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Oilers prove they can compete with best in West: ‘We’re right there’

Edmonton pulled to within a point of second-place Los Angeles, with a game in hand in the Pacific. The game they put out there on Monday will be difficult to replicate every night, but a reasonable facsimile will reap points om more nights than not.

And it should be said, Smith delivered his second consecutive flawless performance, a good sign on a team that is built around a goaltending tandem.

Tyson Barrie nicely blocked a Rantanen pass while killing a penalty in the first period, but the puck returned right to Rantanen’s blade and he had half a net to shoot at for a 1-0 lead. With the score 1-1, Rantanen’s power-play shot hit Darnell Nurse and popped over Mike Smith for another bad-bounce goal.

Then in overtime, the pesky Nazem Kari deftly pulled Nurse’s helmet off. Nurse had to bolt for the bench, and watched helplessly while Cale Makar fed MacKinnon off a two-on-one for the winner.metasports

The breaks beat the boys on this night, but they’ll come back Edmonton’s way if they continue to play this well, guaranteed.

“That was fun — probably one of the funnest games I’ve played in the NHL,” said Yamamoto, who had a goal, an assist and three minor penalties.. “It was quick. It was fast. Lots of plays being made. Good game. Tough we didn’t get the win but take away a lot of positives from it.

It was the first meeting of the season between Connor McDavid’s and Nathan MacKinnon’s teams, and the first time these two have locked horns in 845 days. Much has changed, especially with a Colorado lineup that is a genuine Stanley Cup favorite, a roster littered with world-class players.

“They’re all great players, and they’ve definitely all evolved and gotten better over the years,” Ceci said. “I haven’t played against them in a couple of years. So yeah, it was good to see how competitive they are now and get a chance to play against them.”

Even better when you prove to yourself that your game stands up against Colorado’s. In a game where the Avs were likely a tad better than Edmonton, they also got huge breaks on all three goals to win.

 

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