As has often been the case, there was no New Year’s Eve celebration for the Edmonton Oilers.
The Winnipeg Jets beat the Oilers 2-1 at Rogers Place Saturday night. The Oilers all-time record on New Year’s Eve sinks to 3-14-6.
“I thought we spent most of the game in their end, but in the end we were unable to solve their penalty kill and their goaltender,” Oilers Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said.
“You can feel the consistency coming in our game. We didn’t get the result we wanted tonight, but if we play like that most nights we’re going to be on top,” Tyson Barrie said.
Despite being outshot 9-5 in the first period, the Jets were up 1-0 after one. Neal Pionk beat Jack Campbell with a power play one timer while Cody Ceci was serving a penalty for clearing the puck over the glass.
In the second, Zach Hyman set up Connor McDavid for a one-timer, but his shot clanked off the post.
The Oilers finally solved Connor Hellebuyck with 15:31 left in the third. Off a face-off in the Jets end, the puck came in front to Klim Kostin, who promptly popped home his fifth of the season. The Jets regained the lead less than three minutes later when Kyle Connor tipped Pionk’s point shot past Campbell.
“He’s a good player–a goal scorer–and he finds ways to put them in, so I’ve got to find a way to shut him out,” Campbell said.
With 2:24 to go, Brenden Dillon was slapped with a double minor for high sticking Kailer Yamamoto. However, the Oilers couldn’t find the tying goal as their power play went 0-5 on the night. Kostin suffered an as time expired and had to be helped off the ice.
“He’s still being evaluated–I’m sure he’ll be sore after going into the boards, but no further update for you,” Woodcroft said after the game.
“Klim has come in here and you can see he’s getting more responsibility and rewarded,” Tyson Barrie said. “He’s playing great and scoring some big goals for us. He’s an incredibly talented big Russian fella and we’re lucky to have him.”
Hellebuyck finished with 31 saves. Campbell made 15 stops.
The Oilers are winless in their last four home games (0-3-1).
Leon Draisaitl missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury while Connor McDavid’s 17-game point streak came to an end.
During the game, the Oilers confirmed they’ll host the 2023 Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on October 29. It’ll be a Battle of Alberta against the Calgary Flames. The Oilers hosted the original Heritage Classic in November 2003 against Montreal. They were the road team against Winnipeg in the 2016 Heritage Classic.
“It’s a great thing for our organization to showcase not only all the great things about the Oilers, but it’s a great platform for us to show the world what a great community Edmonton is,” Woodcroft said.
The Oilers, 20-16-2, will host Seattle on Tuesday (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m., game at 7 p.m.).
With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED.