“We tried to paint the picture that they’re a competitive group,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said.
“They’re more skilled than anyone gives them credit for.”
The Oilers struck just past the three-minute mark of the game to score first. Connor McDavid stole the puck in the neutral zone and set up Evander Kane for his 21st goal of the season. The assist gave McDavid 117 points, a new career high.
Eric Robinson tied it later in the first, finding the puck in a scramble in front and flipping it past Mikko Koskinen.
Oilers forward Zach Hyman said it was a tough game for both teams.
“Especially against a team like that, so many young guys are playing to have an impact on management, on coaches… I’ve been there before, It’s not easy to win.” said Hyman after the game.
Leon Draisaitl tallied his 55th goal in the second period, firing in a patented right side power-play one-timer off a feed from McDavid.
However, from there, the game got a lot tougher for the Oilers, Woodcroft said.
“I think we’ll learn from the mistakes we made in the third period, there’s opportunities we can all be better.
“Their goaltender played very well, that’s the type of goaltending you’re going to see in the playoffs.”
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Oliver Bjorkstrand pulled the Blue Jackets even in the second minute of the third, shoveling a rebound behind Koskinen.
With the Oilers shorthanded after taking a too many men penalty, Nick Blankenburg scored from the point for his first ever NHL goal. Jack Roslovic added a goal on a two-on-one with a little more than three minutes left on the clock. Then, Cole Sillinger scored into an empty net in the final minute.
“We lost because we weren’t able to capitalize, took too many penalties, and we had too many odd-man rushes,” Edmonton forward Zach Hyman said.
The Oilers, 46-27-6, missed out on a chance to clinch second place in the Pacific Division. They’ll play in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. You can listen on 630 CHED on the Face-off Show at 3:30 p.m., before the puck hits the ice at 5 p.m.
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