Edmonton Oilers forward Zach Hyman continues to produce offence in big moments. And while his hands didn’t get him on the scoreboard during Game 5 against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, his face sure did.
Up 4-2 toward the end of the second period, Hyman, who came up clutch for the Oilers in Game 4 with a massive overtime winner, scored again to extend his team’s lead when Evan Bouchard’s slapshot from the point ricocheted off his face.
The visibly hurt forward still managed to celebrate with his teammates after the puck went in.
Now that's using your head pic.twitter.com/89kEwiQ4aM
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) April 26, 2023
“I’ll take that tradeoff any day for a goal,” Hyman told reporters after the game.
Fans quickly took to Twitter and compared the moment to when Edmonton legend Ryan Smyth took a puck to the face from teammate Chris Pronger during a playoff game against the San Jose Sharks.
Despite getting banged up and losing a few teeth, Smytty came back to register an assist on the Oilers’ game winning goal in triple overtime in front of a roaring Edmonton crowd.
Not a conspiracy theorist or anything, but it's preeettttty weird that you never see Zach Hyman and Ryan Smyth together at the same time.#LetsGoOilers
— Kris (@kristoph_errr) April 26, 2023
Smytty’s reaction to Hyman’s goal pic.twitter.com/ZdJhAEDvpe
— Warren Barris (@TheDieselBarris) April 26, 2023
Is Zack Hyman the new Ryan Smyth?
— x-KTown Oiler (@KTownOiler) April 26, 2023
Hyman showing us what using your head in sports really looks like.
What a dog, looking like a young Ryan Smyth with that, didn’t even miss the fly by hi-5s.
— Uncle Hack (@UnkleHack69) April 26, 2023
After registering a career high of 83 points this past season, Hyman already has four points over his first five playoff games with Edmonton. While his ears are still probably ringing after that last one, Hyman has also earned the respect of Oilers Nation.
Hopefully this year’s parallels to the 2006 Cup run lead to more than just a Finals appearance for Edmonton.
The Oilers, who are one win away from advancing to the second round, will have to win on the road in Los Angeles if they want to avoid any Game 7 drama. However, they have to be feeling pretty good about the fact that they’ve yet to lose in regulation during this series.
Game 6 is set for Saturday, April 29.