” injury? Does a wrist count as upper-body? What’s going on here? Tom Gazzola from TSN 1260 said that Kane’s ribs are a
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