McDavid scores in OT to lead Oilers over Isles
NEW YORK — Goalie Cam Talbot spent the third period Tuesday night just trying to get the Edmonton Oilers to overtime. It took less than a minute for Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid to reward Talbot’s faith and give the struggling Oilers a much-needed win.
McDavid scored 38 seconds into overtime as the Oilers began a pivotal four-game east coast road trip with a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders at Barclays Center.
The rapid finish in overtime came after the Islanders outshot the Oilers 13-2 in a scoreless third period. Talbot made several point-blank saves to preserve the tie in the final minutes, including a stop of Anders Lee with about five seconds remaining.
“Anytime you get to 3-on-3 and you got those two guys on the ice, anything can happen,” said Talbot, who finished with 36 saves.
Talbot had to survive one more Islanders threat before the game-winning goal. New York captain John Tavares got into the crease in the opening seconds of overtime before passing to Mathew Barzal, who could not corral the puck.
McDavid swooped in, grabbed the puck and headed up the ice. Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy caught up to McDavid around the New York blue line, where McDavid passed to Draisaitl. A couple moments later Draisaitl spun and passed to McDavid, who went to one knee and fired a shot past Thomas Greiss.
“Leon picked it up with eyes in the back of his head, made a tremendous play,” Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said. “It was a fun goal to watch.”
The Oilers (5-8-1) hope the fun is finally just beginning for a team that began this season with high expectations. Sparked by the emerging superstar McDavid, Edmonton made the playoffs for the first time in 10 seasons last year and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals.
But the Oilers have yet to win consecutive games this season and have the third-fewest points in the NHL.
“Just good to feel good again and get a win under our belt,” McDavid said.
Now the task for the Oilers is to repeat that feeling. Edmonton also began its first multi-game road trip of the season with a 2-1 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 19 but followed that up with consecutive 2-1 losses to the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
“We started the same way on our last road trip, didn’t end up the way we wanted,” McDavid said. “It’s our job to keep it going from here.”
Draisaitl scored 1:59 into the second period for Edmonton, whose lead lasted a mere 2:44 before ex-Oilers star Jordan Eberle, playing against his original NHL team for the first time, tied the score for the Islanders.
The Oilers traded Eberle to the Islanders in exchange for Ryan Strome on June 22. Strome received a brief video tribute in the first period.
Eberle was one of three Islanders players with multiple shots in the third period. His second shot was gloved by Talbot with two minutes left.
“We just didn’t capitalize on our chances,” Eberle said.
Greiss, making consecutive starts for the first time this season, recorded 23 saves for the Islanders (8-5-2), who lost for just the third time in the last nine games.
“Both teams had some pretty good looks,” Islanders head coach Doug Weight said. “They’re a hungry team. It was a dangerous position for us. (The Oilers) have been at home for a while and they’re hearing things and they’re trying to get on the right track. They’re a good hockey club. It’s not an enigma, what they did last year.”
NOTES: The Islanders scratched D Adam Pelech (upper body), who missed his third straight game, as well as C Alan Quine and D Dennis Seidenberg. ... The Oilers scratched LW Anton Slepyshev (lower body), who missed his second consecutive game, as well as D Yohann Auvitu and LW Jujhar Khaira. ... Islanders LW Nikolay Kulemin didn’t return after suffering an upper body injury in the second period. ... Oilers G Cam Talbot has started all but one game this season for Edmonton. ... The game featured the last four rookies to collect five assists in a game — Oilers C Connor McDavid, Oilers C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Islanders C John Tavares and Islanders C Mathew Barzal, the latter of whom became the latest to achieve the feat on Sunday night.