Edmonton Oilers Pull Away From Devils for Much-Needed Win
The Edmonton Oilers finally beat an Eastern Conference team, dumping the New Jersey Devils 6-3 Friday night at Rogers Place.
The Oilers improve to 4-7-1 on the season and 1-5-1 against the East.
“It was a complete effort from everybody, said Oilers head coach Todd McLellan. “It was nice to see some of the unusual suspects get on the score sheet. Their confidence level should go up a little bit.”
The Oilers’ struggling power play opened the scoring 5:40 into the game when Drake Caggiula whacked in a goal-mouth feed from Connor McDavid. It was Caggiula’s first of the season. Just over three minutes later, Ryan Strome cashed in his second of the year when a rebound from an Adam Larsson shot bounced in off his leg.
“We haven’t been able to score the first goal of the game very much this season,” Caggiula said. “To get an early power play with the way it’s been struggling, it was nice to get that right out of the bat and have a lead early.”
“I think we had a sense of urgency that kicked in,” Strome added when talking about the Oilers’ start to the game. “Obviously when you get off to a tough start to the season, it sucks coming to the rink everyday and answering the same questions and not feeling great. Guys took the initiative today; I thought it was a good complete game.”
The Devils responded with five minutes left in the frame when Taylor Hall swiped home a rebound.
The Devils tied it 5:02 into the second when Jesper Bratt floated a long shot right inside the post. The Oilers regained the lead only 61 seconds later when Oscar Klefbom’s long slapper eluded Cory Schneider. With 1:04 to go in the session, Anton Slepyshev’s centring pass bounced in off Milan Lucic. It was Lucic’s second of the season.
“There wasn’t a lot of talk on the bench to do anything differently. It just went our way,” McLellan said. “The big thing for us wasn’t getting scored on late in the period, in fact it was us scoring. We broke that trend. Lucic’s goal came late in the period and it give us a sense of confidence heading into the second intermission rather than trying to regroup.”
Leon Draisaitl was on the scoring end of a pretty passing play with McDavid and Matt Benning to make it 5-2 with 6:42 to go in the third. Brian Gibbons added a late goal for the Devils before Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sealed it with an empty-netter.
Patrick Maroon had an assist to extend his point streak to seven games. McDavid had three assists to stretch his point streak to five games. Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl both moved their point streaks to four games.
Cam Talbot made 30 saves for his 100th career win.
The Oilers will host Detroit at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
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