Leon Draisaitl scores 40th as Edmonton Oilers blank Blue Jackets
Leon Draisaitl scored his 40th goal of the season and added two assists as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 on Saturday.
Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock is hoping the win has people focusing on the team’s strengths instead of its shortcomings.
“People bitch and complain about what we don’t have. Well, what we got is a team. You gotta give us that,” he said after the game. “What we got is a damn team, and a good one. We’re not going to be easy to play against for the rest of the year.”
LISTEN BELOW: HEAD COACH KEN HITCHCOCK
Mikko Koskinen made 30 saves for his fourth shutout of the year.
Koskinen said it felt good to get the win.
“Doesn’t matter if it’s 6-5 or 4-0, a win is a win. Especially happy with how the team played in front of me and thought it was good.”
LISTEN BELOW: MIKKO KOSKINEN
Zack Kassian scored the only goal of the first period. He took a cross-ice pass from Draisaitl and wired his 10th of the season past Sergei Bobrovsky.
Josh Currie redirected a hard pass from Draisaitl to make it 2-0 early in the second period. Less than four minutes later, Draisaitl took a pass from Connor McDavid and fired home his 40th of the season. Still in the second, McDavid centred to Alex Chiasson, who snapped a 21-game goalless drought to make it 4-0.
Chiasson said it felt good to get that monkey off his back.
“I think I’ve had some good looks lately. It just hasn’t been going in for me. Hopefully this one tonight just gives me a little more freedom just to play with my instincts and a little more freedom just to play the game, not trying to be so robotic out there. Hopefully, I can carry that momentum into Monday night and the remainder of the season.”
Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo replaced Bobrovsky for Columbus in the third period.
Draisaitl has 15 points over the course of a 10-game point streak. McDavid had three assists while Kris Russell added two helpers.
Hitchcock said it was another good team performance.
“You don’t have to have the best players in the league to be successful. You need to have the best team and that’s what we’re proving night in and night out. We’ve got a hell of a team going on right now and we’re not gonna let go off the rope. You don’t know how long it takes to come together but this group is very tight and very cohesive with our game right now and we want to keep it going.”
The Oilers, 28-30-7, will finish their five-game road trip in Buffalo on Monday.
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