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Oilers Break Losing Streak, Beat Senators

The Edmonton Oilers finally got a win in their October 19 game against the Ottawa Senators. It’s only their second win of the season, the first being a shootout win against the New Jersey Devils back on October 7.

Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk, who played some phenomenal games last season, is starting to get back into the swing of things and made 35 saves against the Senators. Dubnyk commented on the season thus far, and addressed some of the criticism he was facing for his performance in earlier games, saying that “I obviously haven’t given them the best effort. It’s easy to try and go out there and be someone else. Everybody starts talking about how you can’t do it and they need somebody else, and it’s really easy to start doubting yourself. But the last couple games I’ve just tried to go out there and be myself. I know I can do the job.”

Teammate Jordan Eberle thought the win against the Senators was crucial for Dubnyk. “He’s kind of been the brunt of the criticism,” Eberle interviewed, “he played outstanding the last two games and to reward him with the win tonight is key.”

The Oilers started out strong, getting two first period goals to establish an early lead. The first of their goals was actually on their first shot of the game, helping them get some momentum from the very outset. Nail Yakupov and Jordan Eberle hurtled down the ice and, with the help of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle managed to manoeuver it past Ottawa’s Robin Lehner. They took the lead a mere 2:15 into the game.

Oilers Break Losing Streak, Beat Senators
The Edmonton Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, and Andrew Ference celebrate a first period goal against the Ottawa Senators.
(Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Less than 10 minutes later, Nugent-Hopkins scored at 10:29, increasing the Oilers’ lead.

Ottawa tried to fight back, and with about 5 minutes left in the game, they snuck one past Dubnyk, who had been performing flawlessly up to that point.

Nugent-Hopkins got Edmonton one last goal on an empty net with 34 seconds left.

The one worrying factor in the game was Taylor Hall’s exit. A knee injury in the second period took him off the ice, and he didn’t return to the game. Oilers coach Dallas Eakins interviewed that “I don’t know the severity of the injury but when a player has to leave the game it’s normally more than a day or two.”

Now, here’s the thing. Not only is it great that they broke that losing streak – it’s never encouraging to start a season out with a series of losses. More generally, I think they’re starting to look good (and it’s not because I’m seeing them through optimistic blue and orange fan glasses). It’s easy to forget free trade frenzy with the excitement of a new season, but it can’t be ignored that the Oilers got a lot of new players. They’re players who filled in important gaps and who I thought were all strong choices, but they’re new to the team nonetheless. Training is training, and it takes some time on the ice in actual game situations for them to really get a feel for each other. And I think they’re finally starting to.

They’ll play the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, October 22.

 

Adrianna Szenthe

Adrianna Szenthe

Adrianna is a graduate student at the University of Chicago. Having previously worn blue and orange in a city of die-hard Canadiens supporters, she feels confident she can contend with a city of Blackhawks fans. While she defends her beloved Oilers, she is fond of reminding everyone that hockey was, after all, invented in Canada. Since she's not able to make a killer slapshot, writing about them seems the next best thing.
Adrianna Szenthe

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