Draisaitl sends Oilers past Devils in OT
NEWARK, N.J. — Leon Draisaitl capped an exciting overtime by burying a gorgeous feed from Connor McDavid with 17 seconds remaining for the game-deciding goal to lift the Edmonton Oilers over the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Thursday at the Prudential Center.
Draisaitl’s goal followed a dizzying back-and-forth with Oilers goalie Cam Talbot snuffing out a prime scoring chance for Devils rookie Nico Hischier with a lunging pad save at one end of the rink, and New Jersey’s Cory Schneider making a series of acrobatic stops at the other.
Talbot finished with 32 saves and Schneider had 29, including five in overtime.
“Our three guys got hemmed in there, but I thought we survived it,” Schneider said. “Sure enough, though, there at the end, all it takes is McDavid getting one step on you and he can make things happen with that speed. It’s unfortunate, I thought our guys deserved a better fate.”
The victory was the second straight in overtime for the Oilers, who beat the Islanders 2-1 on Tuesday night on a McDavid goal assisted by Draisaitl. It marks the first time this season Edmonton won consecutive games and was also the first time in six tries the Oilers won when trailing after two periods.
“I think it was another pretty solid effort throughout our whole lineup, every line contributed, and that’s how you win on the road,” said Draisaitl, who has five goals and 12 points in 11 games this season.
Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins recorded a pair of assists for the Oilers (6-8-1) while Brian Boyle and Drew Stafford scored for the Devils (9-4-2), who have lost four straight.
Boyle’s goal just 5:33 into play off a loose rebound provided an emotional start to the game. It was Boyle’s first goal since being diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer during training camp. Thursday marked his fifth game since returning to the Devils lineup after undergoing treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia.
The goal brought tears to Boyle’s eyes, and he admitted his intense reaction caught him by surprise.
“Usually I can separate it (emotions), but that wasn’t the case,” explained Boyle. “It was a wave of number of different things. My family, my wife has been through the ringer. She’s had to deal with a lot more than I’d say I have gone through. I’m not playing tonight and I’m not here if not for my wife and my family and these guys in here. I try to separate it, but it’s a little bit bigger tonight than probably ever.”
The Devils maintained the 1-0 lead until Anton Slepyshev beat Schneider with a left-wing shot for his first goal of the season at 6:50 of the second period.
However, the Devils answered right back, regaining their one-goal advantage before the second intermission. Stafford scored his fifth goal off a power move to the net and slick finish past Talbot — with Mark Letestu draped on his back — to make it 2-1 Devils at the 18:25 mark of the second.
The Oilers pulled even again at 3:21 of the third period when Lucic beat Schneider between the pads, and overtime was later secured when New Jersey’s Blake Coleman rang a shot off the crossbar late in regulation.
“That was a huge goal for us,” Talbot said of Lucic’s third of the season. “That line had a couple big goals for us tonight to get it to overtime; and Connor and Leon took over like they do in the overtime period. It’s nice to get some secondary scoring. The guys played great tonight.”
NOTES: Devils RW Kyle Palmieri returned to the lineup after missing six straight games because of a lower body injury. To make room for Palmieri on the roster, the Devils placed LW Marcus Johansson (concussion) on injured reserve. ... The Devils scratched C Pavel Zacha, D Ben Lovejoy and D Dalton Prout. ... Oilers G Cam Talbot, who made his 10th consecutive start, appeared in the 200th game of his NHL career. ... Oilers RW Zack Kassian earned the 100th point of his career, assisting on Milan Lucic’s third-period goal. ...The Oilers scratches were LW Drake Caggiula, D Yohann Auvitu and LW Jujhar Khaira.