Leon Draisaitl scored 35 seconds into overtime to give the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers Monday night at Rogers Place.
Draisaitl added two assists to extend his point streak to 14 games.
“Every point is huge for us,” Draisaitl said. “We know the position we’re in. We’re trying to climb back in it and it was a huge win for us.”
Oilers captain Connor McDavid opened the scoring with a power-play goal just past the six-minute mark.
Less than two minutes later, Edmonton defenceman Matt Benning pounded a point shot past Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev.
“I kind of knew he was going to the goalie’s eyes,” Benning said of Kassian.”Without Kass going to the net, that doesn’t go in.”
The referee disallowed the goal, believing that Oilers forward Zack Kassian was guilty of goalie interference for knocking Georgiev. The Oilers challenged, and the replay showed Fredrik Claesson’s stick bumped Georgiev on the head, not Kassian’s. The call was overturned to put the Oilers up 2-0.
“Their guy initially hit Georgiev in the head with a stick, but our guy followed it with his version of hitting him in the head with a stick. That probably had more impact on goal than anything,” Rangers head coach David Quinn said. “Listen, when they go to review, it’s at least an educated call, and you live with it.”
“That’s unlucky. I was sure that it would be goalie interference because I got hit pretty hard,” Georgiev said. “I was surprised. I wasn’t looking at the jumbotron but since it’s my own guy, at least it’s understandable.”
Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux scored the only goal of the second period when his mid-range wrist shot eluded Oilers netminder Mikko Koskinen.
Koskinen made several other good saves in the period, while Georgiev came up with three stops on separate chances from Edmonton’s Colby Cave.
The Rangers’ Brett Howden tied it 2-2 93 seconds into the third.
The teams exchanged several good chances throughout the third. The Oilers went on a power play with 2:57 to go. Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins rang a shot off the iron, then teammate Alex Chiasson couldn’t handle a puck with an open net awaiting him.
“We just played a better game in the second and third, had better effort and got rewarded for it,” Lemieux said. “We’ve got a pretty good hockey team in here and our record doesn’t really show just how good we are and these few points that we’ve been missing out on sucks but that’s the way the game goes.”
In overtime, McDavid sent a cross-ice pass to Draisaitl, who fired a one-timer home for his 42nd goal of the season.
Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom left the game partway through the first after taking a puck to the midsection. Ken Hitchcock said his status will be updated on Tuesday but he expects Klefbom to be OK.
Benning took a head shot from New York’s Connor Brickley early in the third. He eventually returned to the bench but never came back on the ice.
“I feel fine,” Benning said. “The spotters up there do their job and I don’t blame them for that. I grabbed my face and got hit hard.”
LISTEN BELOW: Oilers’ defenseman Matt Benning speaks to the media after their 3-2 win over the New York Rangers.
The Oilers (31-31-7) are five points out of a playoff spot. They’ll host New Jersey on Wednesday.
Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of the Edmonton Oilers’ 2018-19 season.
– With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott and Scott Johnston