Evan Bouchard scored 1:50 into overtime to give the Edmonton Oilers a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night.
“Fans got their money’s worth”, head coach Jay Woodcroft said after the game. “It was well played, wasn’t run-and-gun and taking needless chances. It was a workman-like win.”
The Oilers have won eight straight to match the second longest winning streak in team history. They’re 13-0-1 in their last 14 games.
The Avalanche took an early lead when Oilers forward Nick Bjugstad tried to swipe the puck out of harm’s way but inadvertently banked it into his own goal off goaltender Stuart Skinner. Ben Meyers was given credit. Mattias Ekholm tied it 36 seconds later, stepping into a drop pass from Ryan McLeod for his ninth of the season.
The Oilers outshot the Avs 17-8 in the second period and had a four-minute power play after Devon Toews was flagged for high sticking Zach Hyman. However, the game remained 1-1 after two.
The Avalanche went on the power play with 5:31 left in the third. They had six shots on the man advantage but couldn’t find the go-ahead goal. The Oilers had a shorthanded two-on-one but Leon Draisaitl’s pass to Ekholm was tipped away.
Connor McDavid had an open look in overtime but was hooked by Bowen Byram to give the Oilers a power play. Bouchard fired a wrister past Alexandar Georgiev to end it.
“Connor (McDavid) actually called out and said, ‘do a little fake’, and see what opens up. Lucky for me, the lane opened up and it went in,” Bouchard said about the goal.
“Powerplays are huge. When you get the opportunity, especially in overtime, you got to make the team pay. After that four-minute where we didn’t score it gave us momentum and I thought we kept building off that”, Bouchard said.
It’s the Oilers 27th road win of the season to set a new team record.
Skinner made 28 saves to improve to 28-14-5.
“It’s a good time for us to get rolling here,” said Skinner. “It’s a good time to feel good about your game, feel confident. I think everyone here has been feeling that way. It’s kind of an unspoken feeling but it’s important to have that especially going into the first round.”
“We’re pushing to finish as high as we possibly can. We came into this building against the Stanley Cup champs, this is how we expected to play,” Woodcroft said.
The Oilers, 49-23-9, will end the regular season at home against San Jose on Thursday (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m., game at 7 p.m.).