Triple overtime — triple OT; that’s what the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets needed to settle Game 4. And their series.
It turns out that the Oilers didn’t roll over against the Jets in Game 4 — come on, there was triple OT. Nonetheless, the Jets did pull off that sweep, eliminating the Oilers in Game 4 after winning 5-4 in triple OT.
Shortly following the Jets’ second power-play opportunity of triple OT (one in the first OT, second in triple OT), Kyle Connor was able to slip loose for the game-winner, series-clincher, and sweep-completer.
Connor and Connor vs. Connor
Truly, it was hard not to make jokes about Connor vs. Connor coming into this series. Some were bright enough to note that this isn’t just Connor Hellebuyck vs. Connor McDavid; Kyle Connor’s there too!
After scoring an almost-unthinkable 105 points in 56 games during the regular season, Connor McDavid couldn’t buy a playoff win with the Oilers. Blaming McDavid and Leon Draisaitl was silly even early on, when they went pointless through two playoff games. It’s even sillier after both gave Edmonton a fighting chance.
But those critics will find motivation to chirp nonetheless, as the Jets completed a shocking sweep of the Oilers in Game 4.
Always closer than it seemed
Heading into the Oilers – Jets series, much was made of Edmonton winning most of the teams’ regular season battles. Between that notion, some Jets injuries, and Winnipeg’s bumpy finish to the regular season, Edmonton came in as big favorites.
Yet, things were often closer than they seemed, with plenty of one-goal decisions.
So maybe it’s also important to realize how close this Jets – Oilers playoff series has been.
- In Game 1, it was basically a 2-1 game with two empty-netters tacked on.
- There was only one goal in all of Game 2: Paul Stastny‘s OT-winner. Yeah, that’s a close one, and a painful loss for Edmonton.
- No doubt, the Oilers collapsed in Game 3. Even so, an overtime outcome shows that it wasn’t totally out of Edmonton’s hands.
So maybe the back-and-forth nature of Oilers – Jets Game 4 shouldn’t have been surprising, and another OT finish was fitting.
Back-and-forth Game 4 between Oilers and Jets goes to triple OT
The two teams essentially flip-flopped roles during the first two periods. The Jets took a 2-1 lead in part because of the Oilers being whistled for three consecutive penalties. Connor McDavid scored, but so did Mark Scheifele and Mason Appleton.
Again, things flipped, though. The Jets took four straight penalties, setting up some 5-on-3 opportunities that left Winnipeg fuming. Profanely.
Following all of that, the two teams tightened up. The Oilers fired just five shots on goal during the third period, while Scheifele scored his second goal of Game 4 as part of a modest four SOG third by the Jets.
During the first OT before double OT, McDavid and Draisaitl kept looking dangerous. Even so, Winnipeg produced some of the best chances. They received the only power play (and almost a 5-on-3, but Darnell Nurse wasn’t whistled) of the first OT. Also, Nikolaj Ehlers created another scary OT chance, only this time, Mike Smith made the save.
All things considered, the Oilers and Jets still kept pushing hard in double OT.
Neither team could score, leaving the Oilers and Jets closing off a back-to-back set with a Game 4 that went to triple OT, and they also went to OT in Game 3 on Sunday. Mercifully, at least that Game 3 ended merely in the first possible OT period.
After this exhausting game, the Jets could get a nice break. The Maple Leafs and Canadiens play at least two more games, as Toronto went up 2-1 in that series on Monday. While it took until Tuesday to do it, Winnipeg moves on to the Second Round.
JETS – OILERS PLAYOFF SERIES RECAP: Winnipeg wins in sweep
Game 1: Jets 4, Oilers 1
Game 2: Jets 1, Oilers 0 (OT)
Game 3: Jets 5, Oilers 4 (OT)
Game 4: Jets 4, Oilers 3 (triple OT)
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.