EDMONTON, AB – The Oilers slew the monster they had unleashed a few weeks earlier by beating the Seattle Kraken 5-2 on Tuesday night and earning their fourth straight win.
Seattle had entered the contest as the winner of seven straight road games after the Oilers defeated the Emerald City team 7-2 at the Climate Pledge Arena on Dec. 30, but Edmonton scored five even goals to end the Kraken’s streak to break .
“I think we put a lot of emphasis on defending properly and I think we did a lot of really good things in that direction tonight,” said head coach Jay Woodcroft. “We can take two points from a league opponent who is in front of us.”
Zach Hyman He led the Oilers’ offense with one goal and two assists Dylan Holloway had his first career two assist multipoint game that night. The Oilers saw goals from top to bottom in their lineup Connor McDavid, Derek Ryan, Warren FoegeleRyan McLeod and the aforementioned Hyman find the line behind Seattle starter Martin Jones.
Jack Campell clinched his fourth straight win and fifth straight win in games he’s started between the Oilers whistles by repelling 28 of 30 Kraken shots.
The Oilers will continue their short two-game home streak Thursday when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of a back-to-back game for the Florida team.
Video: OILER TODAY | Aftermath against SEA 01/17/23
It was Seattle that ‘Kraked’ opened the scoring early in the first period.
With Cody Ceci in the box for stumbles, the Kraken power play went to work and it was Daniel Sprong who would end up finding the string behind Campbell at the 3:11 mark of the opening period. The Kraken forward tried to feed Jordan Eberle up front with a hard pass, but the plate took a deflection from Darnell Nurse’s poke-checking stick before finding its way into the back of the Oilers net.
The goal was Sprong’s 15th of the season, and it was the first time in three games against the Oilers that season that the Kraken had scored the game’s opening goal.
Connor McDavid continued his march towards the century mark with another McDavid-esque goal, with 5:52 remaining in the first period.
The Oilers captain took a pass at the Oilers blue line from Leon Draisail and turned the Jets up towards the Kraken gate. Holding on to the blue line, Hyman put a subtle pick on former oiler Justin Schultz to give McDavid enough space to rip off Jones’ 38th of the season.
Video: SEA@EDM: McDavid charges in and fires a shot upwards
The goal was part of a pretty strong opening frame against a late-road dominant Seattle team that saw the Oilers pass the Kraken by a 13-7 lead after 20 minutes. The only real blemish of that period was when the 21st-season Oilers penalty was nicked for another power-play goal against him.
DOUBLE THE DEPTH
Derek Ryan won’t have many easier goals than the one he scored tonight.
The Oilers veteran scored his fifth goal of the season after one Vincent Desharnais Point shot snuck up behind Jones and settled into the blue paint behind him. Ryan quickly slipped behind the Kraken goalie to score the tap-in goal to give the Oilers the 2-1 advantage and their first lead of the contest.
The Oilers doubled their lead before the period was over.
After a feed from Draisaitl led to a big scrum in front of Jones, it was Foegele who scooped the puck in while sitting on his butt in front of Kraken’s crease. The goal was the fifth of the season for Foegele, who was healthy for two games to make way for Woodcroft’s 11-and-7 lineup after the Oilers’ last game against Seattle.
“I think Warren’s game has improved since he was scratched there for a few games,” Woodcroft said after the game. “We said at the time that he didn’t do anything wrong, we only made one decision from the coach at that point, probably three or four more could have been added.”
Video: POST RAW | Warren Foegele 01/17/23
“I think if you just mix different players that you play with, but I think it just keeps you on your toes,” Foegele said of going 11 and 7. “You have to mentally commit to the game, and that The beauty of 11-7 is that everyone can play and engage more. You can see how this is working for us right now.”
The striker’s strong performance and his willingness to go into the difficult areas came at a good time. As the Oilers begin to get back to full strength, staying in the lineup becomes increasingly difficult. The Oilers showed urgency when it came to bringing down the Kraken fold on Tuesday, which contributed to several of their goals.
“I think that was a good thing too,” Hyman said. “D-Ryan got a blue colour, Warren got a blue colour, McLeod got a blue colour. You have to find ways to score goals and get into the net and I think that’s huge. Coming You in the playoffs, you have to find dirty goals, and we got them tonight.
The puck gives and the puck takes away.
The start of the third period was a perfect example of how much randomness can creep into the game when played on ice with an oddly shaped object.
Video: POST RAW | Zach Hyman 01/17/23
The bad bounces began first with a rush in Seattle and a seemingly harmless shot from the circle by Vince Dunn 22 seconds into the third. Unfortunately, the defenseman’s shot ricocheted off Campbell’s glove and into the Oilers’ net to cut the home team’s lead to 3-2.
A minute later, karma would strike back in favor of the Oilers. As Hyman struggled to slot a rebounding pass, Eeli Tolvanen swung his racquet for the poke check and accidentally hit the puck right behind his goaltender to restore the Oilers’ two-goal lead. Hyman was credited for his 21st of the season, despite never putting a shot in Jones’ direction.
WELCOME BACK EVANDER
It had been 70 days since Evander Kane last ran in a game for the Oilers — a long time, but also an incredibly short time considering the severity of the injury he sustained on Nov. 8 against the Tampa Bay Lightning had caught.
Overall, the Oilers sniper played 17:09 in the contest with seven shots on the Kraken goal. Kane was also his normal, physical self with five hits that night – the 31-year-old showed few signs of rust and led the Oilers in both categories.
“It is not easy. He missed about 30 games, two and a half months,” Hyman said of his teammate. “He came back earlier than I think everyone expected. Thank him for putting in all this work and he didn’t look at one place at all, didn’t look any different. He was only looking at himself.”
“It felt good,” Kane said after the game about returning to the lineup. “No problems tonight except my finish.”
Video: POST RAW | Evander Kane 01/17/23
Head Coach Jay Woodcroft on Foegele, McLeod and Ryan’s goals:
“What I liked about it is where those goals were scored, all three. Three guys who might not be at the top end of the goalscoring table but have gone somewhere to have offensive success.”
Woodcroft on scratching Jesse Puljujarvi This evening:
“He wasn’t in the line-up tonight. I thought our team played well and won the game. These decisions are not easy decisions when you get healthy again. The work of the coach and that of the coaching staff makes it difficult because we I’ve got a lot of really good players and tonight he didn’t play, but I have a good feeling about him and his game and he’ll come back.”
Woodcroft on the game of Philip Broberg:
“(My) comfort level is very high. Judging his performance, I think he’s been excellent. I think he’s growing before our eyes. He was plus four tonight. I think he defends the way we defend him want. He’s quick to get pucks back. He’s not afraid of calls. He goes back and touches first. He moves pucks quickly. He still makes the odd mistake here or there, which I think comes with experience and that “Learning the league. I have nothing but the highest respect for Philip for how he goes about his day to day process and how hard he tries to play the game. I think he’s going to be a very good NHL defenseman for the next 15 years or so.” because he’s got all the tools. He’s in great shape. He takes his craft seriously. I’m grateful he’s on our team.”
Video: POST RAW | Darnell Nurse 01.17.23
Zach Hyman on the Oilers’ struggle after scoring:
“I think we reacted well. They got the first one there but I think our answer was really good and I just like the way we put it after her D. back and you want to make it a little harder for them. I thought we handled the puck well. We had a strong third period, a mature period, just a fluke at the beginning but then we reacted really well afterwards and sort of dialed in.”
Warren Foegele talks about the type of goals the Oilers scored:
“I think a lot of goals tonight (were gritty). We’ve got Clouder on our doorstep, DR on our doorstep, and I think we talked about needing to net more and put pucks in the net and you saw we did about four or five goals there tonight, so we have to keep doing these things.”
Foegele on the Oilers all scoring five-a-side:
“You have to find different ways to win. You can’t just rely on your power play, but like I said, everyone contributes, everyone works and we just have to keep at it.”
Video: POST RAW | Jay Woodcroft 01/17/23
Foegele on the Oilers playing a consistent style of play lately:
“I just think we manage the puck really well, we don’t give away goals like we used to and it’s just this constant rhythm where we try to make it harder on the defenders and get a good rhythm with all the forwards. “
Kane on seven shots but no points on his return.
“I guess I can’t expect too much but yeah we had some looks. The team played well. We took two points against a really good team and I had my looks tonight which was positive and I will just trying to build on that.”
“I think being out there on the net and getting some looks and getting some chances has been positive. We scored five goals, I think all five against five tonight, so that was a really good plus for our team.”