The Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights are two of the best teams in the National Hockey League. Their second-round meeting felt inevitable all year long.
Well, that meeting became official over the weekend and the first game came on Wednesday night. It was as spectacular as you’d expect.
Edmonton’s NHL record-breaking power play got to work early in this one. Leon Draisaitl scored a power-play goal assisted by Connor McDavid and Evan Bouchard. That didn’t take long.
From there, Ivan Barbashev, Michael Amadio, and Mark Stone scored to make it 3-1 Vegas. With 11 seconds left in the first period, Leon Draisaitl scored his second of the game from an impossible angle to bring his team back within one.
The Oilers and Golden Knights sure know how to entertain the people.
The second period had no scoring but right at the end of the period, Alex Pietrangelo took an elbowing penalty to put Edmonton on the power play to start the third. That meant the best power play ever had a clean sheet of ice to play on.
That would obviously work out in their favor as Leon Draisaitl completed the hat trick. It came at 1:35 into the third. 1:01 later, however, Vegas scored to take the lead right back. Ivan Barbashev had his second of the game.
The funny thing is that Vegas restored their two-goal lead 50 seconds following that, and it became 5-3. Both teams are clearly going to create some good looks for the rest of the series.
Remarkably, Leon Draisaitl scored his fourth goal of the game to bring Edmonton back to within one. That is the second night in a row that a player in the playoffs scored four as Joe Pavelski did so one night prior.
With the net empty, Jack Eichel stripped the puck from Connor McDavid and launched it down the ice into the empty net to secure a 6-4 victory for his Golden Knights. That had to feel good for Eichel as he has been living in McDavid’s shadow for many years now because of the 2015 draft.
Vegas takes game one. It wasn’t for a lack of effort from the Oilers, but they clearly need to clean a bunch of things up in game two. They have plenty of experience coming back from being down 1-0 in a series.
The big boys came to play in this first game, and you can expect that to continue. We may or may not see 10 goals again in the series, but it will surely be exciting either way. These two teams will be back in action on Saturday night at T-Moble Arena in Vegas.