The Edmonton Oilers lost their third game to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday and are now at a 3-0 deficit. The heart breaking 4-2 defeat seemed like a fatal blow to the team’s chances of taking home the Stanley Cup this year. The Oilers are now massive underdogs to win the series, as only a handful of teams have ever comeback from down 3-0 in the history of the NHL.
On the other side of the ice, Colorado is now one win from the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Final berth since winning its second title in 2001. Valeri Nichushkin scored twice for Colorado and Mikko Rantanen hit an empty-netter with 30 seconds left. In net Pavel Francouz made 27 saves, marking a remarkable playoff run for him.
Game 3 Highlights
The night started off with a bang after just 38 seconds from faceoff, Connor McDavid picked a puck up off the wall and made it 1-0 on the Oiler’s first shot of the game. The crowd which was looking for any reason to get into the game really started to make some noise.
Only 30 seconds later, the drama continued when Evander Kane knocked Nazem Kadri out of the game with a dangerous hit from behind. After reviewing the hit the referees decided on a five-minute major penalty, but didn’t give Kane a game misconduct.
It wasn’t until late in the period that the Avalanche were able to level the game with a deflection from Darnell Nurse to a centering pass from Valeri Nichushkin. The second period was all Avs, as they pushed hard on offense eventually breaking through with a sneaky shot through traffic from Nichushkin at 4:37. The teams went into the second intermission with the Avs up 2-1.
The Oilers, with only 20 minutes to save their season, started the third period with McDavid, Draisaitl and Evander Kane. It was Ryan McLeod however to the rescue as he put in a wrist shot through Francouz on Edmonton’s second shot of the period at 7:34. At 2-2 there was hope for the home team but it wouldn’t last long.
Compher stepped out of the penalty box for a partial breakaway and restored Colorado’s lead with 7:18 left in regulation. Things looking grim only got worse when Mikko Rantanen hit an empty-netter with 30 seconds left.
The chance of a comeback seems extremely small for the Oilers. Not only is the team at a 3-0 deficit but also the Avs seem to be the much better team. With Nazem Kadri out, Colorado will be less potent on offense but the lead does seem quite insurmountable at the moment. Expect the Avs to put the Oilers out of their misery in game 4 and collect a clean sweep.