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Edmonton Oilers punish Washington Capitals 7-2

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Zach Hyman had a natural hat trick and Connor Brown ended a 72-game goalless drought as the Edmonton Oilers rolled to a 7-2 win over the Washington Capitals Wednesday night at Rogers Place.

“Everyone’s so happy for him,” Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said about Brown after the game.

“He’s worked hard, he’s played really well and he’s probably the most unfortunate player in the NHL — the amount of goal posts he’s hit and the chances that just haven’t been able to go in. Tonight, he drives the net and it goes off a skate.”

Washington forward Nic Dowd was slapped with a double-minor for high-sticking Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse just 1:05 into the game. The Oilers scored late in the four-minute advantage when Leon Draisaitl pounded in a one-timer.

The Oilers went on another power play soon after which resulted in Connor McDavid beating Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper with a wrister.

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The Capitals scored on their first shot eight-and-a-half minutes into the game when Ivan Miroshnichenko put a sharp angle shot right off the post and in.

Connor McMichael scored on the Caps’ second shot of the game, beating Oilers netminder Stuart Skinner on the power play.

The Oilers responded 29 seconds later with Hyman muscling in his 44th of the season.

Late in the first, Skinner dove to his right for an improbable denial on a wide-open Alex Ovechkin.

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Hyman notched his 45th with 5:47 left in the second, taking a pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and popping a wrister inside the post.

In the final minute of the second, Evan Bouchard drilled a power-play point shot that went off Hyman on the way in to make it 5-2 Oilers. It was Hyman’s fifth hat trick of the season.

“I like playing here. I love playing in front of these fans,” Hyman said after the win.

“You just don’t score by luck,” Knoblauch said. “You do occasionally, but for a guy who’s going to surpass 50 (goals), I assume, you’re doing a lot of good things and a lot of things that other guys don’t quite have the skill to do.

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Warren Foegele made it 6-2 with 9:17 left in the third.

Only 17 seconds later, Brown ended his scoreless drought when Evander Kane’s pass went in off his skate. It was Brown’s first goal since March 24, 2022. Adam Henrique had the second assist for his first point as an Oiler.

“It’s just kind of nice to have it behind me,” Brown chuckled after the game. “It’s nice to get one and contribute offensively, but it’s nice to have it in the past.”

“The building was loud — one of the louder times I’ve seen the building,” Hyman said. “I’ve played with him a long time. He’s a really good player who can score.

With three minutes left, Skinner shot out his glove hand to make another mind-bending save on Ovechkin.

Skinner finished with 23 saves. Draisaitl had a goal and three assists.

Defenceman Mattias Ekholm missed the game with an illness. Troy Stecher played 13:33 in his Oilers debut.

The Oilers (40-21-3) will host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. You can listen to the game live on 630 CHED, beginning with The Faceoff Show at 6:30 p.m. The actual game starts at 8 p.m.

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