Curtis McElhinney made 40 saves as the Carolina Hurricanes downed the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 in Raleigh Friday night.
The teams combined for three goals in 1:39 early in the game. The Hurricanes’ Nino Niederreiter opened the scoring at the 37-second mark. Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl finished off a two-on-one with Zack Kassian 55 seconds later. Carolina’s Lucas Wallmark completed the outburst to make it 2-1 Hurricanes at the 2:16 mark.
“It’s not a very good start obviously,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said after the game.
The Oilers outshot the Hurricanes 17-5 in the second period but couldn’t find the tying goal. Oilers forward Alex Chiasson was wide open for a one-timer from the slot but was denied by McElhinney. Edmonton’s Ty Rattie had a late chance in tight on the power play but was turned away.
The Oilers had more pressure in the third but couldn’t beat McElhinney. Niederreiter added an insurance goal for the Hurricanes with 3:37 left.
“You have this many scoring chances, you work this hard, and you’d expect a better reward for it,” said Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock.
“We’re chasing the game too much,” he said. “We’re getting down early in games or we’re chasing the game halfway through, and that takes a lot of energy out of you.”
“I think if we got a lead, we might be able to be even better, but we’re chasing games a little bit too much.
“That puts a lot of pressure on playing one line. I thought again today, the line was excellent but we made a tired mistake on the 3-1 goal.”
The Hurricanes have scored in the first minute in three of the last four games against the Oilers.
McElhinney improves to 7-0 in his career versus Edmonton.
The Oilers (24-28-5) have just one win in their last ten games. They’ll visit the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of the Edmonton Oilers’ 2018-19 season.