There’s nothing quite like walking into another team’s building, getting three different leads on them, including one in the third period, and losing in regulation. That’s the kind of sinking, disgusting feeling that the Oilers gave their fans on Thursday night. Boy, it sure felt like every other year of the past ten on this evening.
Constant mistakes, constant defensive lapses and lazy clearing attempts all night resulted in Edmonton dropping their third straight and falling to 0-1-1 on the road trip (So much for winning three games). A dose of the “same old, same old”, which has been rare this season, was delivered tonight.
Edmonton was outplayed for large stretches and, outside of three or four players, looked generally outclassed by the Rangers.
Take a stroll with me through the evening. I’m trying something different tonight, as I took notes during the game for the bulk of this piece.
– Well, things didn’t exactly start out too well in this one. Adam Larsson took a needless and, quite frankly, bad penalty by smacking the head of Mats Zuccarello deep in the defensive zone. The Rangers would go to the powerplay, but Edmonton held them without a shot. Was a really strong kill by Edmonton.
– Leon Draisaitl is cut! Leon drew a four-minute powerplay via a high-sticking call against Jesper Fast. The first two minutes of this man advantage? Let’s just call it not good. Edmonton couldn’t get over the blueline to set up and nearly surrendered a shorthanded goal as Leon Draisaitl was stripped of the puck by Michael Grabner.
– NUUUUUUUGE!!!!! Ryan Nugent-Hopkins swept home a loose puck to put Edmonton on top 1-0. It wasn’t the prettiest goal, as Jordan Eberle’s pass hit Connor McDavid in the foot and it somehow went right to RNH, who deposited the puck past King Henrik.
– Jesse Puljujarvi’s speed is sensational. A burst creates a small breakaway chance, but Uncle Jesse can’t beat Henrik Lundqvist, who makes a spectacular glove save. Easily the best stop of the first period.
– Kevin Hayes ties the game up on a goal that the Oilers likely want to forget. On New York’s first shot of the game, Brady Skjei rips a shot that Talbot stops, but the rebound flies to Grabner, who spins and delivers a crisp pass to Hayes in front of the net. Adam Larsson can’t clear the rebound, while Klefbom leaves Hayes wide open for the easy tap-in goal. Poor defense by the Oilers on this sequence.
– After the goal, it felt like the Rangers carried the pace of play. I thought Edmonton controlled the first eight minutes of play, but New York carried the play for the next eight minutes. I thought the last stretch of play was pretty even.
– Nick Holden, in the final minute, takes a careless penalty for flipping the puck over the glass. On to the second we go with a powerplay for Edmonton.
– Not too much going for Edmonton on the powerplay, BUT Jesse Puljujarvi gets another chance with a heavy shot from the point. Jesse has been shooting a lot lately and boy, does he have a cannon. Potential solution to the point shot issue?
– Connor McDavid beats Henrik Lundqvist by waiting him out, but the goal is waived off as Jordan Eberle is called for goaltender interference. Eberle WAS pushed into the net, BUT he didn’t make any kind of effort to get out of the way with ample time to do so. Bad for Edmonton, but this was the right call.
– Puljujarvi’s strong play continued into the middle parts of the period when he forced a turnover and went in on a two-on-one with Patrick Maroon. Puljujarvi pulled back and somehow was able to keep the puck from a sliding defender before dishing off to Maroon, who went to the backhand and beat Lundqvist and gives Edmonton a 2-1 lead.
– The Oilers actually controlled most of the play, but after the Maroon goal, there weren’t many great chances. McDavid is flying and seems to have the puck on his stick every time he goes on the ice. Lucic seems off again tonight.
– Rangers pick up the pace and tie the game 2-2. JT Miller’s shot is stopped by Talbot, but goes to the side of the net and is deposited by Grabner. Adam Larsson is the goat on this play, he didn’t mark his man and allowed Grabner to get wide open. Klefbom-Larsson has struggled in that regard tonight, and he been responsible for both goals against.
– Not much going on either side early on. Both teams had a few looks but nothing that appeared to be overly dangerous.
– Another Edmonton powerplay that struggles mighty to set things up. I know they scored earlier, but man something has to give here. Too little urgency right now.
– Adam Larsson scores!! Great screen by Lander and Larsson gets the shot through and in. Massive goal for the Oilers to go up 3-2. Some nice puck work by Sekera to get it over for the shot too.
– Well….that lasted long. Larsson can’t get the puck out, kind of a lazy clear, and the Rangers take advantage. Fast appeared untouched as he tipped that shot by Pirri home. Didn’t catch a number, but the Oiler forward at the point flailing like a fish was brutal. 3-3 it is.
– Well, well, well. Look what we have here. Matt Benning, who I thought had played well to this point, gets totally worked over by Zuccarello and that’s a goal. Rick Nash left all alone in front (Lucic with just a pathetic attempt at defense) puts it past Talbot, Unreal.
– Empty net goal by Miller. That seals the worst sequence of the season thus far for Edmonton.
– 5-3 Final. Three straight goals given up and not even a sniff of trying to tie it in the final minute. Terrible.
Yeah, that absolutely sucked. I thought Edmonton had strong stretches throughout the first forty minutes, but man were they ever dominated when the game was on the line in the final twenty minutes. The Rangers gave it to them pretty good and certainly deserved that win.
Cam Talbot was by a mile the best Oiler tonight. New York scores seven or eight without him in there. McDavid had his moments tonight and got a lucky assist on RNH’s goal. I also thought Darnell Nurse and Jesse Puljujarvi showed real signs tonight.
Jordan Eberle and Milan Lucic were downright awful, like completely unacceptable. Lucic allowed Nash to get open on the winning goal and was a total non-factor offensively. Eberle had a strong first period but faded badly after that. The puck is dying on his stick a lot right now.
Also thought Leon Draisaitl and Benoit Pouliot were non-factors tonight. That’s a terrible sign for the Oilers.
I wrote on Tuesday that this club needed six points on this road trip. They have collected just one of a possible four thus far, which is very disappointing. Through two games, Edmonton has found ways to lose and has reverted back to old habits. That’s a very alarming issue.
The Oilers must be better and must win in Brooklyn on Saturday.