The Edmonton Oilers tune up for the playoffs with 4-3 OT win over Montreal: Game Grades

Article content

In a nothing game for the Edmonton Oilers they turned in a better than solid effort and salted away the 2 points with a thrilling Draisaitl-to-McDavid overtime goal for the 4-3 winner.

The Oilers couldn’t cash on their 1 Power Play chance. But the Oilers PK unit killed 2 opportunities and have now erased 21 man-advantages in a row.

No significant injuries along the way, and Edmonton helped eliminate the Calgary Flames from the post-season picture in the process.

Here’s the tale of the tape.

Edmonton Oilers Game Grades

MIKKO KOSKINEN. 5. Koskinen had no real chance on the 1-0 goal. And the coverage broke down in front of him on the 2-2. However, that 3-3 goal over his right-hand shoulder was awful. An NHL goalie has to stop that. Koskinen’s young D-man had the shooter sufficiently angled off and covered, and far enough out that a screen should not have been a real factor. Ultimately stopped 25 of 28. A 2nd Period stop on Byron was probably his best. This would be considered a bounce back from that disaster his last time out. But a narrow passing grade is about all I’m willing to part with. Had been 0-3 against Montreal going in.

Advertisement

Story continues below

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

Article content

CONNOR McDAVID. 6. Scored the winning goal in the 3-on-3 OT by receiving a perfect pass by Leon Draisaitl and then faking Allen forehand-backhand-forehand-up-and-in. On the 3-2, after scorching Tatar McDavid then looked shot but instead fired a dart into the slot that Kahun sliced home. Yes, he was also on for 3 goals against. But was back to cover the point on the 1-0 and his man didn’t touch the puck. He was on the ice for the 2-2 but it was a 3-on-3 as it crossed line and even if he had taken the extra couple steps his man didn’t touch the puck. And the 3-2 was on the goalie. So…context matters. Just played 19:07, low for him.

LEON DRAISAITL. 7. Full value on the game winner by first stripping Tatar of the puck and then shooting an arrow of a pass up to McDavid who made no mistake on the overtime breakaway. That was his 81st point of the season. His 80th came on an entry and deft drop pass to Yamamoto, which quickly ended up on Nugent-Hopkins’ stick and in the net. In any normal year, we’d be making a huge deal over Leon Draisaitl hitting 80 points in just 54 games. His role in the 3-2 goal is below. Won a battle deep in his own zone and cleared the puck out of danger in the dying seconds of regulation. 75% on faceoffs. +31 to lead the NHL. 14 points in his last 6.

JESSE PULJUJARVI. 5. Quiet. No shots. Just 1 hit. The sheet does have Jesse Puljujarvi a -2 on the night. But he was the 1st forward back on the 2-2. And no where near the problem on his other dash. So, that stat is a bit misleading. But this wasn’t prime time Puljujarvi either. Good 1st Period stick. A good 2nd Period clear on his own zone.

Advertisement

Story continues below

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

Article content

DARNELL NURSE. 5. Over-committed on the 1-0 goal. Had Byron as the Habs entered the zone on the 2-0 but peeled off toward the puck carrier who was already covered. Seeing the coverage develop Leon Draisaitl stayed high, then had no chance of betting to the net. He deserved the minus, but I didn’t see Leon as the primary culprit. Did clear the zone under pressure after the Habs had been pressing late in the 2nd.

TYSON BARRIE. 5. Barrie early won the game in OT but while his rocket beat Jake Allen glove hand it ricocheted off the post and out. A Savardian Spin-O-Rama and a sharp head manned pass send Kahun in on a good 3rd Period chance. Barrie had pinched up-ice on the 1-0 goal against but had made it back and turned that Montreal chance into a 1-on-3, so it was not a major factor and certainly not the only one.

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS. 7. Nugent-Hopkins wristed home the 2-1 goal on a play where the puck was on his stick and off in a snap. A veteran defensive play to help clear the zone on a 2nd Period Montreal PP. Had a good wrister in O/T. A good 3rd Period back check. Solid performance.

DOMINIK KAHUN. 6. Tipped home a lovely pass into the slot from McDavid for the 3-2. Threw a shot toward the net that Tyson Barrie just missed tipping home after activating from the point.

KAILER YAMAMOTO. 5. Credited with an assist on the Nugent-Hopkins goal although Yamamoto was in a shooting motion when the puck was deflected over to 93 who was wide open. Drew a 1st Period PP. Also took a penalty. Had the puck on his stick with time but failed to clear his own zone early in the 3rd.

Advertisement

Story continues below

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

Article content

DMITRY KULIKOV. 6. 2 shots, a hit a block, +2 in 19:12. Looked no worse for wear after sitting out a game for an injury.

ADAM LARSSON. 7. A tremendous play on Corey Perry to stop a dangerous cycle on the Canadiens PP.  Created just enough legal interference to help foil Anderson on a 3rd Period break. 2 shots and a hit in 22:13. +2.

RYAN McLEOD. 7. His best game as an NHL-er so far. McLeod earned his first NHL assist on the James Neal 1-1 marker. Set up Bear for a Power Play chance late in the 1st. A pass to Draisaitl in the 3rd created another opportunity. Led the team in All-Events CF (12-7, 63%). A little thing that will never show on Sports Center: On his last shift late in the 3rd McLeod approached the Montreal blueline with some space. But instead of trying to beat someone one-on-one he instead made the veteran play and deposited it safely in the corner. 75% on draws.

JAMES NEAL. 7. Getting hot just in time for the playoffs. Scored just :20 after Montreal had scored the opener Neal stuffed home a rebound for the 1-1. Had another chance the next shift after McLeod stirred a loose puck off the wall for him waiting in the slot. Led the club with 5 shots. When that comes from your 3rd line, you’ll take that every day of the week.

ALEX CHIASSON. 6. This trio was excellent. Chiasson earned the 2nd assist on the 1-1 goal. That was the 200th point of his gritty NHL career. 3 hits. A clean sheet, defensively.

CALEB JONES. 6. I’ve been hard in this young guy this season. But he turned in a very solid effort Monday. No assist for him on the 2-1 goal but it was his beautiful stretch pass to Draisaitl that led to the 29-56-93 exchange at the other end of the ice. Did earn a helper on a much simpler play, by dumping the puck off to McDavid just before he changed. His man did score the 3-3 but that was all on the goalie, Jones had his man angled over and gapped.

Advertisement

Story continues below

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

Article content

ETHAN BEAR. 7. Ethan Bear had a terrific game. 5 shots, 3 blocks, 2 hits. Had significant offensive contributions in all 3 Periods. Named the game’s 3rd Star and well deserved it was.

JUJHAR KHAIRA. 5. 4 hits, 2 blocks, 55% on draws, a perfect 1:44 on the PK. Some decent, heavy work from Khaira along the boards. Not especially sharp with the puck.

DEVIN SHORE. 5. Devin Shore made 2 super-smart defensive plays early in the 1st Period that made me think “that’s why this guy will dress in the playoffs”. 3 hits, 2 blocks.

JOSH ARCHIBALD. 5. Skated miles, 3 hits and a shot, effective on the PK. Will be a glue guy come playoff time.

Alex Stalock backed up Mikko Koskinen this evening, his first game dressed for the Oilers, giving Mike Smith a well-deserved night off.

The win leaves the Oilers 34-18-2 for 70 points, safely tucked into 2nd Place in the Canadian division with 2 games left. 31-12-2 in their last 45.

Next up? Another against the Habs Wednesday.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

Recently, at The Cult…

STAPLES: Twitter explodes as Connor McDavid hits 100

McCURDY: McDavid, Draisaitl, Larsson hit milestones as Oilers beat Canucks

LEAVINS: The Province of Alberta needs to give the Oilers a 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