“It’s my job to produce,” Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said after his team played Tuesday night.
And produce he did.
The Oilers’ superstar captain took a breakout pass from goaltender Mike Smith and deftly backhanded the puck over the outstretched left leg of Sharks netminder James Reimer as Edmonton picked up a massive 2-1 win in overtime in California.
The Oilers have won five in a row. McDavid has 27 points over the course of a 14-game point streak.
Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl didn’t play after being shaken up Sunday night against Anaheim. Before missing Tuesday’s game, Draisaitl had played 354 consecutive games dating back to October 2017.
The Sharks scored the only goal of the first period when Tomas Hertl powered a power-play one-timer past Smith.
After a scoreless second period, Rudolfs Balcers nearly extended the Sharks’ lead in the first minute of the third, but his backhand clanged off the post.
“It wasn’t our smoothest game or cleanest game,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft admitted after the game.
The Oilers finally broke through while killing a penalty in the third period. Zach Hyman found Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in front, who swept the puck past Reimer for his 10th goal of the season.
Smith made a couple of big saves in the dying moments to ensure the game went to overtime.
In the extra frame, Smith made a glove save on Brent Burns, dropped the puck and whacked it into the neutral zone. McDavid tracked it down, went in alone and beat Reimer with a backhand.
McDavid said he was impressed by the pass from Smith to set him up.
“Our goalie makes probably the play of the year,” McDavid said. “Smitty plays the puck unbelievably well.”
The Oilers (41-25-5) move a point ahead of Los Angeles into second in the Pacific Division. They visit the Kings on Thursday.
–With files from David Boles, 630 CHED