I actually wasn’t able to catch the Oilers game tonight, but I’ve been having a good run of posting recaps for every game and I didn’t want to drop the ball so I’ll do a little box score rundown.
The Oilers played their first of two games in Montreal tonight, and Mikko Koskinen got the start and a chance to make up for an abysmal outing on Thursday which saw him allow four goals on the Canucks’ first four shots of the game. Jake Allen would get the nod for the Canadiens for the second straight game.
Koskinen would survive the first 30 seconds, and then he actually made a handful of saves before being the first goalie to crack with just over eleven minutes to go in the first period. Jake Evans would strike first for his third goal of the season to make it 1-0 Candiens.
The Montreal lead was short lived, as just twenty seconds later the real deal James Neal would get one by Allen to tie the game. Alex Chiasson and Ryan McLeod recorded assists, putting both players on the scoresheet for the first time in a while. Game tied 1-1.
The Oilers had one more in them before the period ended. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would get a pass from Leon Draisaitl and bury one with just over 6 minutes left in the opening frame. That was his fifteenth tally of the season, and Kailer Yamamoto picked up a secondary assist on the play. 2-1 Oilers to close the first period.
In his first game since returning from injury, Paul Byron would get a goal five minutes into period two courtesy of a Jake Evans pass to even the score once more. It was Byron’s second point of the night as he had assisted on Evans’ goal in the first, and the Byron-Evans-Lehkonen line was proving to be quite effective in this one. Game tied once again 2-2.
Just before the midway point of the period, Dominik Kahun would score and the Oilers pulled back ahead, as he’d be able to capitalize on a pass from Connor McDavid. That’s 101 points for McDavid if you’re still counting. 3-2 Oilers going into the third.
Jake Evans wasn’t done yet as he’d collect an assist on Artturi Lehkonen’s goal which tied the game for the third time tonight. That would be the third point of the night for both players, and Ben Chiarot added a secondary assist. It was once again a tied game with just under seven minutes remaining in regulation. The third period would close out at 3-3.
Game one of two this week in Montreal would require overtime, and with the guaranteed point in the standings, the Canadiens were able to clinch the final playoff spot in the North division, thus finalizing the 16 teams that will compete for this year’s Stanley Cup. The battle for the last remaining point available in the contest raged on for a little more than two and a half minutes before Draisaitl was able to connect with McDavid, and McDavid would make no mistake. The Oilers duo has been absolutely lethal in 3 on 3 overtime this year, so it was really only a matter of time before they put this one away. McDavid’s 33rd goal of the year would secure the win for the Oilers, with a final score of 4-3.
McDavid brought his point total to 102 for the season, and Draisaitl picked up two primary assists, including his 50th assist of the year. Evans and Lehkonen contributed on all 3 of Montreal’s goals for 3 points each in the contest. Koskinen had 25 saves on 28 shots, which is nothing to write home about, but it’s still a big improvement over his last start. Allen stopped 31 of 35 for Montreal, and he’ll likely be between the pipes to face the Oilers again on Wednesday. That game will be a 5:00 PM EST start time and it will be Montreal’s regular season finale. The Oilers wrap up their regular season on Saturday after facing the Canucks one more time.