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3 Takeaways from Oilers’ 6-2 Win Over Avalanche

The Edmonton Oilers put forth a much-needed effort tonight, defeating the Colorado Avalanche by a 6-2 final.

The Edmonton Oilers needed a major bounce-back performance tonight, and they got just that. The Oilers were embarrassed in Wednesday’s 5-0 loss to the hands of the Dallas Stars and had arguably an even tougher matchup tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. They proved any detractors suggesting they aren’t a true contender wrong, as they were able to pick up a big win over the Avalanche by a score of 6-2.

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Despite the Avalanche taking a brief 2-1 lead in the first period, this one was all Oilers from the get-go. They controlled possession for the majority of the night and wound up outshooting the Avalanche 46-23. While it hasn’t been in doubt for some time, the Oilers were able to clinch a playoff spot for the fifth straight season with their victory tonight. With that said, here are the three main takeaways from this statement win.

Evander Kane Off the Schneid

Evander Kane has been arguably the most disappointing Oiler as of late and had turned into a black hole offensively. The 32-year-old entered tonight’s contest on a 21-game goalless drought, though it felt like if he were able to get one, they could start coming in bunches.

That certainly looks to be the case, as Kane got one late in the second by driving hard to the net and having a rebound off Alexandar Georgiev go in off his midsection. He wasn’t done there, as just past the midway point of the third period, he threw a puck on the net from a sharp angle that was able to sneak past Georgiev. Neither were pretty, but they are huge goals, as the Oilers need Kane to be at his best if they hope to win a Stanley Cup in a few short months.

Mattias Ekholm Does it All

It can’t be stated enough just how good of an acquisition Mattias Ekholm was by Ken Holland at last year’s trade deadline. The Swedish blue liner simply does it all, as he is phenomenal defensively, has underrated offensive skill, and is a very intimidating opponent to go up against. Tonight, he displayed all of that.

Ekholm’s biggest moment of the game came in the second period when he crushed Mikko Rantanen with a clean hit that forced the Avs star to leave the game. Just a short time later, he was able to drive the puck up the ice and cause enough commotion on his path to the net that the puck wound up going in to give him his tenth of the season. It was another fantastic night from the Oilers’ best defenceman.

McDavid Closes Gap on Scoring Race

Connor McDavid wasn’t able to build on his 97-assist total in this one, but he did put home his 30th and 31st goals of the season. The Oilers captain now has 128 points on the season. He was able to narrow the gap on Nathan MacKinnon, who had a lone assist in this one and now sits at 131 points on the season. He is now five shy of Nikita Kucherov, who leads the league with 133.

McDavid MacKinnon Oilers vs Avs

A big performance like this was expected from McDavid, who had an eight-game point streak snapped on Wednesday versus the Stars. He is now just two points shy of cracking the 130 mark for the second straight season and could do it as soon as tomorrow night against the Calgary Flames.

Looking Ahead for the Oilers

As mentioned, the Oilers are back in action tomorrow night versus the Calgary Flames. It’s a huge game for the Oilers, who sit five points shy of the Vancouver Canucks for first place in the Pacific Division with one game in hand. Their chances of surpassing the Canucks are slim but can be done if they can go on a heater over the course of their seven remaining games.

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