The Edmonton Oilers came up short again Wednesday night, falling 4-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It was the fifth-straight loss for the Oilers, who went 0-3-2 on their five-game road trip.
“This is a results-oriented business,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said after the game.
“The effort, the compete and the try were all front and centre tonight.”
For the 21st time in the last 25 games, the Oilers allowed the first goal. Toronto forward William Nylander’s shot went wide, but the puck came off the back boards, hit Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith’s right skate and went in to make it 1-0 Leafs 4:25 in. John Tavares got credit for the goal.
The Oilers replied with two goals in 1:14. Brendan Perlini converted a feed from Colton Sceviour, then Kailer Yamamoto set up Leon Draisaitl for his 26th of the season.
“Draisaitl has an impact on so many parts of the game,” Tippett said. “He knew he was going to get a heavy workload and he did.”
In the final minute of the first, Leafs defenceman T.J. Brodie’s point shot banked in off Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse to make it 2-2.
The second period was scoreless. Smith stopped Nylander on a breakaway with just over one minute to go. .
With 8:35 left in the third, Ilya Mikheyev ripped a power-play wrister past Smith’s glove to put the Leafs up 3-2. Alexander Kerfoot scored an empty netter in the final minute.
“You hope there’s better days ahead, but it’s frustrating,” Draisaitl said.
The Oilers were without Connor McDavid, Derek Ryan and Tyson Barrie, who all went into COVID-19 protocol Wednesday morning.
The NHL announced during the game that the Oilers’ home game against Chicago on Jan. 18 has been postponed.
The Oilers are now 18-14-2 on the year. The team’s next game comes next Monday, when the Ottawa Senators come to Rogers Place.
–With files from David Boles, 630 CHED