The Day After: A night of firsts as Oilers beat Blues
Photo credit:Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing1 year ago
It sure wasn’t pretty, but the Edmonton Oilers found a way into the win column Sunday night bringing their record through four games of a five-game trip to 4-4.
And there are few others to thank other than Kailer Yamamoto. With the game tied at four and under a minute to go, Yamamoto found a soft spot in the Blues defence between the faceoff dots and Leon Draisaitl was able to feed him the puck for the game-winner.
“I tried to find the soft ice, the open ice. When I found it, it went in,” said Yamamoto of his third goal of the season. “If you find that soft ice, he’s going to find you. You always have to be ready.”
But the road to get to the club’s 11th i. While Edmonton gave up the first goal of the game for the fifth straight, they were able to build an impressive 4-2 lead heading into the third period. Connor McDavid got his 10th of the year with five seconds left in the first, while Leon Draisaitl’s 15th gave Edmonton a two-goal lead.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins broke his goalless drought scoring his first of the year at the 16:11 mark of the second, and a mere eight seconds later, another Ryan (McLeod) got his first-ever NHL goal.
And as always, the Oilers didn’t make it easy on themselves. Within three and a half minutes early in the third, Ivan Barbashev and Vladimir Tarasenko scored to tie the game up at 4.
“He’s getting around places where he can find those pucks to get in,” said head coach Dave Tippett. “He’s being ready to shoot. He can make plays in those smaller areas which is good (and) Draisaitl loves playing with him.”
While walking out is two points is always the top priority, there’s still lots that the Oilers need to work on. Edmonton has scored the third most 5×5 goals this season, but they’ve also given up the fourth most — not a great recipe for success.
“You walk out (of the game) feeling good about a win — we found a way to win,” said Tippett. “Whether we won, whether we lost, there’s things we have to continue to work at in our game. Like I said, our goals against — we’re giving up too many chances and we’re giving up too many goals especially at five on five. We’re happy to win, we’re happy that McLeod got a goal, Nuge got a goal, Yamo gets a huge goal and an assist.
“There’s lots to be happy about. That being said, we want to be a team that continues to improve, continues to get better. There’s spots in your game you have to work on and that’s what we need to concentrate on.”
- Connor McDavid tallied his 600th career point last night on his goal. He became the sixth-fastest player to do so in NHL history behind Jari Kurri, Mike Bossy, Peter Stastny, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky.
- Another impressive note from last night: Leon Draisaitl became the third player in the last 30 years to score 15 goals and 15 assists in fewer than 15 team games. The only others? Jaromir Jagr in 1995-96 and Mario Lemieux in 1992-93.
- Couldn’t be happier for McLeod getting his first NHL goal last night. Right place, right time, and he was able to get his stick on one. I’ll have a little piece later this morning talking about the goal.
- Also in the hop for today is another Oilers In Seven. There’s some good, but lots of concerning stuff too. Like Tippett mentioned, there’s lots to yearn for at 5×5 from this team.
What they’re saying…
Another late-game crusher for Blues in 5-4 loss to Oilersor the second night in a row, the Blues wiped out a two-goal deficit, showing determination and resiliency. For the second night in a row, overtime seemed imminent.And yet, for the second night in a row, the Blues came away empty-handed. Without a point. This time it was a 5-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers before a sellout crowd of 18,096 at Enterprise Center.Coming on the heels of a late 3-2 loss in Carolina, it’s the third loss in a row for the Blues (0-2-1) who fell to 8-4-2 on the season. Edmonton improved to 11-3-0.The Blues controlled most of the first period. They got a power play goal from Jordan Kyrou. And with the period winding down, they were set to go into the locker room up 1-0.Then Connor McDavid happened. With a mere 4.1 seconds remaining in the period, McDavid took a pass from Zach Hyman and skated in for a close-in wrist shot that trickled past goalie Jordan Binnington and in.Colton Parayko, who has struggled lately, could have played it better. He had good position on McDavid but couldn’t get a body on him or a stick on the puckFor McDavid, it was only his fourth goal in 16 games over his career against the Blues. But his 10th goal of this season extended his current point streak to 14 games and gave him 600 points in his still-young NHL career. At 24 years, 305 days old, McDavid is the eighth-youngest player in NHL history to reach 600 career points. – Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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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