Leon Draisaitl had six assists, one shy of an NHL record, as the Edmonton Oilers drubbed the Ottawa Senators 8-5 Sunday night at Rogers Place.
“He’s just not that one-dimensional guy where he’s just a great passer. He’s got a great shot,” Oilers forward James Neal said. “If you’re not going to take him away, he can bury it too. I knew he was a good player, but getting to see him every day—he’s special.”
LISTEN BELOW: James Neal
Stuart Skinner made his first NHL start in goal and made 33 saves for the win.
“It was a lot of fun to get right into it,” Skinner said. “I was a little bit nervous at the beginning. I had to lean back and not see everything happening and try to stay focused—not get too overwhelmed.”
LISTEN BELOW: Stuart Skinner
“It’s not an ideal situation for him to come in but I thought he did a great job,” Draisaitl said. “He made some big saves. I thought we could’ve helped him out more—kept it a little tighter—but that’s his first game and that’s something he’ll remember for the rest of his life.”
LISTEN BELOW: Leon Draisaitl
The Oilers started the offence early when Dominik Kahun had his shot deflect off a Senators stick and drift by Matt Murray eight seconds into the game. James Neal added a power play goal four minutes later. Colin White replied not long after, batting a puck out of the air and past Skinner.
The scoring was far from done. Tyson Barrie ripped home a power play one-time for his first with the Oilers. Neal scored again, then Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added another power play marker. The Senators got goals 1:32 apart from Brady Tkachuk and Drake Batherson, and the Oilers were up 5-3 after one.
Connor McDavid extended the lead to 6-3 in the first minute of the second with the Oilers fourth power play tally of the night. Darnell Nurse and Kailer Yamamoto added goals later in the period to make it 8-3 after two.
“It definitely helps when you’re up five,” Skinner said. “It lets you get your feet underneath you and take a couple deep breaths and settle in.”
Tim Stutzle and Austin Watson scored 47 seconds apart for the Senators in the third.
“I think we were a little too loose. Obviously giving up five is not going to cut it most nights,” Draisaitl said.
McDavid had a goal and four assists. The Oilers were 4/5 on the power play.
LISTEN BELOW: Head coach Dave Tippett
The Oilers, 5-6, will host Ottawa again on Tuesday.
With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott