At 5:47 of the 1st, Elias, who was honoured in pre-game for earning 1,000 points (400 G, 600 A), made a smooth play to back off from Petry in front of the net, received a nice pass from across the net, and put it up high short-side to make it 1-0.
Toward the end of the period, though, the Oilers began to press. At 19:24, Klefbom snapped a goal low from Eberle, who fed him from behind the net. Going tied 1-1 into the 2nd, the Oilers found their mojo and took it to the Devils and out-shot them 12-3 (Corsi: 24-11). The only goal came from a Yakupov one-timer on the power-play. Like the first Oilers' goal, it was a sweet pass from Eberle, who was at the half-wall. Yak was pretty excited and who can blame him? It was only his 6th goal of the season. Speaking of the Oilers' PP, it looked very good tonight. In 8 minutes of PP, the Oilers unloaded 12 shot attempts with 6 scoring chances (including the goal). That's the equivalent of 90 shot attempts per 60 minutes, which is comparable to Winnipeg's 6th ranked PP. Our PK was also particularly good by only allowing 2 shot attempts (1 blocked, 1 missed) over 4 minutes.
The 3rd period remained scoreless, despite a Devils 6-5 for the last minute or so, in which Cammalieri couldn't connect on an open net. Thank you, merciful gods of PDO! The Oiler still came ahead in the Corsi game 14-10 and out-shooting the Devils 8-5. In terms of scoring chances, the Oilers also came out ahead 15-12 (courtesy of war-on-ice ).
Scrivens looked solid when he had to be. Hard for a goalie when they are not busy. He had one misadventure behind the net mishandling the puck, but luckily no shot on goal.
By observation, the top line of Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, and Purcell looked the strongest out there. I would have expected them to have the strongest Corsi differentials. Checking out hockeystats.ca, lo and behold my memory didn't fail me. The top averaged about a 69% Corsi differential; the best among the Oilers. Klefbom (68% Corsi) and Schultz (63%) were our best possession defensemen. Marincin (53%) and Fayne (55%) also did OK. That's two decent possession games (out of 2) for Marincin since being recalled.
Unfortunately, despite the game being low in Corsi events, Pakarinen (22%) and Gazdic--with only 7:55 of ice-time---(30%) were crushed, as was Ference (30%). Can't wait for Pouliot to return from injury is all I can say. I read that Pouliot is skating with the team, so he should be back soon. Hall, though, was sent to Edmonton for an MRI on his ankle. Let's hope it's nothing serious.
Realistically, the Oilers will likely finish 2nd last with or without Hall, but at least they'll win a few more games with him than without him. Players feel better about themselves when they win. I implore to the injury gods to at least not rob of them of a few more wins; in an ideal world, a .500 record for the last 28 games.
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