Entering the third period on Monday night, the Edmonton Oilers were facing a three-goal deficit against the New Jersey Devils and had managed to get just 11 shots on Martin Brodeur. It seemed pretty hopeless at that point and it was just a matter of New Jersey continuing to lock everything down and sending the Oilers to an 0-3 start.
And then the floodgates opened.
It started with a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins goal and continued with the Oilers scoring three more goals over the next six minutes to shock the Devils. New Jersey eventually forced overtime thanks to a little bit of luck late in the third period, but Edmonton scored on both of its shootout attempts against Brodeur to secure its first win of the season in dramatic fashion.
Win or lose, Oilers games are always a treat to watch.
The only other game on the NHL schedule on Monday featured Brad Richards proving that he still has some offensive ability with a two-goal effort against the Los Angeles Kings.
It also featured another goal for the NHL's blooper reel.
All the NHL Scores
Oilers 5, Devils 4
Rangers 3, Kings 1
On Monday we asked you five burning questions about the day's games. Here are your cool, soothing answers.
1. How will Ryan Nugent-Hopkins perform in his return?
He was awesome, scoring his first goal of the season early in the third period to help launch Edmonton's comeback in what would become its first win of the season. Nugent-Hopkins finished the night with a goal, eight attempted shots (six on goal), and won 11 of his 22 face-offs.
2. How will Dallas Eakins utilize Taylor Hall?
Eakins had Hall playing alongside Nugent-Hopkins pretty much the entire night, but the third member of that group changed from time to time. Jordan Eberle started the game on their line, but David Perron and Ryan Hamilton also saw some time on Edmonton's top line. Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Perron combined for three of Edmonton's four goals in regulation.
3. Will Jaromir Jagr and Patrick Elias do anything of note?
As a matter of fact, yes they did. Jagr opened the scoring for New Jersey in the first period by tallying his first goal as a member of the Devils (and the 682nd of his career) early in the first period. Elias scored a shorthanded goal (a centering pass that actually deflected off the skate of Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference) to tie the game at four to force overtime with less than a minute to play in the third period.
4. How will Ryan Callahan perform in his return?
After making his debut following offseason shoulder surgery Callahan ended up missing most of the second period after suffering a cut to his mouth during a collision with Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar. He returned for the third period and finished the game with 11 minutes of ice time, no points, and no shots on goal.
5. Will we have a goaltender duel in Los Angeles?
Sort of. Henrik Lundqvist did what Henrik Lundqvist always does (stop a lot of shots, carry the Rangers) andJonathan Quick was right there with him for most of the game. Right up until the moment he channeled his inner Vesa Toskala.
The big moment from Monday's games that everyone will be talking about for the next couple of days...
Martin Brodeur and the Devils goaltending situation. It's hard to put all of the blame for the Devils' third period collapse on Brodeur, but given the way he played last season (statistically the worst season of his Hall of Fame career), as well as the fact New Jersey gave up a top-10 pick for Cory Schneider, it's getting to the point where it has to be Schneider's job -- and only Schneider's job -- in net for the Devils.
Stat of the Night
It took Ryan Nugent-Hopkins until the 13th game of last season for him to score his first goal of the season, and he had just one goal through his first 24 games. He already matched that total in his season debut on Monday night. His poor season statistically last season was due in large part to some bad luck. He's off to a much better start this season.
Post to Post
- Here's an excellent question: Why wasn't Peter Laviolette fired last season?
- Another excellent question: Does fighting deter nasty business in hockey?
- What can be taken away from the Stars' opening weekend?
More from SB Nation NHL:
- Flyers fire Peter Laviolette after just 3 games
- Charlie Coyle out 3-4 weeks with sprained knee
- Realignment rekindles Red Wings, Bruins rivalry
- Selanne wins in last trip to Winnipeg
- Will Seth Jones be hockey's first African-American superstar?