The Day After 75.0: Edmonton Oilers beat the wheels off Vegas Golden Knights in 7-4 win
Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing7 months ago
If only all of them were that easy.
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I mean really, did anyone break a sweat last night? Okay fine — I’ll admit it. I did. After all, there’s nothing like allowing a goal against to the Vegas Golden Knights a minute into the game for the second time in a week. While the affair last Saturday night resulted in a 4-3 Vegas OT win, the Oilers weren’t going to let that happen again.
The Oilers were determined to make a statement and they did so in an 7-4 win Tuesday night.
For Edmonton, it was a statement win. On Monday night they sweated one out on the road in Arizona, and if last night’s game was, say, game 33 or something like that, the Oilers very well could’ve mailed it in. We’ve seen it before. Instead, the Oilers responded to Vegas every step of the way.
It was Jonathan Marchessault who scored for Vegas 1:12 into the game, but a mere 30 seconds later Evan Bouchard blasted one home on the powerplay. Edmonton would get a lead at the 8:20 mark of the first as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored an unassisted goal marking what would be his first of five points on the night.
Vegas didn’t roll over — yet — as William Karlsson would outmuscle Evan Bouchard while shorthanded to make it a 2-2 game. Leon Draisaitl scored goal 47 of the year at the 9:48 mark of the first, and this became nothing short of a firesale.
While Michael Amadio would score 3:13 into the second to tie the game at three a piece, the Oilers turned it on and didn’t let up. Over the next 12 minutes, Darnell Nurse, Evander Kane, and Zach Hyman would all find the back of the net. It wasn’t just on the scoreboard they dominated, either. The Oilers controlled a staggering 73.17 percent of the shot attempts at 5×5 and outshot Vegas 21-6.
Even as Vegas tried to push to get back into the game in the third, they couldn’t muster anything of significance. The Oilers kept them to the outside and made a good Vegas team look null and void. Now, Edmonton closes out the four-game season series against the Golden Knights going 3-0-1 while outscored them 18-14.
It’s a very real possibility that these two teams meet in the playoffs in either the first round, or the second round and it’s crystal clear how well the Oilers match up against them. Tyler Yaremchuk and I will have more on this later today, but give me the Oilers everyday of the week.
Now, however, the Oilers sights can become set on another foe: the LA Kings, whom they’ve gone 0-2 against this season. LA was a thorn in the Oilers’ side last season in the playoffs and that continued into this season. In their first meeting back on Nov. 16th, the Kings won 3-1 but the big talk that night was about Alex Edler’s nasty knee on knee hit to Connor McDavid. Game two game in January and featured Jesse Puljujarvi fighting Philip Danault, Zach Hyman fighting Sean Durzi and Klim Kostin fighting Brendan Lemieux. The Oilers fell 6-3 in that game.
The Oilers and Kings finish their season set over the next week. They play on Thursday and again next Tuesday as teams jockey for position in the Pacific Division, and much like the recent games against Vegas, these could be potential playoff previews. Edmonton took down the Kings in their season series last 3-1 outscoring them 13-12 in the process, and we’ve seen how tight these games have been this season already.
For the Oilers, they can’t take LA light in any sense of the term. The Kings have been nothing short of electric as of late. In March, they’ve gone 9-0-2 outscoring teams 47-25. Since the start of February, they’re 15-2-3 outscoring 85-53. Their .786 points percentage over that time is second-best in the league to the Boston Bruins.
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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