Player grades: Edmonton Oilers blow lead and lose again to Montreal Canadiens

Article content

The Edmonton Oilers blew a two-goal lead and lost 3-2 to the Montreal Canadiens in overtime.

Oilers goalie Mike Smith had played a good game up until the final shot, an outside, seeing-eye snipe from Eric Staal that beat him. But the Oilers gave away the game with a poor third period that saw Montreal get four Grade A chances, not one for the Oilers.

In the game, Grade A chances were 10 for the Oilers, 11 for Montreal (running count).

Connor McDavid, 5. He was quiet until he set up Alex Chiasson for a 5-alarm power play slot shot half-way through the second. He got pokechecked by Carey Price on a semi-breakaway a moment later. He had one dangerous shot in OT, but his weak backcheck freed up Paul Byron on a dangerous rush and shot.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 6. Some nice passing in this one, but again no real chemistry with McD on the top line, just as there hasn’t been all season. He fanned on a sweet one-timer feed from McDavid in the first. Great feed to Draisaitl in the slot for a 5-alarm chance in the second. He also set up Chiasson for a dangerous power play shot late in the second.

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Jesse Puljujarvi, 6. Excellent steal and rush in the second, firing a shot off the post from the dot. He got called on a cheap penalty in the second. He broke in on a breakaway off a Darnell Nurse feed late in the second but could not stick the dagger in Montreal’s chest with a goal.

Dominik Kahun, 3. Quiet game, which isn’t good for a forward. Did little on the attack.

Leon Draisaitl, 4. Not his best game. He didn’t look like he had his legs, including in OT. He was part of the chaos on two Grade A chances against in the first, failing to cut out a cross-seam man, then slow to cover his check to the net. He almost scored in the second off a beauty feed from RNH. He drew an Eric Staal hooking penalty in the second on a hard rush, and should have had another a moment later when he got the old slew foot on a check from Phillip Danault but the refs missed it. He won 10 face offs, lost 17, which pretty much sums up his night.

Kailer Yamamoto, 5. He almost jammed in a crease shot in the second. He got little else done on the attack.

Josh Archibald, 4. He drew a key penalty late in the third. He was part of a line with Haas and Kassian that got caved on shots, 0-7, when he and Kass were on the ice.

Gaetan Haas, 4. He allowed a slot pass early in the first on a 5-alarm chance against. In the third, he made a strong PK clearance leading to Josh Archibald’s rush and a Montreal penalty. Part of the problem on Montreal’s second goal.

Zack Kassian, 3. Did he make a hustle play all game? He made a weak turnover in the first in his own zone, typifying the Oilers lack of sharpness early in the game, when Mopntreal out-shot the OIlers 10-1. Later in the first he allowed a cross-seam pass and point shot that resulted in two Grade A chances against.

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Devin Shore, 5. He got beat by Phillip Danault on an inner slot shot in the first, but more than redeemed himself pounding in a slot shot for Edmonton’s first goal. He allowed a quick pass that was part of the issue on Montreal’s first goal

Jujhar Khaira, 7. Impressive puck protection and pass on Shore’s goal, a big league power forward move. He led the team with six hits.

Alex Chiasson, 7. He started off the virtuous cycle on Shore’s goal, hammering Shea Weber with a hit and popping the puck. He was thwarted by Carey Price on a point blank power play shot in the second. Price shut him down in the final minute of the second, stacking the pads on another 5-alarm power play shot.

Darnell Nurse, 7. He handled the puck smartly under pressure early in the game. He made a masterful stretch pass to send in Puljujarvi alone. Next, he howitzered a slapper by Price for a 2-0 lead late in the second. He me a turnover kicking off the sequence of pain on Montreal’s second goal, which bumped his mark down a full grade. He broke up a dangerous OT chance from Petry to Danault.

Tyson Barrie, 6. After a rough series of games, he kept a clean sheet on this one, with not one major mistake on a Grade A chance against. He got beat wide by Josh Anderson on a hard-charging rush in the first, giving up a “B” grade chance.

Kris Russell, 5. Quiet game, but a few mistakes.

Adam Larsson, 6. Yet another solid game. He stopped the threatening Lehkonen in the first, tipping an inner slot backhander over the glass. The Viking went hard after the whistle in a slot battle, face-washing them, then hair-washing him as well.

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Caleb Jones, 3. Four major mistakes on Grade A chances against. Yikes. A high event game with plenty of excitement, not all of it good. He allowed a 5-alarm shot by Artturi Lehkonen near the crease early in the game, but he and Smith also made the save on the play, so credit Jones for cleaning up his own mess. He made a sound defensive stop on Tyler Toffoli later in the first. He made a second lunging save off Josh Anderson in a wild second period slot scramble. His luck/heroics finally ran out in the third when he allowed Anderson’s crease tip for a goal against.  A moment later he lost a battle on a pinch leading to a Montreal two-on-one.

Ethan Bear, 3. Rough, rough game in the d-zone with five major mistakes on Grade A chances against. His turnover halfway through the first kicked off a sequence leading to a dangerous tip on Smith. His turnover in the second led to a mad scramble and many dangerous moments in front of Edmonton’s net, including a Grade A shot by Corey Perry. Yet another turnover led to a Josh Anderson break and Grade A chance in the second. In the third, he allowed the slot pass on Montreal’s first goal. In the last minute of the game he allowed another Grade A by Anderson down the wing.

Mike Smith, 5. He was having a good game until Eric Staal beat him on an outside shot in OT. He and Caleb Jones came up with a miracle clearance early in the game, Smith getting his paddle on Lehkonen’s point blank shot, then getting lucky when Jesperi Kotkaniemi failed to hit the net on the rebound strike. He also looked sharp on a tricky tip shot by Lehkonen in the first. Late in the first he again saved his teammates from their lazy defensive errors, first stopping a Toffoli tip, then Jonathan Drouin on the rebound. He can’t be faulted on Montreal’s first goal but got bear by Tatar’s wicked high slot shot on Montreal’s second goal. Excellent save on the Romanov two-on-one blast in the third. He made a huge save on Byron in OT. Then came his fail on Staal’s outside shot.

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Latest articles

Related articles