'There's more to be had there' – Woodcroft buoyant after Oilers' Game 2 loss to Avalanche

By Sports Desk June 03, 2022

Edmonton Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft rued a critical three-goal second period after his side went 4-0 down to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday.

Nazem Kadri had three assists within the space of 2:04 as the Avalanche broke the game open and took a commanding 2-0 series lead, in a departure from Game 1's 14 goals and 84 shots.

The free-scoring Oilers were reduced to 24 shots for the night, with the two points leaders for this year's Stanley Cup playoffs in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl kept quiet by the Avalanche.

Despite the second period, Woodcroft believes there is still cause for encouragement as the series heads to Canada.

"I thought it was a really competitive first period," he said post-game. "I thought we laid it on the line, especially finding ourselves down short-handed six minutes or so into the first period.

"We pushed back, we generated some offence, and that little span in the second period really hurt us. It took the wind out of our sails and we weren't able to generate what we wanted to as the game wore on.

"I think we've had some chances – not as much as we'd like – but we're in the final four and the other team does some good stuff too. There's more to be had there. We can do a better job of shooting the puck and shooting through structure."

Kadri tied GM Joe Sakic's franchise record from 1996 for most assists in a period, setting up Artturi Lehkonen and Josh Manson in the space of 15 seconds, before providing the pass for Mikko Rantanen.

Nathan McKinnon scored his sixth goal of the playoffs late in the third period, moving to a team-high 16 points over the Avalanche's three series.

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