The Edmonton Oilers execute all over the ice in a 4-0 clinic over Taylor Hall and the visiting Devils - Edmonton Journal

The Edmonton Oilers execute all over the ice in a 4-0 clinic over Taylor Hall and the visiting Devils - Edmonton Journal
A number of things were key and notable in the victory:  Secondary scoring from both the 2nd and 3rd lines. And the club won both ends of the special teams battle: 1/3 on the Power Play and the PK was 4-for-4 and allowed just 2 shots against.

All that and a solid shut-out performance by Mikko Koskinen later and the Oilers head out on the road for a couple with a record of 11-5-2, 1st in the West.

Here’s the tale of the tape…

MIKKO KOSKINEN. 8. Made 26 saves for his 5th career shutout. I don’t think he faced a true Grade “A” scoring chance over the final 40 minutes. But a good Koskinen save off Wayne Simmonds in the 1st Period kept the score locked at zeros when the Devils still looked like they had some game in them. Stayed high on the Hall breakaway and managed to get just enough of the disk to help direct it off the post and out. A solid 2nd Period block on Zajac, and followed it up with a sharp save off Green seconds later. Solid from there on in for the win. Looks dialed in.

CONNOR McDAVID. 6. A smart 1st Period back check foiled a chance. Connor also drew a 2nd Period Power Play. Hen then set up Nugent-Hopkins for a good chance on the subsequent man advantage. McDavid’s smart puck retrieval in the corner later on was quickly converted into the Chiasson goal for a 4-0 lead. 3 shots, 5/50 on the dot and was +1. Played “just” 19:17 as the coach rolled 4 lines in the 3rd.

ZACK KASSIAN. 5. A workmanlike night for Zack Kassian. A good chance right at the top of the crease off a feed by McDavid in the 1st. An ugly-looking 2nd Period turnover but evened the score with a takeaway the very next shift. A very good battle won early in the 3rd and then also cleared the puck out of danger.

LEON DRAISAITL. 7. Opened the scoring with a deft deke through the Cory Schneider 5-hole after exploding up the middle, aided substantially by a splendid pass by Nugent-Hopkins. Another 1st Period tip off of a Kris Russell shot. A 3rd Period shot and then a post milliseconds apart. A whopping 80% on draws. Skated “only” 18:49. For once, Dave Tippet didn’t have to run 97 & 29 into the ice to win. Played just :07 on the PK.

DARNELL NURSE. 6. An errant shot-pass was converted into a 50-foot breakaway by Taylor Hall. But did a nice job of boxing out his man when Koskinen allowed a rare rebound in the 2nd frame. A big strip of a puck on the PK when the score was just 1-0. A good block toward the end of a 3rd Period PK. There were “moments” in this pairing’s game but they ultimately came out ahead.

ETHAN BEAR. 6. Flat-footed on the Nurse turnover leading to the Hall breakaway. Good clear on a 1st Period PK. Boxed out his man effectively on a dangerous looking Devils scramble. A good clear on a 3rd Period PK. Drew a power play when he was cross-checked in front. Numerous sharp outlet passes including one impressive sequence when he beat 2 men with the puck and carried out of his own zone unscathed. But also a little chaos at times without the puck against a quick team.

ALEX CHIASSON. 7. Had a 1st Period shot, and then had another opportunity earlier in the 2nd. It looked for a while that Chiasson would remain snake bit. But his 3rd Period tip on the Nugent-Hopkins wrister found twine just past the goalie’s blocker to bust open that goal scoring goose egg that had been dogging the 22-goal scorer from last season. Added in his typical solid effort along the walls in 13:54. 5 shots in all to pace the club.

JAMES NEAL. 6. Neal scored his 12th of the year by setting up shop around the Devils net and batting his own rebound in past the outstretched hand of the goaltender. Then blocked a shot late in the frame that looked bad, but he did return. Had 2 shots and added in an effective forecheck in 13:24.

OSCAR KLEFBOM. 7. Klefbom looked fast all night. Won a footrace for the puck on a 1st Period PK and cleared the zone. Did take a 2nd Period penalty for grabbing the puck in the face of a quick New Jersey forecheck. But ended the night with a hit, 2 blocks, over 3+ minutes on both the PP and PK. Led the Oilers D-core in TOI at 23:23.

JOEL PERSSON. 5. A high-event game in which Persson’s offensive skill got him 2 well-earned assists. His first was a fast-thinking clear on a goal mouth scramble that resulted the Nugent-Hopkins-to-Draisaitl goal. And then a nice give-and-go with Nuge led to the 3-0. But at times he handled the puck like a grenade and coughed up the puck at a chronic rate. A 1st Period giveaway led to a chance by Hischier. Made back-to-back turnovers part way through the 2nd but was bailed out by teammates both times. His CF reflects his struggles in his own zone: 10-16, 38%.

GAETAN HAAS. 7. Took a hard, feet-first spill into the boards on a cheap little trip by Green that looked bad. But Haas returned with some extra fire. A pretty little tip in front turned into his 2nd goal of the season. That was one of 2 shots. And he was also sharp on the other side of the puck with 2 strips in particular. Showed excellent acceleration and speed in his game. Won 68% of his draws. The most comfortable and confident that I have seen Gaetan Haas to date.

MARKUS GRANLUND. 5. Dug the puck out for a good 2nd Period chance by Patrick Russell. A clean 2:07 short-handed. Unspectacular but solid enough. Seemed to have a little more skip in his step.

PATRICK RUSSELL. 6. Stripped P.K. Subban of the puck in the 1st. Russell didn’t get an official assist but his pursuit of the puck contributed substantially to the 2-0. A terrific 3rd Period stuff on Taylor Hall during a 3rd Period New Jersey PP. A spin and shot mid-way through the 3rd. A 3rd Period shot block. Keeps turning in solid efforts.

KRIS RUSSELL. 7. His clear helped end a 2nd Period PK. His pass across to Benning led to the Haas 2-0 tally and an apple for Russell. Added 2 shots on net. A 3rd Period block on the PK. His 5×5 work was excellent (12-7, 63%). He and partner Benning were rock solid. The Oilers best pairing back there.

MATT BENNING. 7. Had an excellent night. Benning’s hard, low shot was tipped by Haas for the 2-0. Big hit on Gusev late in the 2nd was probably the hardest one-handed out all night. Led all Oilers blue liners in All Events CF at 17-9, 65% in 16:47. Probably the bext game I’ve seen him play this year.

RILEY SHEAHAN. 7. Highly effective on special teams as the speed and aggressiveness with which he and Archibald attacked the penalty kill left the Devils chasing far more often than not. He turned in a spotless 3:10 on the  PK. Add 13/19 = 68% in the circle and you have a good night after 3 games out injured. They missed him.

JUJHAR KHAIRA. 6. Excellent retrieval on a 1st Period PK. A shot block and then an excellent pursuit and clear on a 3rd Period PK. 2 hits and a block. Kept his feet moving for an effective outing.

JOSH ARCHIBALD. 6. His quick boots really added a lot to the Oilers Bottom 6 tonight. But Archibald was most notable on the PK, where he turned in a clean sheet over 3:13 of work. 2 hits and a shot.

A few left-over notes:

-The refs called the Oilers on a Too-Many-Men call (deserved) seconds after the Devils had possession of the puck with 8 (8!!) men on the ice. I put this last because it didn’t ultimately have any consequence on the game. But be better.

-Many off the Oilers mothers were in attendance tonight, ahead of their road trip with the club. Nothing like a little incentive for the fellas.
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