Power play sparks Edmonton Oilers to win over Canadiens

Connor McDavid had two goals and two assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night at Rogers Place.

“I thought the power play did a good job of finding a way to capitalize,” McDavid said.

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three helpers.

The Canadiens took the lead on a power play goal by Nick Suzuki late in the first period. Early in the second, the Oilers responded on a man advantage of their own when Draisaitl set up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for his 11th.

Montreal got into penalty trouble as the second went on. While already down a man, Joel Edmundson was assessed a five-minute major for cross checking Zach Hyman in the head. Now enjoying a five-on-three, McDavid set up Draisaitl for his big one-timer to put the Oilers up 2-1.

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“I’m happy we scored on that. That was a tough play and I thought it was the appropriate call,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said of the major penalty. “They had time to review it and make sure it was the right call. You want to really make sure you’re bearing down on that one.”

“It’s a form of our team toughness,” McDavid said of the power play. “If teams want to come in and take shots and runs at guys, we’ve got no problem scoring on the power play — it’s what we get paid to do.”

Then, Suzuki was charged with closing his hand on the puck to give the Oilers another two-man advantage. McDavid beat Jake Allen with a wrister to put the Oilers up 3-1 halfway through the second.

Still in the second, Evgenii Dadonov tapped in a rebound. Arber Xhekaj beat Stuart Skinner from the point on a two-man advantage to make it 3-3. The Oilers forced a turnover in Montreal’s end with time expiring, allowing Darnell Nurse to put the Oilers back in front with 4.2 ticks on the clock.

“I thought our group did a really good job of playing a nice, solid, mature third period and not giving them anything. And anything we did give them, (Skinner) shut them down,” McDavid said.

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With the Canadiens pressing for the tying goal in the third, Draisaitl sent McDavid in on a breakaway. He went to his forehand to make it 5-3 Oilers with 5:20 left in the third.

“I thought as a group in the third period, we were blocking shots and doing everything that was needed to finish out the game, and you can’t ask for a better period surrendering no goals,” Skinner said.

Skinner made 30 stops for the win. The Oilers were 3/5 on the power play while the Canadiens were 2/3.

“He’s earned the right to feel good about himself and his game, but what I know about Stuart is he’s a professional guy and he’s not going to let it get to his head,” Woodcroft said after the game.

The Oilers, 14-11, will host Washington on Monday (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 5 p.m., game at 6:30 p.m.).

With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED

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