Fri. Nov 18th, 2022

Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid (97) battles Ottawa Senators Erik Brannstrom (26) at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Monday, March 8, 2021.Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia
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The Edmonton Oilers came out in iffy fashion, with goalie Mikko Koskinen letting in a nothing shot, but the team battled back.
The Oilers got an outstanding defensive effort from most players, Adam Larsson in particular, and thwarted the Ottawa Senators and most every turn in a 3-2 win, a score that flattered the Sens somewhat.
Edmonton had more Grade A chances in the second period, 10, than they had in any one game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in three losses.
Overall, the Grade A chances were 15 for Edmonton, and just six for Ottawa (running count).
Connor McDavid, 7. The power line had its moments, including a thrilling McDavid breakaway in the third. It was his ninth breakaway chance of the year. After a solid first period, McD also took a Draisaitl pass hard to the net on the power play early in the second. He made a swift pass to send Alex Chiasson in on his goal, his second assist of the game. Overall his Power Line out-shot the Sens 16 to 8 at even strength. McDavid made six major contributions to Grade A chances in the game, which is about his average on the season.
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Leon Draisaitl, 7. He and McDavid threatened to score all game. He made a gorgeous backhand pass to free McDavid for a rush in the first. Beat Joey Daccord with a snipers snipetty snipe snipe in the second, where the puck was on and off his stick in a tick. He did some great forechecking when Ottawa had pulled its goalie but missed a near open net shot.
Kailer Yamamoto, 6. Went to the kill floor where the damage is done and tipped in Darnell Nurses shot in the first. Otherwise played a quiet game, effective but quiet.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 6. A high-event game for Nugent-Hopkins. He had some good work on the power play, but not so much at even strength. If hes going to lead his own line to success, hes going to have to dig in a bit harder. His line got worked over by Ottawas vicious cycle in the first, culminating in two rapid Grade A chances against. Took a hard slash to the face from Mike Reilly. He worked his way in for a sneaky hard wrist shot on the power play that rang off the post in the second. A moment later he set up Alex Chiasson near the crease for two jam shots. Nugget then somehow failed to cash in on a stupendous steal and feed from Puljujarvi in the second, with the Ottawa goalie Joey Daccord on his belly. His line got outshot four to eight.
Jesse Puljujarvi, 6. He led the team with five hits. He came out fast and feisty, throwing a hard hit early on. He took an ill-advised penalty for putting the puck in the stands, even as he wasnt under great pressure just then. He made a gritty puck protect move on a board battle in the second to get out the puck from Edmontons end. A moment later he came close to jamming in a shot off an Adam Larsson rush. Excellent hustle and skill play to set up RNH in the second, but Nuge couldnt score.
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Tyler Ennis, 4. Quiet game, kind of like the guy he replaced in the line-up Dominik Kahun. Too quiet. He was out of position to stop a wicked third period point blast that was almost deflected in.
Jujhar Khaira, 6. Part of a solid defensive effort with his customary physical play. His semi-legal hit on Josh Norris led to a hard fight with nasty Erik Gudbranson. The refs called him on a super iffy trip call in the third.
Kyle Turris, 7. He made his sweetest play of the season setting up Alex Chiasson for a one-time cross-seam shot in the first. Turris followed that up by winning a battle and setting up Khaira for a Five Alarm slot shot. He kept the good times rolling early in the second, driving a Devin Shore cross-seam pass on net. He got some justice for all that good work, setting up Draisaitls goal with a clean feed. His run of good play ended when he gambled for a steal and allowed a three-on-two in late in the second, with Stutzle scoring on a hard wrister through a double screen.
Devin Shore, 6. He and Bear got beat by a Brady Tkachuk pass leading to a dangerous Tim Stuzle power play chance in the first. Hustled hard all game and was in on a few good plays.
Gaetan Haas, 6. Lots of speed, lots of hustle, not much in the way of results. Some solid work on the PK, including a key third period clearance.
James Neal, 5. Hustled hard, won some battles.
Alex Chiasson, 7. A typically solid game from Chiasson, where he played to his strengths, screening, battling and. shooting. Failed to score on a golden chance in the first, and also on two jam shots on the power play in the second. But the fourth time pays for all, as he lasered in a wrister a moment later, the sixth Grade A chance of that particular power play, so a bit of justice in the dice there. He led the team with six shots.
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Darnell Nurse, 8. Twenty-six solid minutes where he gave up pretty much nothing to the Sens, but made numerous strong plays with the puck. Doug Harvey in his rocking chair.
Tyson Barrie, 7. His eyes-up stretch pass kicked off Edmontons third goal scoring sequence. He deflected in Ottawas second goal, but a bit of hard luck play there.
Adam Larsson, 8. Hes playing excellent shut-down defence, game after game.  He also submarined in on a rush in the second to set up Puljujarvi for a Grade A shot. He got a key clearance on the kill in the third. A moment later he wiped out Tkachuk with a body blow on a late Ottawa rush.
Kris Russell, 7. Hes now in mid-season form and is looking faster again just now. Another fine defensive game.
Caleb Jones, 5. He was hammered hard with a check in the first. His puck handling and defending was a bit shaky, but to give him credit, he was generally in bend-but-do-not-break mode. He made a nice pass on a scoring chance sequence early in the second.
Ethan Bear, 6. Looked a bit more solid than his partner on defence, Jones. He won a board battle on the kill in the third, leading to a Haas clearance. Looks like hes finding his A game again, which is big for the Oilers, especially if hes going to play ahead of Evan Bouchard.
Mikko Koskinen, 5. In terms of this game, that first Ottawa goal against was the Titanic hitting an iceberg. It was the second time this year hes let in that same kind of goal where hes failed to hug the post on an easy outside shot. But he didnt sink, making a rebound save off Stuzle a few shifts later. He fought off a Stuzles power play chance late in the first as well. He almost made up for that early gaffe with a heads up pass on the power play that kicked off the Chiassons scoring drive. Ottawas second goal was tough as it deflected off Barries stick. In the third he stopped a tough redirected shot Ryan Dzingel. A moment later he put up a wall on a tricky Matthew Peca shot. He did enough for his team to win.
At the Cult
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