GAME RECAP: Oilers 4, Islanders 2
EDMONTON, AB — The Oilers were finally able to untie Ilya Sorokin Thursday night.
The Oilers easily retaliated against a goaltender who robbed them of a score in a 4-2 win over the Islanders at Rogers Place just over a month ago. The New York goaltender had stopped all 49 Oilers shots for the shutout win on Nov. 23, but Edmonton found a way to put four behind them in the evening, with Leon Draisaitl, Kailer Yamamoto, Dylan Holloway and Zach Hyman doing the damage .
“I thought it would be a good team win for us,” said coach Jay Woodcroft. “I controlled the game from the first minute and was able to finish it. So it was a good team win.”
Draisaitl’s goal netted an assist that happened to be the 400th of his National Hockey League career — while the other member of the dynamic duo, Connor McDavid, netted his 500th assist of his already illustrious career.
“It’s a credit to their longevity and talent,” Woodcroft said of his Superstars. “What they don’t get enough credit for is the work that goes into reaching those numbers, but what I do know about them is that they are great teammates and want to win.”
The Islanders had goals from Matt Barzal, who scored in his fifth straight game with a bar-down snipe and a tip-in tally from Cal Clutterbuck, which were the only two shots that advanced behind Oilers starter Jack Campbell Evening.
The Oilers will wrap up their three games at home with a Saturday night contest against last year’s Western Conference final opponents, the Colorado Avalanche.
Video: OILER TODAY | Aftermath vs. NYI 05/01/22
It took until the 62nd shot of the season on Ilya Sorokin, but the Oilers eventually unbuckled the Islanders goalie on the power play.
Who else from where? It was Leon Draisaitl from the circle with one of his patented one-timers for his 22nd goal of the season and his 14th man-over.
Edmonton flew out to start the game against the Islanders, their opening marker coming with their 13th shot in the first 10 minutes of the contest. Draisaitl’s goal came on the Oilers’ second power play of the night, a far cry from their 0-for-5 win in Long Island on November 23.
The opening period was one of the Oilers’ most dominant of the season, as the home side of Blue & Orange scored twice with 18 shots at Sorokin.
SHORT HANDED SCRIPT FLIP
It was a long time coming, but Kailer Yamamoto pulled off the perfect move at the perfect time to score his fourth goal of the season.
With the Oilers outnumbered by a trip call from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid Brock Nelson deflected a puck at the blue line to start the counterattack on the Islanders’ goal.
Yamamoto looked away from the captain before pulling the slick toe drag out of the batting stick of a sliding Noah Dobson before sliding the puck between Sorokin’s five holes. The marker was the Oilers’ fifth shorthanded record this season by their fifth different scorer – the others being McDavid, Darnell Nurse, Ryan McLeod and Warren Foegele.
Video: [email protected]: Yamamoto Toe Drags and Whips in a SHG
The goal came in contrast to the Oilers’ last game against the Islanders, when Jean-Gabriel Pageau found a Zach Parise feed on a counterattack while shorthanded to score the opener in New York’s 3-0 win last November.
The man who leads the most dangerous scoring chances in the NHL found another one, and he made it count.
Zach Hyman scored his 18th goal of the season at 4:43 in the second period thanks to a breakaway feed from Draisaitl. The Oilers winger made no mistake, shielding Alexander Romanov before delivering Sorokin’s backhand to five Edmonton 4-1.
The mark was also great value for the man who was voted the NHL’s best passer last season, with the assist being the 400th of Draisaitl’s career. The court came in the German forward’s 596th game, making him the fifth fastest Oiler to reach that milestone behind Wayne Gretzky (290 games), Connor McDavid (426 games), Paul Coffey (464 games), and Jari Kurri (523 games ).
Video: POST RAW | Zach Hyman 5/1/23
A QUESTION OF TIME
You could see in Dylan Holloway’s game recently that things clicked for the 2020 Oilers first-round pick.
Holloway had stringed together the few solid performances and displayed some of the offensive skills that propelled him to 14th overall, but he still had nothing to show for the stats. That changed on Thursday evening.
“I think he’ll find his way into the best league in the world,” Head Coah Jay Woodcroft said before the game. “I think the more he plays, the more he learns what he can and can’t do at this level.”
The goal was the result of a major shift in the Oilers’ offensive zone by a trio of their young associates Philip Broberg, Ryan McLeod and Holloway. The game was capped off by an explosion from the slot of the Calgary, AB product, which flew past Sorokin’s blocker and scored his second goal of the season.
Video: [email protected]: Holloway scores in 2nd period
JACK IS BACK
After a game in which recent reigning starter Stuart Skinner was pulled off, primarily as a moment-breaker by coach Woodcroft, it was Jack Campbell who fought for the Oilers in the bluepaint on Thursday.
The Oilers free agent Frenzy acquisition was solid in his first start since Dec. 13 in Nashville, firing 20 of 22 shots in the evening for his ninth win in Oilers silks. The 30-year-old was cool and collected between the whistle, with Barzal only hitting a shot from Barzal with the crossbar and a smooth top from Clutterbuck, who beat him in the evening.
Campbell has been working to return to the game in which he was named an NHL All-Star with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season.
“There’s always pressure, especially when you’re on your own, including me,” Campbell said. “I want to be great every night and the best part about this job is that we get the opportunity to go out and try that.”
Video: POST RAW | Jack Campbell 5/1/23
Head Coach Jay Woodcroft on Klim Kostin’s play on the top line:
“I think he’s been waiting for this. I think he’s a thoroughbred player. He’s a first-round draft pick and was a capper for his country. He’s someone who played at a high level over in the KHL and was coached well. ” There. It didn’t work out for him in St. Louis, but he has a pedigree to maybe someday make a top six role on a team. I think what I really like about him is the story of his season, the story for him, and I think it’s a good example for other people in our organization because I think what you want to make sure is that you ready when you get a pat on the back. I think that’s the most important thing. It’s hard sometimes to wait in the bullpen, so to speak, and wait for this opportunity.
Woodcroft on the Philip Broberg play recently:
“I think Philip is a very subtle player. I think if you don’t talk about him sometimes that’s good for a young D-Man finding his way. I feel good when he’s on the ice. I think he’s the best.” are his legs. I think he has the ability to turn checks and create separation because he’s such a good skater. I think he’s doing some things on blue lines and red lines where we want to contest those areas. He’s a young man, that means he can execute, and I think the more experience he gets in the National Hockey League, the better he’ll be. I think he will be a really good player for us for a long time.”
Woodcroft on Saturday’s Western Finals rematch with the Avalanche:
Yes. It’s a tough league, isn’t it? It’s the best league in the world. I think when you look at the teams that have played in the Final Four and are playing deep, sometimes it takes them a while to get their bearings full steam ahead. I think every team has different stories in their year. I know for us that we lost some key pieces. We lost key pieces for a long time. It wasn’t a smooth sale. I think there are positive aspects. I think that’s where teams come together and play hard for each other.
Video: POST RAW | Jay Woodcroft 5/1/23
Zach Hyman on defeating the Islanders:
“Nice to win at home. It’s been a while, too long for us. I think we started really well and I think we made a point of playing a full 60. And I think even though they did scored a goal at the end of the second period, we didn’t fall out of our game. We didn’t deter. We just kept playing our game, we weren’t chasing each other. We pushed the pace. And I think that’s it, what you have to do.”
Hyman on the Oilers’ communications and the movement of the puck:
“I think one of the things was just being positive. I think that just exudes energy from the whole group and I definitely think we definitely talk more. I think our breakouts were a lot better today, the (defense) moved it fast, and Soup played the puck great – he put it on defense and got out. I think talking on the ice and then talking on the bench in the dressing room just helps create a positive environment where you go out and play.”
Kailer Yamamoto on the Players Meeting yesterday:
“After yesterday’s practice we had a small team meeting and just said we have to step on the gas. I feel like we came out strong in the games and then kind of slowed down and the teams crept back in and won games . So I think our big goal today was just to keep moving forward and never be satisfied.”
Video: POST RAW | Kailer Yamamoto 5/1/23