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Two goals by Leon Draisaitl completes the comeback in Boston for Oilers fifth consecutive win

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Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
baggedmilk
1 month ago
When the Oilers and Bruins met up for the first time a couple of weeks ago, the result was one of the most exciting games of the season despite our side losing 6-5 in overtime. While last night’s rematch wasn’t quite as high flying as the first time around, there was plenty to be excited about as the Oilers pulled off some late game heroics to complete the comeback and lock in the 2-1 OT win.

TWO GOALS FROM LEON DRAISAITL

Even though he’s probably not going to get to 50 goals this season, Leon Draisaitl is picking up some big ones down the stretch, including the pair he scored last night in Boston. It was a night when the team needed a hero, and Draisaitl was up for the challenge as he came up with a pair of clutch goals that both sent the game to overtime and won it for the Oilers once we got there.
I know there’s a bunch of us who would prefer Kris Knoblauch to separate the Dynamic Duo, but it’s hard to argue how effective they can be when it happens. Last night, the Oilers were down by a goal with time winding down, and it was McDavid and Leon who found a way to connect before the final buzzer. Boston kept them in check for most of the game, but when it mattered most, our two best players made magic out of nothing.
Now with four goals and nine points in his last five games, Draisaitl’s scoring touch is heating up at the perfect time, and I couldn’t think of a greater gift for Oilers fans than for him to initiate Warlord Mode over the final 23 games. If Draisaitl can keep this pace going and McDavid keeps doing what he’s doing, does it really seem so unlikely that the Oilers challenge Vancouver for the division? You willing to bet against them?

OILERS ARE WINNING IN DIFFERENT WAYS

Wouldn’t you love to know how many people turned off the TV before the Oilers tied the game up with only 20 seconds left in the game? I’d love to know. I wish I could pay for that data. Once I got the information I was after, I would then call them all up and ask what they thought about the Oilers coming back to pick up their fifth win in a row. It would be magical.
Over and above last night’s lesson for why you always watch to the end, the most important part was that the Oilers found a way to grind out a win that looked anything but certain. Down by a goal with less than a minute to play, the Oilers kept pushing with everything they could to try and tie the game, including another electric backcheck by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to save a goal with the empty net.
Most importantly, the Oilers found a way to win a game that was incredibly tight checking. Most of the time, people assume this team can only win the high flying affairs, but they showed last night in Boston how fully capable they are to win the tight ones. If this team is going to succeed in the postseason, they’ll need to win a bunch of these 2-1 games and I think the resilience the boys showed in last night’s victory will serve them well down the stretch.

AN OLD FASHION GOALIE BATTLE

Despite some quality chances at both ends of the rink, it took until 4:26 of the third period for anyone to score because both Stuart Skinner and Linus Ullmark were playing at the top of their game. I mean, what else can you say when both netminders finish with save percentages above .923? It was honestly impressive, you know? Ullmark was great for Boston, but for the fourth straight game, Skinner was beyond fantastic.
Before the game, we heard a lot about how Ullmark had lost his last five starts and couldn’t seem to string any saves together, but that was not the case for the Oilers on Tuesday night. Instead, they got a performance that looked more in line with the Ullmark that won the Vezina Trophy last season as the league’s best goaltender. Even though it wasn’t the busiest night he’ll ever have, Ullmark was fantastic for the Bruins and covered up pretty much any mistake that happened in front of him, and he was incredibly frustrating for about 59 minutes.
At the Oilers’ end of the rink, Stuart Skinner matched what Ullmark was doing save for save, and he gave his teammates the saves they needed any time they needed them. Just like his counterpart, Skinner wasn’t insanely busy or anything like that, but he was fantastic when he needed to be, including some massive saves in the third period. With 25 saves and a .962 save%, Skinner deserves so much credit for the way he stood tall between the pipes and remained calm despite giving up the first goal of the night.
OTHER THINGS WORTH MENTIONING
-Another game, another two assists on the pile for Connor McDavid who now has 76 on the season. As much as we all love to talk about the goals he’s scoring, the fact that he’s going to hit 100 assists in a season is blowing my mind. Dude stinks like apple cider right now.
-Can I take a minute to gush about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ backcheck that prevented the empty net goal, essentially setting the game for the Oilers to come back and win the game? Can we gush about it together? We really should.
-You’ve been very patient, and now it’s time for your reward. The Oilers won 57.4% of the faceoffs. You don’t have to thank me.
-Congrats to James Van Riemsdyk for playing in his 1000th NHL game. Hockey is a tough sport to play at the highest level and to play 1000 games is a hell of an accomplishment.

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