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Maple Leafs Russell up a win against the Oilers

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Kris Russell helped the Leafs by scoring an own goal to break a late third period tie. The Leafs won 6-4.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Maple Leafs came in to Edmonton off a 4-1 drubbing of the Calgary Flames.

The storylines before the game started were about Auston Matthews having a “cold,” and Cam Talbot, who has been the workhorse for the Oilers, out with an injury.

Laurent Brossoit started in net for the Oilers, backed up by some guy they found in the parking lot.

Here’s how I saw the game unfold.

First Period

19:30: There’s a “Go Leafs Go” chant right off the bat. That’s a good sign, isn’t it?

19:06: The Leafs get the first power play opportunity when Darnell Nurse goes in for holding. He can’t believe it, but it’s happening.

18:30: Mitch Marner has some nice moves—as we’ve come to expect from him. He sets up a shot by JvR on one of the rare times the Oilers don’t quickly clear out the puck. Then the Matthews line comes on and he gets setup for a wide open net shot, catching the Oilers defence out of position.

16:10: Leo Komarov does Komarov things, creating havoc that gets the Oilers discombobulated. A clearing attempt by the Oilers goes awry, and then Patrick Marleau gets the puck, almost in the slot, and he fires off a shot which is stopped by Brossoit.

15:21: Hyman has a great shot off a pass from Matthews.

14:50: The Leafs have strong control of the game. The Oilers defence can’t clear out the puck from their zone. When they finally do, they go offside.

14:27: Frederik Andersen gives a scare, leaving the net open on a clearing attempt and diving back to stop it.

14:02: Dominic Moore gets the Leafs on the board again.

Right after, Leon Draisaitl’s line finally gets some real pressure on the Leafs while the Tyler Bozak line is out.

9:45: In a big Oilers flub, Nazem Kadri and Marleau are left alone in the Oilers zone while the Oilers try start up a breakout. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins decides to play the puck back to someone, but it instead goes right on to Marleau’s stick. He and Kadri set up a golden scoring chance, but Brossoit does some great work to stop it. It’s more evidence of how the game is tilted towards the Leafs favour. So far.

7:23: The mood changes quickly as Mark Letestu scores after a turnover behind the net.

The mood, however quickly changes again.

brigstew: They're gonna wish that Marleau or Hyman buried their chance.

nafio: Never mind. Matt Martin fixed it.

Matt Martin? Matt Martin! After a series of Oilers turnovers, and only 29 seconds after the goal by Letestu, Martin gets his goal.

I love how happy he is.

6:35: The Leafs are flying now. Kadri takes down Connor McDavid hard. Then Zack Kassian and Martin fight after Kassian starts yelling at Andreas Borgman. Martin is going for a Gordie Howe hat trick.

I laugh hearing the commentary that “Kassian is reviving the spark for these Oilers.” Those words would come back to haunt me later.

The period winds up with the Leafs making a charge into the Oilers zone and the puck eventually gets back to Roman Polak who fires off a shot. That’s veteran presence, folks.

Second period

The platinum seats look kind of empty. I wonder where all the fans went? Maybe they’re busy walking around and looking at the magnificent new building.

elseldo: finding sinks to pee in

There’s a few chances traded back and forth and the Oilers finally get some control and, because of course, Zach Kassian scores.

11:11: Roman Polak gets a penalty for interference. Well at least we got that out of the way. He won’t get another, will he?

8:16: Sigh. McDavid draws a penalty on Polak. Seriously, Roman. Just stay away from any Oilers players for now, please.

Fortunately, the Leafs killed off both penalties.

5:00: Just as I am thinking that the Oilers definitely look to have the control advantage in this period a wild Marleau appears and gets off two dangerous scoring chances. The Oilers defence is still a step behind his line. Marleau deserves to be rewarded with a goal. Will it come?

4:35: Matthews does one of those little moves to recover the puck for himself while he is face down on the ice to remind us how incredibly talented he is.

3:45: There’s a big scare when the puck is loose and Andersen is down but it doesn’t go in. The Oilers are really on their game now. They’re taking control.

2:28 McDavid ties the game with a tip-in after the puck hits Hainsey in the foot and momentarily takes him out of the play.

However, when you think all is lost, there’s still hope.

1:31: Nylander makes a sick shot to score.

Third Period

18:28: The Oilers are fast out of the gate. Andersen has to make some great saves and he stops McDavid from tying the game again.

16:55: Kris Russell scores. Because of course Kris Russell scores. It wouldn’t be his last goal of the night, though.

15:45: Credit to the skills of Hyman. Twice he loses the puck, but somehow gets it back and keeps it in the zone. The Oilers finally clear it by icing, which is fortunate for the Leafs as they go right back to the attacking zone.

13:17: Marleau gets another shot off and still can’t get it in.

9:46: The Bozak line gives up a bad turnover in the neutral zone and Ryan Strome gets off a shot, It goes wide, but his teammates get it back to him while Jake Gardiner is staring in awe, wondering what is happening. Strome then gets off a second shot which Andersen has to make a highlight-reel diving save to stop.

7:35: William Nylander has a great controlled entry with the puck and then looks back to see what is happening and passes it to Borgman who is there ready to receive it. Remember when he would instead assume someone was there and make a ridiculous blind backwards pass? Borgman fires a shot that goes wide. Martin also gets off a shot for this line.

6:34: Drake Caggiula then actually makes that same drop pass that Nylander used to do and, surprise, it fails miserably. Jake Gardiner is right there, he collects the puck and clears it. Just say no to drop passes, kids.

brigstew: As Dangle would say, this looks like two teams from opposite conferences just trying to get to OT for that point.

It is then we have the highlight of the game: Kris Russell scores an own goal.


Marleau gets the credit for the goal. Finally. And he didn’t actually even shoot it!

An important part of that goal which may have been lost in the hilarity was noted by one of our commenters.

Awesome breakout pass by Zaitsev for that goal

The Oilers have no choice now but to pull their goalie and, predictably, the Leafs score on them. Kadri gets an empty netter to seal their fate.

One third of the way through the season, the Leafs have 35 points.

Up Next

The Leafs road trip continues with a trip to Vancouver to play the Canucks on Saturday at 4:00 PM Pacific Time; the correct time to play this game.

The Oilers? They’ll continue on paying Kris Russell $4M per season.