Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Floodgates Open!!!

After coming out and playing what was easily their best hockey of the season over their last three games, the Edmonton Oilers were nowhere near their best on Friday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. 
Despite struggling mightily over the opening thirty minutes of play, the Oilers exploded for six goals over the final period and a half and cruise to a 6-3 win over the winless Eastern Conference cellar dwellers. 

While Jordan Eberle may have led the offensive charge upfront with a three point effort, including his first two goals of the year, this was a night in which youngster Leon Draisaitl stole the spotlight from the rest of his teammates. The rookie centre managed to make the first goal of his National Hockey League career a rather memorable one, scoring what turned out to be the eventual game-winner. 

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins lit the lamp for the third consecutive game with a third period insurance marker, while the fourth line of Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks and Jesse Joensuu continued their strong start to the season by chipping in with a pair of goals in the victory. After opening their campaign with a five game losing skid, Edmonton has now reeled off three straight to improve their record to 3-4-1. 

After being a healthy scratch against the Los Angeles Kings and playing third pairing minutes upon his return to the lineup, defenceman Jeff Petry appears to have finally won back the trust of head coach Dallas Eakins. The American blueliner saw more ice-time than any player, logging 22:38, and delivering what was by far and away his finest performance of the young season. 

After playing three games in five nights, the Oilers will thankfully have the weekend off before playing host to PK Subban and the red-hot Montreal Canadiens on Monday night. They will close out their seven game homestand with games against the Habs, Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks before heading out on a five game road trip that will see them take on the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers and Predators over an eight day stretch. 

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