Edmonton Oilers clinch playoff spot with blowout win over Ducks

The Edmonton Oilers clinched a playoff spot with a 6-0 rout of the Anaheim Ducks at Rogers Place on Saturday night.

Leon Draisaitl recorded a hat trick and hit 50 goals for the third time in his career.

“It’s always a huge honour and I think this (50-goal season) is very exciting for me because it was at home — the other two were on the road, so it was great to do it in front of our home fans,” Draisaitl said.

“It’s really impressive,” Connor McDavid said Saturday. “Can’t say enough good things about him — he’s been on a real tear and tonight was no different.”

Jack Campbell made 36 saves for his first shutout of the season.

“We were a little bit sloppy at the beginning of the game but he was solid and gave us a chance to get our feet under us,” McDavid said. “I’m really happy for him. It’s been an up and down year and he’s battled so hard, so to see him get rewarded … the boys love that.”

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The Oilers are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games.

The Ducks outplayed the Oilers in the first but were repeatedly thwarted by Jack Campbell, who stopped all 17 Anaheim shots on goal.

“It was nice to get some rubber in the first and get into the game, and I thought our guys did a great job of sticking with it and finishing strong and we had a really solid 60-minutes,” Campbell said post-game.

“Frankly, my game hasn’t been at the level I expect it to be at any point this year, so tonight was a great step for me, personally, in just having fun and relaxing and getting out of my own way,” Campbell said

The Oilers escaped the first with the lead thanks to Zach Hyman’s deflection of Mattias Ekholm’s point shot with 2:04 on the clock.

The Oilers turned the tables in the second and completely dominated. Draisaitl cut in front and flipped in a backhand to make it 2-0. Darnell Nurse drove a long shot through Jack Campbell to set a new career high with 42nd points. Just as a power play expired, Draisaitl finished off an Oilers flurry by tucking in the puck from the side of the net.

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“For him to be the best passer and have the ability to put it in the net like he does, he’s a very dangerous player and we’re happy to have him on our team,” Oilers Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said.

The Oilers kept the pressure on in the third. Connor McDavid finished off a long session of possession by flicking in his 62nd of the season. Gibson left the game with an injury with 13:36 left and was replaced by Lukas Dostal.

Draisaitl sent hats flying onto the ice with a shorthanded snipe from down the right wing with 4:59 remaining. It was Draisaitl’s eighth regular season hat-trick.

“I was probably being a little too selfish in the third,” Draisaitl admitted with a laugh after the game. “I think that’s alright. I tend to overpass it so for once in my life, it’s okay.”

The Oilers, 44-23-9, will visit the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 7 p.m., game at 8:30 p.m.).


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