Edmonton Oilers Extend Winning Streak in Denver
The Edmonton Oilers won their third consecutive game in convincing fashion, defeating the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 last night with their dads in attendance.
There was a lot the Oilers did right, despite trailing twice throughout the game. Here’s everything you need to know.
Nugent-Hopkins Chips In
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring for the Oilers with a quick wrist shot from the slot. He was the one to tie the game when Edmonton was trailing in the first period. While some worried about his scoreless drought, he seemed to silence those concerns. This was his first even-strength goal of the season.
If players like Nugent-Hopkins can give the team more consistent secondary scoring, the Oilers will go far.
It was only a matter of time before Nugent-Hopkins got on the board, again. He had been getting some good looks recently, but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
This appeared to be his best game since the the World Cup of Hockey in September. The 23-year-old centre plays a solid two-way game on most nights, but it’s good to see his name on the scoresheet. More offense wouldn’t hurt.
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Draisaitl Stays Hot
After a some inconsistency to start the year, Leon Draisaitl had just two points over a 12-game span. Now, the German forward is riding a five-game point streak and has eight points in that stretch.
Draisaitl was a force in the offensive zoneWednesday, using his terrific combination of size and skill to control the puck and make plays. He’s always a challenge for opposing defenseman, and he does most of his damage in front.
Benning’s Big Hit
For a long time, the Oilers got pushed around and levelled with big hits. Now, they are ones doing the hitting.
We saw this last game as Kris Russell stepped up and exploded through Tyler Motte with a clean hit. Wednesday, it was Matthew Benning who connected on an open-ice, clean hit on Nathan McKinnon. It left him down for a few moments, and changed the tempo of the game.
Benning isn’t the biggest guy in the world, coming in at 6-foot and 203 pounds, but he proved he can take someone out. The fact that’s he’s developing into a puck-moving defenseman makes him an even better option for the future.
McDavid Outstanding Again
The Avalanche could only stop Connor McDavid for 40 minutes in this one. McDavid completely took over the game in the third period, scoring a timely goal (something they don’t get enough of) and adding two helpers.
And he likely could have three more; earlier in the game McDavid was denied on a breakaway, Milan Lucic missed the net on a 2-on-1 pass from No. 97 and Jesse Puljujarvi somehow didn’t score on a nice feed from behind the net from him as well.
Still, McDavid was named the first star of the game and is tied with Nikita Kucherov for the lead in the NHL scoring race. The 19-year-old centre also leads the league in multipoint games (8) and three-point games (4) this season. This was also his third straight multipoint game, and McDavid has scored eight points on the team’s last 16 goals.
The Avalanche had trouble containing his speed all night, especially in the final frame when their defenceman started to look worn down. And once they started giving him time and space to work his magic on the power-play, it was game over. McDavid is the first Oiler to score 27 points in the first 21 games of a season since Mark Messier (31) and Jari Kurri (29) in 1989-90, more than seven years before he was born.
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