Edmonton Oilers stay undefeated under Woodcroft with 7-3 win over Anaheim Ducks

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The Edmonton Oilers improved to 4-0 under new head coach Jay Woodcroft with a 7-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night at Rogers Place.

“We didn’t get discouraged. We battled back and set ourselves up with the second period to go into the third, and I thought we did a good job finishing,” Oilers forward Evander Kane said of the team’s resilience.

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The Oilers are 9-2-1 in their last 12 games.

The teams combined for three power-play goals in the first.

Adam Henrique and Sonny Milano had deflection goals for the Ducks. Kane replied for Edmonton with 1:14 left in the period.

“It was a heck of a goal, and right before that power-play goal at the end of the first, Darnell (Nurse) had a great chance as well,” Woodcroft said of the second power-play unit.

“And we had another chance put off the shoulder of the goaltender, so putting them on in the third period there, that was certainly trying to empower them.”

“We talk about the playoffs here — the latter-half of the season — it’s huge to have not just one unit stay out there for two minutes, but to have both units going. That gives Connor and Leon a rest too,” Oilers forward Derek Ryan said after the game.

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Read more: Edmonton Oilers tough out win over Kings

Early in the second, officials took a long look at a potential goal on a jam play by the Ducks. The puck appeared to cross the line under the left skate of Oilers goaltender Mike Smith, but it was ruled to have happened after the whistle. Not long after, Ryan tipped Cody Ceci’s point shot for his fourth of the season.

The Oilers kept coming. Jesse Puljujarvi fanned on a pass from Connor McDavid but had the puck go in off his skate. Then Ryan McLeod set up Leon Draisaitl for a tap-in, giving the Oilers three goals in 6:09.

Read more: Edmonton Oilers shut out Sharks

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Early in the third, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made a slick pass to Warren Foegele, who ripped in his eighth to make it 5-2 for the Oilers.

Trevor Zegras gave Anaheim some life, potting a bank shot from low on the left wing. Draisaitl and Zach Hyman came right back with quick goals to put the Oilers up 7-3.

“This league isn’t like the NBA where you can have two guys and win the championship,” Kane said after the game. “You see how hard it is to win and the teams that win don’t always have the best players.

“It’s important for everybody to contribute and pull their weight and be a part of the team.”

Smith finished with 27 saves for his fifth win of the season. Puljujarvi left the game in the second with a lower-body injury.

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“I know he came back out and tested it a little bit, but I don’t have any more information on that,” Woodcroft said after the game.

The Oilers (27-18-3) will play in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon. Listen to the game live on 630 CHED, starting with The Faceoff Show at 12:30 p.m. The game starts at 2 p.m.

–With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED

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