A look at three Edmonton Oilers players who deserve particular credit for the spectacular overtime comeback win versus the Seattle Kraken.
Just like that, the Edmonton Oilers are beginning to look more like their usual selves. There’s still plenty of work to do, but three straight wins undoubtedly boosts the morale and confidence of a team which had started the 2023-24 season with a terrible 2-9-1 record.
The latest victory saw the Oilers come from behind in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night, to beat the Seattle Kraken 4-3 in overtime. The home side wasn’t at their best for the majority of the game, but it’s important to prove you can still win even when faced with adversity.
We’ve already shared three takeaways from the emotionally inspiring (and draining!) win. Now, we count down the three players who contributed most to the win versus the Kraken:
3) Darnell Nurse
Last season was arguably the best yet for Darnell Nurse, since his NHL debut during the 2014-15 campaign. This included a career-high 43 points and a +26 plus/minus rating which was one off his single-season best.
However, Nurse will be the first to admit this season hasn’t started well for him. Along with many others, he struggled with the Oilers’ shift from a man-to-man scheme to a zone defence.
Fortunately for everyone concerned, the 2013 seventh overall draft pick has begun to improve of late. This included Wednesday night, when he made arguably the play of the game to give the Oilers a chance to still win.
Nurse’s moment came late on, after the Oilers took Skinner out and the Kraken’s Jaden Schwartz got the puck and fired it towards an empty net. Nurse made a diving play and somehow got his stick to the puck and kept it out, to keep the home side within 3-2.
Just seconds later, the Oilers tied the game to send it into overtime. Speaking postgame, Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch appreciated how important Nurse’s play was, as he said:
"“It would have been over. We don’t have two points unless he makes that defensive play. The guys who scored the goals get the recognition, and they should, but guys who make plays like that should also. That’s a huge, huge play.”"
To be clear, this aside, Nurse had an excellent game in general. He led all Oilers in ice time and blocks, tied for the team lead with three hits and was a crucial part of the penalty kill unit.
Understandably though, the main thing the media wanted to discuss with the Hamilton, Ontario native, was his late empty net save. Speaking postgame, he said:
"“On an empty net, those guys are going to try and make a play on it and they’re usually pretty good at it. I tried to get everything I could in front of it and got a piece of it, so it ended up giving us a chance to score late.”"