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Oilers Win Weird One, Thornton Leaves After Awkward Hit

The Edmonton Oilers pick up a big win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. It was not the game most fans expected.

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Edmonton Oilers fans can step back from the ledge… at least for now. The Oilers flew into Toronto with a 1-3 record on the season and will get set for another game Friday now 2-3 after squeaking out a strange, low-shooting affair victory. It was a big win that some are calling more than important early into the 2020-21 season.

Related: Oilers Sticking With Forward Combinations Despite Struggling Power Play

Josh Archibald put it away with an empty net goal after sending Joe Thornton to the locker room in the third period. Thornton didn’t return and Edmonton was able to hold off any threat, taking the game against the North Division leaders. Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said of Thornton leaving the game: “It looks like he’s definitely going to miss some time.”

Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid were the two stars of the night for the Oilers while Auston Matthews was the lone goal scorer for the Maple Leafs and earned second-star honors on the night. It was Matthews sneaking one through a small opening left by goaltender Mikko Koskinen that tied the game up at one. Draisaitl was able to capitalize a few minutes later on a power play giving the Oilers back a lead they didn’t relinquish.

This was a much-needed win for Edmonton. Oilers Nation was starting to panic a bit as the team entered the game 2-18 on the power play and after losing two straight contests to the Montreal Canadiens in decisive fashion. Draisaitl said: “We had to buckle down and lower the team mistakes. We did that. We were solid throughout the lineup. Those are bounces (Yamo goal) you need in a year. I think we deserved them tonight.”

Leon Draisaitl Oilers forward

An Odd Game Considering the Two Teams

Most fans expected this would be a wide open affair considering the star power on the ice for both sides. It was anything but.

Both the Oilers and Maple Leafs played stingy defense and cluttered up the neutral zone through two periods, only opening things up a touch in the third. As Oilers play-by-play announcer Jack Michaels said, “They don’t ask how, they just ask how many. Oilers never really let Leafs get a good look in the slot. Seems like an early-season “big win.”

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