The Edmonton Oilers got a number of good chances and a goal from Patrick Maroon, but it wasn’t enough as they fell 2-1 to the Flyers Saturday.
Philadelphia opened the scoring early in the second on the power play. Claude Giroux scored on a feed from Wayne Simmonds and Shayne Gostisbehere, which put the Oilers in a hole early.
However, the Flyers’ lead would only last through the second period. On an amazing solo play, Maroon gave great effort and continued to go after the puck, stickhandling and battling through the Philadelphia blueliners. On a quick shot, he got the puck past Elliot to tie the game with around five minutes to go in the middle frame.
The Oilers and Flyers would exchange a variety of chances heading into the third, but with 2:15 left in regulation, Simmonds scored on a quick shot that went over the shoulder of Talbot to secure the 2-1 win for Philadelphia.
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Takeaways from the Loss
Maroon, Connor McDavid and Kailer Yamamoto created a lot of scoring chances and played a solid game. However, they were in for a tough matchup against the Flyers’ first line consisting of Jakub Voracek and company.
Maroon and McDavid each had four shots on goal and got a variety of good looks. Yamamoto also had another strong game, but couldn’t muster any shots on net. Ultimately, though, Maroon was the Oilers’ top forward.
The same can be said for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The 24-year-old played a tough game and showed a lot of effort and aggressiveness on the forecheck. Not only that, he and Milan Lucic created a couple of chances and had a lot of push in the offensive zone.
One forward that has stood out has been Brad Malone. The Oilers’ bottom-six centre, who was called up from Bakersfield in wake of the Drake Caggiula injury, has been great. Not only is he checking hard and staying with the puck, but he makes his presence known. He can push to the front of the net and win battles for the puck, while also using his size to his advantage.With his
With his play of late and effort, he is showing his potential at the NHL level. He is a player that can throw his weight around and play a strong game at both ends of the ice. Not only that, he knows his role and is versatile, and knows how to make strong plays.
On the blueline, Matthew Benning looked decent in his first game back in action. He not only had five hits and proved physical, but paired well with Kris Russell and took great care of the puck. Not only that, he didn’t shy away from blocking a few shots either.
Cam Talbot Shines
Cam Talbot looked solid in net and moved quickly around the crease. Despite the result, he stood tall and was able to keep up with the puck. There were a few instances where he was left to dry, but overall, he played a locked-in game and appeared focused. He ended up stopping 19 of 20 shots at even strength and stopped two of three shots from the Flyers’ power play.
How to Improve
Going into Tuesday’s game against Pittsburgh, the Oilers need more offence and need to take more shots. They had 24 shots on goal Saturday, but have averaged well over 40 per game heading into this match-up, showing they are capable of more.
In addition, the team needs to focus on evaluating their opportunities and taking the time to make decisions. There have been occurrences where they will rush the play when they have time to figure it out. Not only that, some players that are open aren’t cycling in, and there needs to be better communication moving forward.
Overall, the Oilers didn’t play a poor game, but the outcome was the result of a struggling offence and a red-hot Flyers team that is 5-2 to start the year.