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Leon Draisaitl leads the charge as Edmonton Oilers tame Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes' Haydn Fleury (4) and goalie Scott Darling (33) defend the goal against Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl, of Germany, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, March 20, 2018.
Carolina Hurricanes' Haydn Fleury (4) and goalie Scott Darling (33) defend the goal against Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl, of Germany, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, March 20, 2018. AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists while leading the Edmonton Oilers to a 7-3 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night.

Carolina hit the board first 4:30 into the game when Oilers defenceman Yohann Auvitu accidentally knocked a loose puck into his own net. Brock McGinn was given credit. The Oilers came back with three goals in 4:24. Drake Caggiula roofed a centring pass from Draisaitl to tie it.

After the game, the forward insisted it was a team effort.

“[There were] tough odds against us, but the team responded really well and all four lines were ready off the bat, and I think that helped us win the game,” Draisaitl said.
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Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling made a great toe save on Matt Benning. The rebound flipped behind the net. Benning batted it out of the air and off Darling’s back for his first goal since Dec. 12. Later, Darling made a sprawling save on Ryan Strome but a Hurricanes defenceman cleared the resulting rebound off Darling and into the net. Sebastian Aho added a power-play goal for Carolina before the end of the first.

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Early in the second, the Hurricanes gave the puck away in front of their own net, allowing Draisaitl to set up Pontus Aberg for his first goal as an Oiler. It was also Aberg’s first goal since Dec. 14, when he was still playing for Nashville. Teuvo Teravainen replied for Carolina but the Oilers came back with goals from Auvitu and Draisaitl to lead 6-3 after two.

After the game, Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said Draisaitl has been a standout all year.

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“We can’t throw Leon into a pile and paint him with a brush in a two- or three-game span,” McLellan said. “He’s been a very good player, able to produce offensively and defensively.

“Pretty admirable year.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers rally in third to upend Florida Panthers

Jesse Puljujarvi converted his own rebound to round out the scoring in the third.

It was the second four-point game of Draisaitl’s career. Aberg had a goal and two assists. Cam Talbot made 29 saves for the win in net.

The Oilers (32-36-5) will visit Ottawa on Thursday.

-With files from Kerry McAthey