The Edmonton Oilers blow out the Flames 7-3: Player Grades

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The Edmonton Oilers blew out the Calgary Flames 7-3 in the latest Battle of Alberta, Wednesday.

The score quite frankly flattered the home team, who scored goals 2 and 3 deep into garbage time. No match for the Oilers big guns, high-octane Power Play (which went 3/4) and a sharp game between the pipes by Mike Smith.

The Oilers are now 13-2 when they score 1st. 6-11 when they don’t (thanks to Reid Wilkins for that telling stat).

Here’s the tale of the tape.

Edmonton Oilers Game Grades

MIKE SMITH. 8. Stopped 30 of 33. None of the 3 that got behind him were on the goaltender. Made an early save on Lindholm on a tough chance. Next sequence, Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring…something the Oilers had not done in consecutive games. One wonders how this game might have ended up if that first stop wasn’t made. A sharp 1st period blocker save on Ritchie. Stuffed Gaudreau on a 1st Period PP to keep the game at 2-0. Now 10-3 on the year, 2.26 GAA, .920 SV%.

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CONNOR McDAVID. 8. His interception and feed to Nugent-Hopkins set up the 1-0. A 1st Period strip. Scored the 4-1 on a wrist shot 5-hole. Assisted on the 6-1 after blowing past Giordano and then setting up Nurse at the point. A stick in his own slot prevented a Flames chance. Added a solid hot on Mangiapane. Was late to his man on the 3-1. Really had his boots on. Named the 3rd Star.

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS. 7. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a goal (at 5v5) and an assist. Opened the scoring with an assist from McDavid. His wrister was deflected by Chiasson for the 6-1. An intelligent 1st period strip and clear on the PK. This line was effective all night and RNH was a significant part of that. #93 looks better on the Wing, does he not?

JESSE PULJUJARVI. 7. Jesse scored his 8th with a nice tip in front, and it was Puljujarvi that started the sequence with an interception in the slot. Great shift. Made a very nice play along the wall deep in his own zone that spring McDavid and led to Nurse’s 6-1 goal. Drew a 3rd period Power Play that turned into the 4-1. 4 of his 8 goals this season are against Calgary.

DARNELL NURSE. 7. Walked in from the point and wired home a wrist shot for the 6-1. Added an assist. Drew the penalty that led to the 5-1. Beat behind the net by Tkachuk on the 3-1. For once, Dave Tippett didn’t need to run Nurse into the ground to defend a lead. Played a more normal 21:41, which will help some in the next of back-to-backs tomorrow night.

TYSON BARRIE. 8. Tied his career best with 4 assists. Barrie’s point shot was deflected by Puljujarvi for the 2-0. Tidy outlet pass turned into the 3-0. Part of the issue on the 3-1, although it is his job to front the shooter after the lost battle by Nurse behind the net. He is not the perfect defensive player. But man can he skate and move the puck. The game’s 2nd Star. Amazing, considering he almost didn’t play due to an injury the previous game.

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LEON DRAISAITL. 9. The best player on the ice. Draisaitl registered 3 assists, the prettiest of which was a ridiculous behind-the-back chip to Dominik Kahun who made no mistake. That play started with Draisaitl coming back deep into his own zone to support his D-man. Won the faceoff on the 2-0. Won a key battle along the wall on the O-Zone and fed Barrie at the point on the 4-1. No assist on the 5-1 but it was Draisaitl who won the draw and the puck was in the net 6 seconds later. A 1st period take-away. The game’s 1st Star.

DOMINIK KAHUN. 6. Healthy scratched for 5 consecutive games and returned with a very strong effort. That included a no-mistake one-timer off a picture-perfect feed from Draisaitl. A nice battle won and clear late.

KAILER YAMAMOTO. 5. Took a 1st Period hooking minor. Just 1 shot, 0 hits. Just…average.

WILLAIM LAGESSON. 4. A solid 2nd Period hit on Lucic. But mishandled the puck badly and then lost his man on the 7-2. Another give-away. Not his best night.

ADAM LARSSON. 6. 2 consecutive clears on an excellent 1st Period PK effort. One of 4 Oilers victimized on the 7-2. Led the club in TOI at 22:39, the first time anyone but Nurse has done that in recent memory. 2 hits, 2 blocks.

GAETAN HAAS. 6. Fired a perfect pass at a 45-degree angle to Kassian who was streaking up the left wall for a pretty assist. 70% on draws. Thought he was quite effective, even though he lost the battle on chances For-Against.

TYLER ENNIS. 5. Couldn’t convert a 2nd Period set-up from Kassian. Some nifty puck handling and 3 shots but nothing much to show for it.

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ZACK KASSIAN. 7. An early hit on Kylington seemed to signal that Kassian was back and with his head in the game. Turned on the jets for a 2nd Period back-check. Fed Ennis for a good chance. 2nd Period slash call. Then scored on the backhand after Haas hit Kassian in full flight, leaving the Flames D-man Kylington in his ice shavings.

KRIS RUSSELL. 8. The highlight of the night was a late 2nd Period shot block which broke Russell’s skate. Unable to skate, Russell was still able to throw his body in the way of pass looking for a seam. Remarkable sequence for the Cowboy. Drew the penalty that led to the 2-0. His lone blemish was a failed clear. 3 shots, 2 blocks, +1.

ETHAN BEAR. 7. His best game since returning from concussion. Part of the sequence on the 1-0. A huge shot block on a 2nd Period PK with the game still just at 3-1. A failed 1st Period clear was one of his few mistakes. +1 in a very solid 17:31 of work.

DEVIN SHORE. 5. Shore had a good steal & clear on a 2nd period PK. Cleared the zone again in the 3rd with the Flames pressing and his teammates gassed. 2 blocks, 62% on faceoffs as the 4C on this night. Bent but didn’t break.

JOSH ARCHIBALD. 4. Fed Larsson for a good 1st Period chance. Late back on the 7-3. -1. Just average, by his standards.

ALEX CHIASSON. 6. Scored a Power Play goal on a nice tip while providing a perfect screen. Chiasson intercepted the puck and fed McDavid for an excellent chance for. One of a crowd of Oilers left watching on the 7-2.

The victory draws the Oilers even with the Jets at 38 points, just 2 back of Toronto And Winnipeg is next, tomorrow night.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

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