Last season’s blown 2-0 series lead against Anaheim. The three-goal choke to Dallas in late 2014. The Manchester Miracle. The Oilers have been on the wrong end of some unfortunately memorable comebacks, but don’t let that distract you from the fact that they’ve been on the right end of some pretty great ones, too.
October 29, 2015: Oilers 4, Canadiens 3
Edmonton couldn’t manage to end the long playoff drought in 2015-16, but did record an unforgettable October comeback win against a Habs team that began the season 9-1-0 and were favored big at every Canadian online sportsbook. Meanwhile, the +225 underdog Oilers were losers of three straight and seven of the last 10 and fortunes looked as expected after falling behind 3-0 in the first period.
But in his season debut, Leon Draisaitl had other plans. The recent AHL callup rallied the comeback crew with a power play score late in the second. An inspired Brandon Davidson and Benoit Pouliot then each went on to score in the third. Tied 3-3 with just over 1:00 remaining, an aggressive forecheck then allowed none other than Draisaitl to score the dramatic comeback’s game winner.
October 7, 2013: Oilers 5, Devils 4 (OT)
The Oilers took their lumps in 2013-14, but still managed to score one of the most memorable comebacks in recent franchise history… In the fourth game of the season, they hosted New Jersey and quickly fell behind 3-0 by the time five minutes had passed in the second period.
Finally, Edmonton got on the board five minutes into the final frame thanks to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins capitalizing on a goalmouth scramble. This ignited the Oil, as Andrew Ference, David Perron, and Taylor Hall went on to score in the next eight minutes to take a 4-3 lead. After a Devils equalizer sent the game to OT, Jordan Eberle and Perron made the comeback official by scoring the de facto game winners in a shootout.
1998 Western Conference Quarterfinals
Occupying the West’s #7 seed for the second consecutive year, the Oilers looked poised to again pull off a big first round upset, this time against the Colorado club that eliminated them from the playoffs the year prior. After taking Game 1, the Oilers dropped the next three to face elimination in Game 5. There, two goals from Mike Grier led to a big 3-1 road win that gave the Oilers some momentum as the series headed back to Edmonton.
A 31-save Curtis Joseph shutout then allowed the Oilers to level the series in Game 6, setting up a Game 7 back in Denver. Another Cujo shutout performance, along with goals from Janne Niinimaa, Bill Guerin, Todd Marchant, and Mats Lindgren formed a perfect night for the Oilers as they yet again played the role of first round spoiler.
1997 Western Conference Quarterfinals
The Oilers made it into 1997 playoffs as a #7 seed, facing off against the Central Division Champion Stars in the first round. The two clubs traded wins in the first two games of the series, but in Game 3 it looked like Dallas was going to get a big road win of their own after going up 3-0 with less than 4:00 to play.
Doug Weight, Andrei Kovalenko, and Mike Grier all scored in a span of 1:56, miraculously sending the game to OT. There, Kelly Buchberger scored on a wicked wrister from the top of the circle that sealed the improbable comeback and a 2-1 series lead.
1990 Smythe Division Semi-Finals
Edmonton historically owned Winnipeg in the playoffs heading into this 1990 first round matchup. However It looked like that run was about to come an end when the Jets built a 3-1 series lead and led Game 5 by the same margin late in the second period.
Finally, the flow of play shifted back to the home Oilers when Craig Simpson scored on a counterattack to make it 3-2. Thirteen seconds later, Mark Lamb also scored to draw the game level just before intermission. Mark Messier continued the Oilers’ run by scoring early in the third, which reclaimed the momentum the Oilers needed to eventually go on to win the series in 7 and their fifth Stanley Cup in seven years.