McDavid's shorthanded masterpiece highlights Oilers' first-period onslaught

After dropping a tough series-opener in Vegas, McDavid, Draisaitl and the Oilers came out cooking in Game 2.

Connor McDavid and the Oilers' big guns were shot out of a cannon to start Game 2. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Connor McDavid and the Oilers' big guns were shot out of a cannon to start Game 2. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers pulverized the Vegas Golden Knights in a stunning opening frame of Game 2, as the Oilers opened up a 4-0 lead during a 20-minute stretch where almost everything went Edmonton’s way.

McDavid’s shorthanded goal highlights Oilers’ first-period onslaught

Perhaps you could say Connor McDavid’s shorthanded goal symbolized how one-sided the first period was. McDavid went full McDavid on this one, stealing the puck from Shea Theodore at the Oilers blue line before bursting down the ice and catching Laurent Brossoit off rhythm with a tricky backhand-to-forehand move in tight.

It was a true gut-punch moment for Vegas, who had to be hopeful in getting a power play after the Oilers went 2-for-2 on their opening power-play opportunities. Instead, McDavid put together the sort of singular effort that few others could match.

Placing McDavid on the penalty kill has helped Edmonton become a dangerous counter-punching PK team. During the regular season, the Oilers’ 18 shorthanded goals topped all NHL clubs, and McDavid scored the most of any Edmonton player with four. This was the first shorthanded goal for Edmonton in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Draisaitl, Bouchard also staying hot

The Oilers received an early power-play opportunity during the first period, so of course Draisaitl got on the board. As much as the Golden Knights tried to cut off Edmonton's deadly seam-passes, there’s only so much you can do when Draisaitl can clean up loose pucks like this.

While Evan Bouchard isn’t as hot as Draisaitl, he’s not far behind him, and he took advantage of all of the extra space provided by Vegas’ PK to score his third goal of the playoffs to make it 3-0. Even as a pending RFA instead of an unrestricted free agent, Bouchard’s setting himself up for a big raise this offseason.

Finally, the Oilers’ 4-0 goal survived a goalie interference review, as Nicolas Hague knocked Zach Hyman into Brossoit (Hyman also did everything he could to stay out of the blue goalie paint). Almost inevitably, Draisaitl finished the play.

Somehow, Draisaitl already has 13 goals during this postseason. As you might expect, he’s etching his name in the record books with this astonishing run.