The Edmonton Oilers eliminated by Winnipeg in a hard-fought 4-3 loss in Triple overtime: Game Grades

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The Oilers stared elimination square in the face Monday night and despite forcing triple overtime could not pull out a victory in Game 4.

Kyle Connor scored the winner on a partial break at 6:52 of the 3rd extra period for the 4-3 final.

After the collapse in Game 3, it’s fair to wonder which Oilers team would show up in Game 4. But to their credit, Edmonton arrived with its work boots on and gave it everything they had. But in the end, it was not enough…but the narrowest of margins.

Also. highly dubious decisions by the officials in this one to hand out the only (2) man advantages in extra time to Winnipeg.

Here’s the tale of the tape.

Edmonton Oilers Game Grades

MIKE SMITH. 7. Made a tough save through traffic on the very first shift of the game. Minutes later, stoned Mark Scheifele on a terrific chance. Little or no chance on the 1-0, a terrific pass though a seam and one-timed home by Mark Scheifele. The 2-1 deflected twice off Darnell Nurse on it’s way past Smith and into the net stick-side. A stuff on Stastny late in the 1st kept the Oilers in it. A glorious save off Wheeler late in the 3rd after a Larsson giveaway. Tremendous in the 1st OT with point-blank stop off Appleton, Wheeler, and 1-2-3 times on Nick Ehlers. Flashed out his blocker just in time to nick an Appleton drive wide in 2OT. Kyle Connor was cherry-picking in overtime and caught the Oilers on the long change, and wristed it home for the winner. Stopped 39 of 43.

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CONNOR McDAVID. 7. Scored a lovely goal to tie the game at 1, taking a quick reverse from Draisaitl and then executing the successful wrap-around. Also, on the ice for both goals against in the 1st. O smart neutral zone intercept early in the 2nd frame. Part of the sequence on the 3-2 PP marker. Couldn’t cash on the backhand off a 2-on-1. A slick skate-to-stick pickup off a Draisaitl pass in full flight led to a dangerous back-hand chance. Slid a shot through Hellebuyck’s pads but it ticked off the keeper’s skate and wide in the 1st OT. His dump-in on 3OT got steered uint he other direction on the 4-3. No call on a dirty and dangerous 3rd period knee courtesy Dylan DeMelo that the league should look at.

LEON DRAISAITL. 8. Set up McDavid for the 1-1 with a tidy reverse. Also earned the primary assist on the Chiasson Power Play goal. Lost the faceoff on the 2-1 and was on the ice for both goals against in the first 20 minutes. Whistled for a retaliatory slash late in the 1st frame. A great 3rd Period back-hand-for-hand chance off a feed from McDavid. Just missed a great chance in the 1st OT off a faceoff win by 97. A glorious chance on a 1-timer feed from McDavid in 2OT but hammered it wide. The Oilers best chance in 3OT when he drilled a shot off Hellebuyck’s glove and mask and out. Plated 44:37. Named the game’s 2nd Star.

JESSE PULJUJARVI. 7. Jesse earned an assist on the 1-1 with a headman pass through the neutral zone, although it was his aggressive play in front which took out 2 Jets that was more key in the sequence. Couldn’t make the play high along the wall on the 2-1. Another turnover part-way through the 2nd. Got away a god shot on a pass from Russell. Drew a late 2nd Period slash to give his mates a 5-on-3 advantage. And 1st OT Period overtime chance on a feed from Nurse. For a moment looked like he’d scored the winner in Double-OT, but the disk had slipped beneath the net.

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DARNELL NURSE. 9. Any question whether Nurse has elevated to a top-tier NHL D-man should be erased after this performance. Darnell played an incredible 62:07 and was by-and-large excellent. Was the victim of a double deflection on the 2-1 goal. Fired a hard shot off the side of the Jets net after a good setup from Zack Kassian and McLeod. Huge shot-block in the 1st OT, during which one of his shifts clocked in at 4:47. Beat Kyle Connor back to his own goal-line to force a draw back in the Winnipeg zone. Fed McDavid for a wonderful chance in 2OT but a smart Josh Morrissey stick interrupted the chance.

TYSON BARRIE. 8. Perhaps his best game as an Oiler. Played 49:15 and was strong defensively. Barrie broke up the play deep in his own zone, starting the puck headed in the other direction for the eventual 1-1. A bad pass at the point cost the Oilers zone time on a 2nd period PP. Took a feed from McDavid in the 3rd but fired it wide. A key defensive stick in the 1st OT. A big shot block of a Kyle Connor drive in 2OT. The club has a big decision to make on him.

RYAN McLEOD. 5. Part of the sequence in the 1st that led to a good chance for Nurse. Two excellent defensive plays part-way through the 2nd, a neutral zone back-check and then hustled back to erase Mark Scheifele on a dangerous looking Jets jailbreak. A 3rd period clear. A neutral zone intercept snuffed a Jets rush. Didn’t play much after that and not at all in OT as Dave Tippett shortened his bench.

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS. 8. A tremendous individual effort by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the 2-2 as Nugent-Hopkins fired a wrist shot that Hellebuyck couldn’t handle cleanly, then Nuge beat Neal Pionk to the rebound and sliced the backhand home for his 1st of the series. Just missed giving the club the lead on the PP later but couldn’t drain a hot cross-the-crease pass from Chiasson. Later, his slot-to-the-circle pass to Draisaitl led to the 3-2. Couldn’t convert a 3rd Period wrap-around. Won a key D-Zone faceoff with just 3 minutes left in the 3rd and added a late period strip. A terrific pass right onto the doorstep for Kassian but the puck hopped over 44’s stick. Fired a shot high in 3OT off a feed, also from Kassian. A key battle and clear later in 3OT.

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ZACK KASSIAN. 7. Earned the primary assist on the Nugent-Hopkins goal. Nice pass to McDavid in the 1st but 97’s shot was deflected high. 1st Period takeaway. Closed hard and erased Scheifele along the wall late in the 3rd. An excellent battle won along the wall and then a clear of his zone. Bad-luck bounce on an OT chance at the doorstep on a setup by 93. Led the club in hits with 6.

KRIS RUSSELL. 7. Tremendous in his first game back from injury and played an impressive 32:40. 1st Period shot block. Picked up and cleared a dangerous rebound on a 1st Period PK. Fed Puljujarvi for a 2nd Period shot. 3rd period shot block at the top of the red zone. Solid hit on Wheeler in the 3rd. A major battle won in his own zone that Nugent-Hopkins cleared to safety. Another clear the very next shift. Stripped Connor of the puck in 3OT, allowing for a Nurse clear.

ADAM LARSSON. 6. Larsson was in the box on a holding call on the 1-0. Earned the secondary assist on the 2-2. Drew a 2nd Period holding call which ultimately led to the 3-2. Failed to get the puck deep, instead turning it over and forcing Mike Smith to stone Wheeler at the other end. Took the wrong turn on the final play of the game. Played 39:00.

GAETAN HAAS. 6. An eye-opening performance under pressure by Gaetan Haas who skated miles. He took a no-doubt tripping call in the 1st, but his mates managed to (barely) hang on to kill it off. Excellent blocked shot off Connor in 2OT. Held bis breath in 3OT after a shot over the glass landed him in the box. Stepped up on the PK with Archibald out on a 1-game suspension.

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TYLER ENNIS. 5. A sneaky 1st Period wrap-around. A very good chance in 2OT off a feed from Puljujarvi. Narrowly on the chances for-against battle.

KAILER YAMAMOTO. 6. His best game of the series and elevated onto the McDavid-Draisaitl line for most of the game. Drew a 2nd period PP. Set up by Draisaitl and McDavid for an opportunity in front but the Jets defender tied him up. Drew a 2nd Period slashing call. Just missed a tip in the 3rd from a Nurse-Draisaitl setup. Whistled for an OT penalty when you normally need to commit a heinous offence. A subsequent call was not forthcoming against the Jets. Fed Nurse for a chance in 2OT but it skittered wide.

ETHAN BEAR. 4. Helped bail out a wandering Mike Smith with a clear under pressure in the 1st. Threw himself in front of a shot after Slater Koekkoek has turned it over in the 1st. Terrific takeaway and clear early in the 2nd. A 5-alarm turnover in his own zone (with the puck under control and with time) off is back foot led directly to the 3-3. Sat on the bench from then until 3OT, when he made an excellent defensive stop in his own zone.

SLATER KOEKKOEK. 5. A 5-alarm 1st Period turnover. An exchange between Koekkoek and McDavid led to a Nurse point shot on net. Only played 9:58 and none of that in overtime.

JUJHAR KHAIRA. 5. An important clear in 3OT after having sat on the bench for ages. 5:10 shorthanded over-all. 4 hits. 50/50 on draws.

ALEX CHIASSON. 6. A terrific, patient look on the 2nd Period PP gave the Oilers their first lead of the night. His net-front work is exactly why he’s on the Man Advantage. But sat the back-half of the game as the bench shortened.

DEVIN SHORE. 5. A poor turnover led to a Jets 3-on-2 in the 2nd, but Wheeler fired it high. Another turnover in the 3rd but nothing came of it. But elevated his play considerably in the back half of the game. 3rd Period takeaway. Excellent back check on Scheifele in 2OT. A gritty steal and chance in 3OT.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

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