The Edmonton Oilers bring their “A” game in, taking on the stubborn Blues

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The Edmonton Oilers brought their “A” game against St. Louis, pulling off a thrilling 3-1 win on the road. It was a tough, tough game, with the intensity of the playoffs in October.

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In the end, Edmonton had 14 first-hit shots to the Blues’ 11, with seven from Edmonton’s 5 overs to St. Lo’s five. (counting running).

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Connor McDavid, 7. After being completely scuttled in his first game against the Blues this season, McDavid was out flying. He made two excellent checks to thwart a threatening Robert Thomas breakout late in the first. He performed a quick spin behind the net, then sent a high low feed to Bouchard for his bad opening shot. He was very aggressive on PK and out of position on St. Lo’s slow, late goal in the second half. He redeemed himself with a silk feed to RNH for Edmonton’s Golden Goal.

Zach Heyman, 8. Another great game. He crowded heavily early on, and rallied back to take the Blues 2 on 1. He rushed to the hole early in the third but couldn’t score on Gladiator. A moment later I made a great pass to send RNH into the breach. He turned off the PK switch and then lunged over the ice to kill the Blues power play. Then I got a good shot of the jam on the net from Colac’s feed. There was still more clamor over Edmonton’s second goal. empty net target drain. He and RNH led the team with five shots each.

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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 8. He played sharp with his share of winning puck fights. He sent a dangerous shot over the net on a very dangerous first power play opportunity in Edmonton. He was given a third break-in opportunity, but failed to score. He showed an insane skill on his target, and launched it into the air.

Evander Kane, 6. He took a sloppy goalie glove in the face from Jordan Pennington early in the second. A fairly uneventful game otherwise but it had some top notch shots.

Leon Drystel 7. Part of a strong Oilers first monster game that held the puck in Blues territory for a full two minutes, he nearly scored with a spear from a low-flying McDavid pass. A pass was deflected and a shot missed on a dangerous odd man rush early in the second. He was caught on the ice in 4:34 a shift, including a full power play in the second, which nearly saw the Blues near the end. Dray and Oil have somehow survived. Fight hard to the end and bring back an empty Hayman nether. Led the team that played 24:38.

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Kailer Yamamoto, 3. Hmm. Lost a lot of goblin fights. He was fortunate to avoid a penalty at the end of the third period, but by then the umpires had called too much on Edmonton and left many of St. Lo’s mistakes unpunished. It appears he has not fully recovered from the injury.

Warren Voegele, 8. Third line oil was buzzing all game. He took Puljujarvi’s diagonal stretch, drove hard and quickly around the net, then made a low-to-high pass to Nurse in the slot for Edmonton’s first goal. He was stolen by Bennington on a second rush.

Ryan McLeod, 8. Lots of hustle and some good passing and shooting early in the game, including a hint of bulge at the net. He lunged and set up Foegele for his point blank shot late in the second. He and Bouchard combined on an ugly spin on a PK in the third, which led to Barbashev’s 5-alarmer.

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Jesse Polijjarvi, 8. Solid effort, good results and it looks like he’s got some of the swagger back in his game. He came off a top-notch shot of the game, dropping down the wing in a 2-on-1, then sending a nurse kick to the first goal of the game.

Devin Shore, 5. Quiet game but only played 7:58.

Derek Ryan, 5. Ditto, gameplay 9:59.

Nurse Darnell, 7. He made no mistake, slotting his shot into the hole to Puljujarvi for Edmonton’s first goal. His extended pass broke through Oil in the third period. He lost a puck fight midway through the third, which resulted in a Nathan Walker 5 caution, but Skinner saved him in that fight. Nurse took a penalty kick on the same play. He allowed a killer pass into the hole with a minute left but St. Lo was unable to get a shot. He redeemed himself with two brave blocks of hard shooting on Vladimir Tarasenko in the dying seconds.

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Cody Sissy, 6. Solid game. He made a power-and-hit pinch early in the game, as Oil came out tactically determined not to flop at first.

Brit Air, 7. Also a solid game. She found Hyman low for a first-order shot late in the game. He led the team with four stunning shots.

Tyson Barry, 5. He had a few defensive lapses, including allowing Jordan Cairo to hit the rebound hole a second late. Otherwise ok.

Markus Niemelainen, 5. Some strong shifts in 8:29 of the ice time.

Evan Bouchard, 6. His game was characterized by sharp skating, great passing and shooting. A second period turnover led to a hard tip-off from Ryan O’Reilly late in the second. Another approximate turn in the third.

Ryan Murray, 4. Disk fumbled a little. Only played 10:16.

Stuart Skinner, 9. He was always in the right place at the right moment. He wasn’t tested much early on, but looked sharp on everything that came his way, then came big late in the second with five straight big saves, but couldn’t stop the sixth, O’Reilly point blank mid-air. Huge hole stop on Nathan Walker late in the third, then an even better one on Ivan Barbashev.

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