THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Only moments after the Ducks grabbed the lead, Zack Kassian tied the game with a tap in goal that started with a nice forecheck by Warren Foegele followed by a perfect cross-crease pass to the tape by Nugent-Hopkins. It was the kind of response goal that only Connor and Leon have been able to score around here over the past couple of seasons, so it was very nice to see another depth goal coming in to tie things up. Kassian added a second goal (4-4) on the power play — no, for real, the second unit got on for once — as he got his stick on the puck in front of the net and changed its path on the way through the goaltender.
- Connor McDavid gave the Oilers the lead (2-1) with a beautiful goal after he turned on the jets and picked up the puck with speed, beating Stolarz with a quick wrist shot down low.
- Leon Draisaitl restored the lead (3-2) in the last minute of the first period with a power play snipe from his office near the faceoff dot. I don’t know how many goals he’s scored from that spot at this point in his career, but it seems to be an unstoppable play even though everyone in the building knows what’s coming. Draisaitl added an empty netter (6-4) late in the third period to wrap up the game and add the cherry on what was a four-point night for the former Hart Trophy winner.
- Evan Bouchard gave the Oilers their third lead of the night with one of the oddest goals I’ve seen in quite some time. Bouchard chased a puck into the corner in the offensive zone and swung at it with his stick, re-directing the puck slowly towards the net where it took an incredible bounce over the line off of the goaltender’s skate. This goal wasn’t quite the BouchBomb blast that we all love seeing from Bouchard, but I’ll be the first to say it was just as beautiful. Dad had himself a whale of a game where he finished with 19:35 in TOI, one goal, one assist, seven blocks, and six shots on goal.
- Mikko Koskinen replaced Mike Smith with 8:25 left in the second period after Smith left the game and he was excellent in relief. Koskinen was called upon to make some big saves down the stretch and he rose to the challenge and shut the door, giving the Oilers the opportunity they needed to lock up a win. Kostco finished with 20 saves and a .952 save%.
- That was a tidy little two-assist night for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
- Once again, the Oilers got what they need from their power play as they were able to convert two goals on six chances when up a man.
- The penalty kill was great once again, killing off Anaheim’s lone chance with the man advantage.,
- If you love shots you’ll love knowing the Oilers outshot the ducks by a 37-36 margin.
- As sure as the sun will rise, you’ve reached the portion of the Wrap Up where I tell you that the Oilers won 58% of the faceoffs?
THE FACE PALMERS
- Kevin Shattenkirk opened the scoring (1-0) on the back of a pretty passing play that saw the Duck slice through the Oilers zone before finishing off the play with a beauty shot up and over Smith’s glove hand. The weird thing is that Shattenkirk scored a nearly identical goal late in the game (6-5) that beat Koskinen over the glove as well.
- Only 15 seconds after McDavid gave the Oilers the lead, Sam Steel tied things up (2-2) after throwing the puck towards the net and getting a lucky break with a goal that Smith would certainly like back. Steel added another goal (4-3) in the second period that will end up on the highlight reels tonight after he grabbed the puck near the boards, walked Barrie, and made a strong move towards the middle of the ice, beating Smith with a deke.
- Nicolas Deslauriers tied the game (3-3) on an odd-man rush where he picked up a cross-ice pass in the circle and beat Smith with a wrister between the arm and body.
- There were too many giveaways in their own zone. I don’t know if guys were flying the zone a little bit early or what was going on there, but coughing up freebies in front of your own net and near the blue line aren’t ingredients in a recipe for success.
- Mike Smith got a third straight start after playing very well against Calgary and Vancouver, but the threepeat was not in the cards as the veteran left the game midway through the second period with an injury. But before he left, Smith wasn’t exactly having the greatest night as he allowed four goals on 14 shots, not all of which were his fault but certainly his problem. Here’s hoping for good news when it comes to his injury. Smith finished the night with 11 saves and a .733 save%.
- The Oilers took their foot off the gas near the end of the game and I don’t particularly like this ‘sit back and defend’ approach to closing out a win.
- This was a rough night for Tyson Barrie as he was looking lost more often than not and it was interesting to see Dave Tippett give a bunch of his minutes to Evan Bouchard in the back half of the game. We all know that Barrie can be an adventure at the best of times, and tonight would be one of those games that he’d probably like to forget.
- Kailer Yamamoto only played 10 minutes to go along with his -3 rating, and I don’t think I need to say much more than that.
— Brett Nakonechny (@OleSchnee16) October 20, 2021
Laziest 200 goals I’ve ever seen…
— Andolf (@AndolfAlberta) October 20, 2021
Enjoying a post-game Werther's Original with my pal Evan Bouchard. Well earned, Evan!
— Ken Holland (@FakeOilersGM) October 20, 2021
Jesse Puljujarvi has 6 points in 3 games. Good night Twitter
— Dave Tippets Lines, The Horror Movie (@KayleLeonard77) October 20, 2021