It was an odd-feeling night in Rexall Place on Tuesday. The game seemed to drag on with numerous penalties, a lengthy goal review and subsequent challenge, as well as equipment issues.
“It’s the longest game I’ve been a part of,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan, hyperbolizing for effect.
It was hard for the Oilers to get in a rhythm from the start.
“It was a long night,” said McLellan. “It mentally tested us to stay with it. I thought our guys did not a bad job. Their team did too. Their team is a much more mature group than ours. Some may have experienced that. Our guys actually stuck through it mentally fairly good. It wasn’t ideal if you’re a five-minute player or a 20-minute player. It’s not ideal.”
The top-end forwards likely felt it the most, seeing their ice time limited due to penalties.
“That’s not ideal, especially if you’re a guy who doesn’t kill penalties or that type of thing,” said Taylor Hall. “It’s hard to keep your focus and that type of thing. For us, that’s hockey. That’s gonna happen sometimes and you’ve got to be ready when the puck drops. I thought we did a good job of being ready when the puck drops. I thought we did a pretty good job of staying in the moment, keeping the game close and they had two empty-net goals and they beat us by two, so figure it out.”
The game lasted two hours and 43 minutes, rather lengthy for a regulation finish.