The Edmonton Oilers had a hard-fought 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens Monday night.
Like any other victory, it’s worth two points in the standings.
But maybe the true value of the game will be revealed at a later date — like in the playoffs.
“These types of games are good for our group. They’re good mentally. You’re going to be in that position again. The more you do that, the more you’re capable of playing those types of games,” said winger Alex Chiasson.
“I wouldn’t put it a statement game, but your group learns that if it competes hard enough, it has a chance to win,” said head coach Dave Tippett.
With body checks flying from the opening faceoff, the Oilers matched the Canadiens physically and eventually took over in the third period.
“That was an intense game. It was a physical game. It was a good test for our team,” added Tippett. “I liked the way our guys stuck with it and got better as the game went on.”
The Oilers and Habs will meet again Wednesday night at Rogers Place. Canadiens goalie Carey Price will be out a week with a concussion after getting bumped by Chiasson in the first period on Monday.
“I kind of read the play wrong a little bit. I thought Connor (McDavid) was going to go around,” explained Chiasson. “I was trying to make my read off that. I apologized to him afterwards. I think he realized that wasn’t my intention. I hope he’s doing all right.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could return to action for the Oilers on Wednesday after missing the last four games. He took part in Tuesday’s optional practice and will be evaluated in the morning.
Jujhar Khaira left Monday’s game after being staggered by a hit from Alexander Romanov.
“He’s feeling fine today. They’re going to do a few tests on him the next few days and see where he goes,” said Tippett.