THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Zach Hyman got the Oilers on the board first (1-0) after taking a pass from McDavid in his own end, walking the puck all the way down to the high slot, and ripping a wrister up and over Jarry on the blocker side. Only moments after the Penguins tied the game, Hyman scored his second of the night (2-1) on a beautifully executed two-on-one that saw McDavid find his winger with a pass that he made no mistake of burying.
- Kailer Yamamoto restored the Oilers’ lead early in the third period (3-1) after he was able to get his stick on Tyson Barrie’s point shot and deflecting the puck through Jarry.
- Evan Bouchard gave the Oilers some insurance (4-2) with a tap-in goal after he found himself on a two-on-one rush with McDavid and charged towards the net like it was a Home Depot Black Friday sale.
- Giving him four points on the night, @Connor McDavid closed things out with an empty-net goal (5-2) to punctuate what can only be described as a spectacular effort from the captain. The guy is a joy to watch and having him put in this kind of game with Crosby in town was a pleasure to watch.
- Considering the performance in Vegas on Saturday, it wasn’t too surprising to see @Mikko Koskinen between the pipes for his 13th start of the year in pursuit of his 12th win, and he did exactly that with a spectacular performance for his team. Had it not been for Koskinen, this game would have been a lopsided loss but he kept his teammates in the fight and afforded them the time they needed to get going. Ideally, he wouldn’t have had to do it for 40 minutes but that’s what he had to do to secure the win, and the big man deserves all kinds of love for the way this finished. Koskinen finished the night with 32 saves and a .941 save%.
- Tyson Barrie and Kris Russell each played well over 26 minutes tonight and that’s an incredible stat to see for two guys that were on our third pairing only a couple of weeks ago. Injuries can be a trip to work through, my friends. Wild.
- The Oilers’ PK was excellent again tonight as they were able to handle all three of Pittsburgh’s opportunities with the man advantage.
- Shout out to Markus Niemalainen for playing in his first NHL game which must have been an amazing feeling for the young man. I know he only played 10:19 but I noticed him try to get engaged a few times and I think that’s pretty good for his first taste in the bigs.
- Another shout out goes to Tristain Jarry for rocking an .810 save%.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Jack Guentzel tied the game (1-1) with a one-timer from the high shot after taking a pass from Marino to his wheelhouse and blasting off on a shot that beat Koskinen up high. Honestly, the goal came off of a perfectly executed faceoff play and I think the puck was in the back of the net before the Oilers knew what hit them.
- It didn’t take long into the second period before Teddy Blueger tied the game for a second time (2-2) as the business end of a beautiful passing play that saw the Penguins carve up the defensive coverage before finishing the thing off in style.
- The Oilers got absolutely dummied in the Corskis as they were outshot by a 34-22 to margin. I looked at the shot clock midway through the second period and was absolutely stunned to see that Edmonton had only generated seven shots on goal. It’s like my brain knew it was true because I was watching the disaster unfold, but it took actually seeing the number to fully realize how bad things were.
- If you’re a fan of xGF% then I apologize for letting you know the Oilers had a miserable 34.66% on the night.
- I think the worst part about Zach Hyman’s hat trick goal being disallowed is that there was a tonne of hats on the ice that were thrown for nothing. I feel for you, hat throwers. That’s a tough one.
- The power play went 0/3 on the night, and I actually thought they looked disorganized at time as they struggled to manage the Penguins’ aggressive PK style.
- The Penguins are now 6-1-1 in head-to-head matchups between McDavid and Crosby. Even though the good guys won this round, I need to remember this stat when I get excited about the next Connor/Sid spectacular.
- Don’t ever let anyone convince you that waiting in eager anticipation for the point in the Wrap Up where I tell you about faceoffs isn’t a beautiful thing to get excited about. It’s the small victories, people. Unfortunately, on this night, I regretfully inform you that the Oilers were only able to win 48% of the draws.
- Who’s the genius that thought that the first McDavid vs Crosby matchup in over two years should be an 8pm start? Blah blah doubleheader, I know.
So far this week Zach Hyman has lit a 25 foot menorah and has scored two NHL goals whereas I haven't even done laundry
— Machine Gun Ryan (@IAmByks) December 2, 2021
Depends if you’re watching or just getting updates on your phone.
— Big Kiwi (@kiwi_pfitz) December 2, 2021
Yamamogoal giveth and Yamamogoal taketh away
— Andrea (@LeCorbu27) December 2, 2021