Talk about a huge win.
For the Edmonton Oilers, their 6-3 downing of the New Jersey Devils Saturday afternoon was nothing but huge.
While it gave them a huge 10 points in the standings that gets them one step closer to playoffs, it also marked the fourth time the Oilers swept a five-game homestand.
The only other times it happened was in Jan. 1985, March 1987, Nov. 2015 and this past week.
A big part of that was not only a strong start scoring a minute and a half into the game, but a strong third period, too. Up 2-1 heading into the final frame, the game quickly got away from Edmonton.
Jesper Bratt scored his second of the game just 26 seconds in, while Nico Hischier scored at the 3:14 mark. Then six minutes later, Edmonton was back.
“You look at the third period. We come out, know what we need to do, but they get a couple of bounces and take the lead,” said Evander Kane, who put together another two-goal game. “We stick with our game plan, we get pucks to the net, we turn up the heat a little bit, stay with it and we were able to respond.”
Tyson Barrie at the 9:04 mark tied it up, then consecutive goals from Kane, Zach Hyman and an empty netter from Connor McDavid put the game away.
For the Oilers, it was a game that could be looked to as a significant turning point late in the year. The Oilers had been struggling heading into this homestand.
In their previous eight, they went 2-5-1 beating only the Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers. They lost to the Minnesota Wild, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames all in overtime, while falling to the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime.
They started losing some ground in the process, but a big five-game streak has helped them massively in terms of regaining ground. They now sit just two points back of Los Angeles for second in the Pacific, but are also just five points out of the playoff picture.
Edmonton has a tough two games coming up here on the road. Colorado Monday and Dallas Tuesday. They’re going to need to find a way to get some points.
What they’re saying…
Gillies Gives the Devils No Chance in 6-3 Loss to Oilers
Those are the opening lyrics to the classic entrance theme music for Vince McMahon in the WWE. Unfortunately on this night for the New Jersey Devils, that was also what their goaltending gave them, as Jon Gillies surrendered a bunch of gimme goals in a 6-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers as the Devils finished their Western Canada road trip with 3 straight regulation loss.The Devils hung in there over the first 40 minutes of this game despite their goaltender letting them down and even managed to take the lead briefly in the third period, but poor goaltending and poor special teams play ultimately sunk them in a deserved 6-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. – Jared W Moore, allaboutthejersey.com.
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 [email protected]