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3 Takeaways from Oilers’ 6-5 Overtime Loss to Bruins

The Edmonton Oilers had their two-game winning streak halted on Wednesday night, suffering a loss to the Boston Bruins by a 6-5 score.

The Edmonton Oilers’ brief two-game winning streak ended tonight, as suffered a loss in overtime to the Boston Bruins by a 6-5 final. In terms of excitement, this game had plenty, as there was some physical play, and as the score indicates, a ton of goals.

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The Oilers’ play since coming out of the All-Star break has been quite average, as they own a 4-3-1 record over that span. Average describes their play in this one quite well, as there were times when they looked like the elite Oilers team fans see at times, while at others, they looked entirely disorganized. Here are the three main takeaways from this high-scoring affair.

Ugly Outing for Evander Kane

Throughout the 2023-24 season, Evander Kane has become a very polarizing player amongst Oilers fans. Some love the toughness and goal-scoring abilities he adds to the team, while detractors quickly mention his poor analytics, offensive inconsistencies, and poor defensive plays. Those who aren’t fans of Kane will have plenty to say after this one. Many will blame him for this particular Oilers loss.

Kane seemed to be fighting the puck all night, though his real struggles were fully on display just past the midway point of the third period. With the score tied at four apiece, Kane had two horrendous giveaways inside his own blue line, the second of which was unforced and extremely costly, as David Pastrnak gave his team the lead seconds after. He was also on the ice for Charlie McAvoy’s overtime winner, as he and Ryan McLeod got tangled up in their own zone. Moving forward, the Oilers will need smarter hockey from the 32-year-old.

Rough Night in Net for Stuart Skinner

A big reason for the Oilers’ mediocre play since coming out of the All-Star break is that Stuart Skinner hasn’t been very good. He struggled once again in this one, allowing several which he should have made saves on, none more evident than a low-danger chance off the stick of Brad Marchand that beat him clean on the short-side early in the second to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

Charlie McAvoy beats Stuart Skinner in overtime: Bruins beat Oilers 6-5

Skinner allowed six goals on 35 shots in this game for a .805 save percentage (SV%). In five appearances this month, he owns a 3.46 goals against average (GAA) along with a .880 SV%. The Oilers will need him to get back on track soon, as panic will rise in Edmonton if these struggles continue for much longer.

Oilers Missed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

The Oilers were without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for this game, as the veteran centreman was out due to illness. They missed him in plenty of areas, particularly the power play, where they went 0-3 despite generating plenty of good opportunities.

Though Nugent-Hopkins won’t hit the 100-point barrier like he did a season ago, he is having another solid season for the Oilers with 15 goals and 49 points through 52 games. Had he been able to suit up for this one, the Oilers may very well have been able to walk away with two points.

Looking Ahead for the Oilers After Loss to Bruins

The good news for the Oilers is that the Vegas Golden Knights lost in regulation to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night, meaning they are now just two points shy of second in the Pacific Division with three games in hand. They will look to remain right on their heels in a Friday matchup versus the Minnesota Wild, before taking on the Calgary Flames Saturday.

Next: Insiders Say Trade Interest in Flames’ Noah Hanifin Intensifying

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