Connor McDavid had two goals and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers pulled out a 4-3 shootout win over the Florida Panthers Thursday night at Rogers Place.
The Oilers had only 18 shots on goal in regulation time but were able to snap a five-game home-ice losing streak.
“[It was] not our prettiest win,” McDavid said. “[It was] two periods of not great hockey and we were lucky to be tied.”
Edmonton Oilers lit up by lowly Kings
3 points for Connor McDavid as Edmonton Oilers end losing streak
Florida’s Frank Vatrano netted the game’s first goal when his shot from the right wing went through Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot. The Oilers pulled even just 26 seconds later. Alex Chiasson dropped it to Darnell Nurse, whose long shot went under Panthers netminder James Reimer.
In the second period, the Panthers’ Denis Malgin took advantage of a turnover to fire home his fifth of the season.
Late in the frame, the Oilers had a two-man advantage for 57 seconds but failed to record a shot on goal. With just 22 seconds left in the session, McDavid found a loose puck in front and tapped in his 25th goal of the season.
With 5:58 left, the Panthers’ Henrik Borgstrom threw the puck in front of the Oilers net. It banked off Oilers defencemen Caleb Jones and then Adam Larsson before settling over the goal line to give the Panthers the lead.
The Oilers pulled Talbot for an extra skater in the last minute. Reimer made a desperate glove save on Leon Draisaitl with 13 seconds left, but Draisaitl got the puck back and set up McDavid for the tying goal with eight seconds to go.
“I thought Leon had the game tied up,” Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock said after the game. “I don’t think anyone could believe that didn’t go in.
“They caught a break on their goal that gave them the lead, and we caught a break on [McDavid’s goal] when both defencemen left net-front.”
“[McDavid] was the difference maker out there tonight and I thought we did a good job on him for most of the night, kind of shadowing him and whatnot, but obviously he doesn’t need much and he took advantage,” Panthers goalie James Reimer said of McDavid.
Reimer denied Nurse on a short-range one-timer early in overtime. Oilers forward Toby Rieder had a good look from the slot later, but again Reimer made the stop.
In the shootout, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid scored while Florida missed both their opportunities.
“He was their game tonight. He was all of their offence again and it seems like he does it to every team every night,” Panthers head coach Bob Boughner said of McDavid.
Talbot made 27 saves for the win.
“Any time you’re able to grind out a win like that — the way we were able to do it — we persevered after that third goal, which was another unfortunate bounce against us,” Talbot said. “We could’ve folded and instead we went down and battled back.”
The Oilers (21-20-3) will host Arizona on Saturday.
–With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott and Scott Johnston
Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of the Edmonton Oilers’ 2018-19 season.
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