THE BRIGHT SIDE
- The Oilers picked up their first back-to-back wins over the Penguins in 16 years!
- @Evan Bouchard opened the scoring (1-0) with a sneaky little wrister from the high slot that made its way through a Yamamoto screen before beating DeSmith up over the shoulder. Bouchard nearly added another goal early in the second period on a very similar play, but the goal ended up getting called back on an offside review. I can’t be the only one that thinks the Oilers should extend dad to a long-term contract sooner than later because bridging this guy would get expensive.
- Only 25 seconds after Pittsburgh tied the game, @Evander Kane restored the lead (2-1) after taking a pass from Yamamoto in the slot and pounding the puck past DeSmith with authority. The dude just can’t stop scoring goals right now and I hope this heater lasts forever.
- @Zach Hyman gave the Oilers some insurance (3-1) with a power play goal that came after he found RNH’s rebound in front of the net and pulled a nice little move to slide it through DeSmith’s legs.
- @Connor McDavid extended the lead to three goals (4-1) on the power play with a ridiculous goal from an impossible angle, and I’m honestly still confused how he was able to get that thing in the net from where he shot it. Either way, how about a casual four-point night to give him 14 in his last six games? Jonathan Huberdeau didn’t really have a chance, did he?
- @Zack Kassian ended his 28-game goalless drought with an empty-netter (5-1) to seal the deal.
- @Mike Smith has been incredible for the Oilers over the month and change, and they were going to need another dose of that magic tonight against the Pens as the team was looking to lock down home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. From buzzer to buzzer, Smith was rock solid for his team once again and he laid a foundation that allowed his teammates to create offence freely without having to worry that their goalie wouldn’t be able to bail them out if needed, and ultimately his stead play was a huge part of this win. Put another way, the only thing Smith didn’t do was land the goal he tried to bag at the end of the night. Smith finished the night with 33 saves and a .971 save%.
- How good has the PK been for the Oilers lately? After struggling mightily for a stretch midway through the year, the boys have done a full 180 lately and that success continued tonight as they killed off four of four shorthanded situations.
- Not to be outdone, the power play came through with a pair of key goals on four chances with the man advantage. You’ve gotta love a big special teams sweep!
- I need to take a minute to pump @Brett Kulak’s tires again because the dude just keeps giving us quietly steady outings on the back end, and I absolutely love it.
- Another defenceman I wanted to point out was @Duncan Keith because I thought he had a whale of a game, and made a handful of early plays that kept the Penguins off the board. Solid game for the future HHOFer.
- Oilers dominated the Corskis after outshooting the Penguins by a 42-34 margin.
- The spreadsheet society offers good news after the Oilers finished with a 52.81 CF% and a 56.40 xGF%.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Shortly after the Oilers had their goal reversed, Jeff Carter tied the game (1-1) from the side of the net after the point shot bounced off the backboards and right to his stick near the post. As far as easy goals go, I’m not sure Carter will get one easier than that. Carter, unfortunately, remains an Oilers killer as he has been for his entire career.
- I really wanted Mike Smith to get a goal and it just didn’t happen. So funkin’ close, though!
- It wasn’t all good news, my friends, because the Oilers only won 48% of the faceoffs?
It's mixed with his usual prune juice
— Ryan (@IAmByks) April 26, 2022
Agreed. Maybe the Oilers throw in a sign for his front lawn telling kids to stay off his grass.
— Shawn (aka Enrico Pallazzo) (@borbandy) April 27, 2022
Old man almost has had two today
— dangersuede esq. (@dangersuede) April 27, 2022
But Smith goal watch is back on!
— x-TommyGuns (@big_Tobias4) April 27, 2022
— x- la bamba Dan – Feel Good, Why Not (@theDanalytic) April 27, 2022