Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to live-tweet the game tonight. And for that, we here at OilOnWhyte industries would like to offer our most sincere condolences.
Now that you’re over it, let’s review the game.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his first National Hockey League goal in the regular season, Devan Dubnyk was a pillar in net, and the defence didn’t fold like a card table. Add everything together and divide by zero, and you get the Oilers on top of the Penguins after the shootout by a score of 2-1.
THE BIG PLAY
It took until the 55th minute for the Oilers to paste one on the board. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be your pilot.
It’s all about going to the net. Nugent Hopkins is there to pick up a puck off of Ales Hemsky’s stick. RNH gets his own rebound and puts the backhand behind a previously perfect Brent Johnson to tie the game up.
- Let’s talk about the defence for a minute. Yes, Devan Dubnyk was fantastic and we’ll get that, but coupled with the Oilers defence, the Penguins were able to score just one goal, and it was early in the first. The Oilers survived a five minute Penguin powerplay late in the third period after Ryan Smyth (in his first regular season game back as an Oiler, nonetheless) was the recipient of a major penalty. The Penguins got four shots off on the major, and it didn’t look like a bad fire drill out there. Tom Gilbert led all Oiler D with 26:33 in ice time. You’re right, the guy’s a slouch. After Gilbert, you’ve got Jeff Petry (21:34) followed by Cam Barker (21:16), Ladislav Smid (21:07) and Andy Sutton (20:08). Only Theo Peckham didn’t crack the twenty minute club. Thumbs up.
- If you had any doubts on Devan Dubnyk’s capability before this game, perhaps 33 saves on 34 shots may change your mind a bit. Dubnyk was every bit as good as Oiler fans wanted him to be. Dubnyk turned aside everything thrown at him after a powerplay tally from Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang. Would be somewhat surprised if Dubnyk didn’t get the nod in Minnesota on Thursday
- Numbers from the dot: Shawn Horcoff 17/26 (65%), Eric Belanger 9/18 (50%), Ryan Smyth 6/8 (75%). That’s a combined 36/54, and that’s a great set of numbers. Lander and RNH had less impressive numbers (3/9 and 2/13 respectively), but all’s well in a win.
- There was a shootout! Relive the shootout by clicking here to watch. Jordan Eberle still looks like Jordan Eberle, and Ales Hemsky potted the eventual game winner.
No, the Penguins didn’t have Evgeni Malkin, who was kept out due to an injury sustained in Calgary last night. They didn’t have Sidney Crosby or Brooks Orpik, both who have been out for some time. No, Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t play, as Brent Johnson got his first start of the season. I do know that the Oilers are 1-0, and they’re about to take their act on the road.
The Oilers visit Minnesota on Thursday. Let’s send Ryan Whitney some power pellets.
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