Oilers fortunate to grab point in shootout loss largely dominated by Flyers

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Oilers fortunate to grab point in shootout loss largely dominated by Flyers

As a season unfolds and the stretch run approaches, there are video games we’ll all look again upon because the playoffs close to. 

Then there was Thursday’s recreation in Philly, which will probably be remembered just for the one level the Edmonton Oilers reaped in a stultifying, 2-1 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. 

OK — maybe will probably be recalled for the efficiency by a pair of Edmonton and space goalies. Sherwood Park’s Carter Hart stopped 34 photographs by way of 65 minutes, whereas Edmonton native Stuart Skinner was heroic, stopping 35. 

“He’s a unbelievable goalie,” Skinner stated of Hart, “and I’ve been capable of work with him a bit and develop into good buddies. It’s at all times enjoyable taking part in towards him, however it sort of pisses me off that he beat me.” 

Skinner was laughing when he stated that, and to be trustworthy, the Oilers needed to smile at grabbing a degree in a recreation largely dominated by the Flyers. Or, if not dominated, a minimum of dictated, as the 2 groups performed tight, defensive hockey that was excessive on turnovers however low on pleasure.

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It was precisely the type of recreation that Flyers head coach John Tortorella would have drawn up between his Flyers — the twenty seventh greatest offence in hockey — and the NHL’s highest scoring crew. 

“There are some positives to be taken out of that recreation,” head coach Jay Woodcroft stated. “I believed our penalty kill was good once more (three-for-three). Our goalie gave us an opportunity to win, and I feel any time you maintain the crew to 1 purpose (in regulation) that’s an actual optimistic. 

“The higher we will play defensively the extra possibilities we’ll should win.” 

Final recreation, in a 5-2 win at Detroit, it was Jack Campbell out-duelling Ville Husso. On Thursday, Skinner had the more durable evening of the 2 ‘tenders, and solely allowed one shot to elude him, a deflection off of Tyson Barrie’s stick. 

Edmonton is a crew that is aware of it can rating 5 objectives on sufficient events to be a playoff contender. However Edmonton turns into that rather more harmful when it has the goaltending to accrue factors on nights the place they solely rating as soon as. 

Skinner made a miraculous blocker save on Noah Cates, who discovered himself alone within the slot with 49 seconds to play in a 1-1 recreation. Moments earlier, a Darnell Nurse shot block saved the evening. 

“(Skinner) is the explanation we acquired a degree tonight,” stated defenceman Brett Kulak, whose quiet, environment friendly recreation may simply be altering the minds of these he suppose/thought the Oilers want a left-shot defenceman on the deadline. “Good goalies try this, if the crew shouldn’t be there. He confirmed up for us and he made numerous actually large saves on assured objectives. 

“Hats off to him. He acquired us the purpose tonight.” 

Ultimately, with every of Calgary, Seattle and Colorado shedding in regulation, it was evening for the Oil. Solely Vegas (66 factors) collected two factors on a busy evening, leaping three factors up on Edmonton, Seattle and Los Angeles, all tied with 63 factors within the crowded Pacific. 

“I believed we positively did sufficient to win,” Skinner stated. “We simply fell brief within the shoot out. I imply, it’s robust to win a shootout after I’m letting in two. That’s one thing for me to work on.” 

Yeah, not fairly. 

Any goalie who holds the opponent to 1 in regulation (and time beyond regulation), ought to stroll out of the sector with a ‘W’. However on this evening, the Oilers have been firing blanks.  

Right here’s a stat: Solely Vancouver (7.25 mixed objectives per recreation) and Buffalo (7.08) have averaged increased scoring video games this season than the 6.96 objectives per recreation within the common Oilers tilt. So this one, tied 1-1 after 65 minutes, was effectively out of character for Edmonton. 

Zach Hyman had the go-ahead purpose referred to as again within the third interval, when Warren Foegele’s contact with Hart was deemed extreme sufficient to cancel Hyman’s 27th purpose and 300th profession level. 

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“Typically you get these calls, generally you don’t,” shrugged Woodcroft. “I believed it was a purpose, however I’m not the one which makes that call.” 

So Edmonton strikes into the again half of this four-game highway journey having collected three of 4 factors up to now, with afternoon tilts set for Saturday in Ottawa and Tremendous Bowl Sunday in Montreal. They carry a document of 9-1-2 of their previous dozen highway video games into Ottawa. 

Connor McDavid, who assisted on Evander Kane’s purpose, has a 14-game factors streak intact. In the meantime the crew is on an 8-0-2 run in its final 10, with factors in 12 of its final 13 video games. 

Small image, you’d prefer to take two factors out of Philly, a metropolis the NHL playoffs won’t go to this spring. 

Huge image, the Oilers are rolling alongside properly, grabbing factors in video games the place they don’t seem to be even close to their stage greatest. 

“We really feel one thing constructing right here,” Kulak stated. “Tonight was a unique type, and it most likely wasn’t our greatest play — we all know that. 

“However we’re going to get again to work at follow.” 

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