The Day After 69.0: Edmonton Oilers play nice game, beat Dallas Stars 4-1
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing14 days ago
Ten minutes and 11 seconds. That’s how close the Edmonton Oilers were to their first shutout of the season on Thursday night.
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Instead, they ended up walking out of Rogers Place with a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars. For the Oilers, it was just the kind of game you wanted to see from them against one of the best in the west.
For the Oilers, they controlled the pace of play all night long against a team that is famous for doing just that. Warren Foegele was all alone on the back door 12 minutes into the first period cashing in on a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pass, then three and a half minutes later, Stars killer Mattias Janmark scored his seventh of the year.
Right as time was expiring on a Stars powerplay, Vincent Desharnais chipped the puck into the corner and Connor McDavid skated to it. He did the rest speeding out of the defensive zone, and through the neutral zone before finding Janmark on a two-on-one. Stick on the ice, and that’s about as easy as they come for Janmark.
From there, the Oilers were more or less able to cruise through the rest of the game. It’s not like they took the foot off the gas, or let up in any way. Instead they tightened things up defensively. Through two periods, the Oilers had control of the scoring chance and expected goal share at 5×5, a great sign, especially considering the Stars began to pus in the back half of the second frame. Into the third much would follow, but it never felt as if there was any major danger.
Sure, things got a little sweaty after Wyatt Johnston broke the Oilers’ shutout bid, but McDavid quelled that scoring his 57th goal a minute and a half later. Janmark would add an empty netter, and Edmonton would cruise to victory.
Edmonton got another stellar performance in net from Stuart Skinner, who has nothing to worry about in terms of getting lots of game action. Surely we’ll see a Jack Campbell performance or two (maybe three!) as some point down the stretch, but it’s hard to imagine the Oilers putting him in the net until a playoff spot is all secured.
The next seven days will be important for the Oilers. Truthfully, at this point in the year, every day is important — but Edmonton plays Seattle on Saturday, San Jose on Monday and then the Arizona Coyotes next Wednesday. The Oilers are jostling with the Kraken for playoff positioning, and they need to secure every point they can down the stretch here so wins against San Jose and Arizona will be important to secure.
No matter how “soft” the Oilers schedule will be through the remainder of the regular season, the truth is they need to get the job done. No excuses, no issues, no question marks. Just win, baby.
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I need your help with the next edition of The Day After!
I’m going to be with the whole Oilersnation crew at the Pint on Saturday afternoon as we celebrate this companies 15th year anniversary. With the Oilers taking on the Seattle Kraken, I’ll have another edition of The Day After coming on Saturday morning, and I want your help!
After the game, I’m going to be going around asking Nation Citizens for their thoughts on whatever happens in the game, and I’m going to be including them in my The Day After. Not going to the party? No problem. Drop me a note at the email address below, and I’ll be sure to include what you have to say, too!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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