The Edmonton Oilers came out slow and sloppy and got beat 4-1 by a hungrier team, the Philadelphia Flyers.
One defensive misplay led to another for the Oilers, who have yet to figure out how to shut down attacking teams.
In total, Edmonton had nine Grade A shots (which go in on average 25 per cent of the time) while the Flyers had 16, with a subset of six 5-alarm shots for Edmonton, five for the Flyers (which go in 33 per cent on average).
Connor McDavid, 5. Not his best night. Far from it. He didn’t look sharp early on. Finally slammed a Grade A shot on net off an Ekholm feed late in the first. And a few hard backchecks kept the Oilers out of some amount of trouble. He and Kane wiped each other out, starting off the tragedy of errors leading to the second Philly goal. He floated in a brilliant pass for Edmonton’s first goal. His turnover kicked off the Sequence of Pain on the third Philly goal, thought that one is more on Campbell. Grade A shots: ES (even strength) +4, -2: ST (special teams), +1, -0.
Leon Draisaitl, 4. He was part of the problem this game. He hammered a hard shot from in tight early in the second off a McD feed. His errant n-zone pass back was a small part of the Sequence of Pain on the second Flyers goal. If that rote pass clicks, is there a goal against? Excellent battle and passing on Edmonton’s first goal. He lost another battle in the o-zone allowing Philly to break out on the fourth Philly goal. He had some struggles on the PK late in the game. Grade A shots: ES +4, -1: ST, +0, -2.
Evander Kane, 3. He’s looking more like Milan Lucic in his final Oilers seasons than the Evander Kane who swept fans off their feet in his first year here. Not strong with the puck right now. His turnover led to a Grade A shot for Cam Atkinson in the first but he got off a hard sharp-angle wrister a few shifts later. He threw Edmonton’s first hard hit of the game, this on Cam York. He led the team with five hits, so the effort is there. Grade A shots: ES +3, -1: ST, +0, -0.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 3. Suffered from the general malaise. He led his line on a solid forechecking effort in the first. He was a bit slow and casual on the backcheck on the third Philly goal. Grade A shots: ES +0, -2: ST, +1, -0.
Zach Hyman, 6. He, at least, had some jump. McD set him up for a close slot shot on the power play but he failed to drain it. He got bumped up to the top line late in the second, then spun to win the puck in the corner, went to the net and cashed in McDavid’s pass for a goal. Grade A shots: ES +1, -0: ST, +1, -0.
Warren Foegele, 4. Not up to his recent standard of play. He lost a n-zone board battle, kicking off the Sequence of Pain on the first Philly goal. He charged up the ice, toe-dragged to avoid a sprawling defender and got off a wicked shot early in the second. He got a late break-in chance off a slick Bouchard pass. Grade A shots: ES +2, -2: ST, +0, -0.
Ryan McLeod, 6. He worked hard, skated fast and was at least OK. He blocked a dangerous Cam Atkinson shot on a late first period Flyers power play. Grade A shots: ES +0, -0: ST, +0, -0.
Dylan Holloway, 7. A rare bright light. He got a deflected shot on net in the first. His hard forecheck led to him winning the puck and setting up Bouchard for a bomb. He blocked a hard shot on the kill early in the third. Grade A shots: ES +0, -0: ST, +0, -0.
Connor Brown, 3. Failed to make an impact. Still find his game legs. Grade A shots: ES +0, -0: ST, +0, -0.
Mattias Janmark, 5. He took it hard to the net in the first to muster the game’s first 5-alarm shot but was otherwise quiet. Grade A shots: ES +1, -0: ST, +0, -0.
Adam Erne, 3. Some mishaps with the puck. Grade A shots: ES +0, -0: ST, +0, -0.
Derek Ryan, 4. Solid effort as always. He took the puck hard to the net off a Darnell Nurse pass in the second and drew a penalty. Grade A shots: ES +1, -2: ST, +0, -0.
Darnell Nurse, 5. Started out strong but faded a bit. He played an early 2-on-1 well, sprawling and forcing a high and wide shot and had a solid block and clearance on a late first period penalty kill. He sent in Ryan with a good pass. He was caught out behind the net leading to a dangerous Flyers shots late in the second. A moment later he and Kulak got beat on fast rush by Scott Laughton, Nurse taking a penalty. Grade A shots: ES +1, -3: ST, +0, -1.
Cody Ceci, 7. The best Oilers player this game. A few battles won in his own zone led to Grade A shots at the other end. He won the puck in the n-zone and made a few good offensive plays on Edmonton’s first goal, including going hard to the net to direct McD’s pass to Hyman. Grade A shots: ES +4, -1: ST, +0, -0.
Evan Bouchard, 2. A slow-moving disaster of a game for Bouchard. Took a hard hit early on. His bad pinch late in the first led to a hard slapper on Campbell. He made a slick move and outlet pass early in the second to send off the McD line for a Grade A shot. He was the main culprit on the second Philly goal, losing the puck and allowing the slot pass. He made an excellent sprawling stop to keep the puck in the o-zone on a second period power play. He was sleeping on the Philly break-out where Atkinson jetted behind him to take a breakaway pass and score, ending Edmonton’s hopes early in the third. Grade A shots: ES +2, -3: ST, +0, -0.
Mattias Ekholm, 3. Yet to bring his “A” game, certainly not in this one. He was beat for a Grade A backhander by Cam York early in the first. He failed to get back fast enough to prevent the second Philly goal. Grade A shots: ES +1, -4: ST, +0, -0.
Brett Kulak, 3. He started out iffy last year and he’s doing it again this year. He got picked on Philadelphia’s first goal and allowed a pass to the picker, Bobby Brink, who set up the Farabee. He had some trouble moving the puck in the second. Grade A shots: ES +0, -2: ST, +0, -0.
Vincent Desharnais, 3. If you love hitting, he’s your guy, but he was a major culprit in a key moment. He crunched Bobby Brink with a nasty take-out in the first but a moment later he allowed a cross-seam pass for Farabee’s goal. He crunched Deslauriers a few shifts later. He got beat down the ice by Owen Tippett on a late breakaway. Grade A shots: ES +0, -2: ST, +0, -0.
Jack Campbell, 4. Got it done early making a stop on a Grade A shot by Farabee one minute into the game, then followed up with a solid stops on York and Atkinson backhanders, and he smothered the puck well on a hard Deslauriers’ shot. He had little chance on Farabee’s goal, same with Atkinson’s goal. But Campbell was caught out on the third Philly goal, a backbreaker on the PK with less than two minutes left in the second. He made a stop on a difficult tipped shot early in the third. but could not stop Atkinson’s breakaway.