Oilers can't weather the Hurricanes' power play in second straight loss at home.
EDMONTON -- The trend of inconsistent play—and losses—on home ice continued for the Oilers on Tuesday.
Though they were able to erase a three-goal deficit, the league's top power play got a taste of their own medicine as the Hurricanes were near perfect on the man advantage on route to a 6-3 win.
"You grab some things out of that game you think you did well," Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said while evaluating his team's performance. "But you can’t give up six and make the mistakes we did and expect to win."
The road team got off to another hot start at Rogers Place as the Hurricanes scored three unanswered goals in the first period.
After Sebastian Aho finished off a beautiful passing play by circling the net and redirecting a perfectly timed pass from Teuvo Teravainen past Mikko Koskinen to open the scoring, two late penalties really put the Oilers in a bind before the end of the period.
First, Nino Niederreiter cashed in on a Darnell Nurse elbowing penalty. Niederreiter popped up from behind the Edmonton net to tip a thigh-high Jake Gardiner shot past Koskinen. Then Zack Kassian took an interference penalty with 10 seconds left and Ryan Dzingel scored six seconds later to put the Canes up 3-0 after one.
"It's easy to look at the near past and see we haven't been able to close those ones out when we battle back," said Darnell Nurse, who finished the night with +3 rating. "But you look back to the beginning of the year and we won a lot of those games so we know we can do it, we got to find a way to get back to that."
The Oilers came out strong to start the second period though. After hitting a couple of posts, Kassian finally solved Petr Mrazek, scoring on the doorstep on a feed from Connor McDavid to cut the deficit 3-1.
The Canes took two penalties less than a minute into the third period, and while on the two-man advantage, Connor McDavid was awarded a penalty shot after a loose puck was covered inside Mrazek's crease by Carolina defenceman Brett Pesce.
And the league's top scorer, with all the time in the world and no defenders in front of him, lost the handle while making his way on the net. He did not even get a shot off.
That's the kind of night it was. Although the Oilers didn't let up despite some bad fortune.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his sixth of the season on that same power play and Kassian scored his second of the game and 11th of the season to tie it up, surging energy back into the building.
"We put ourselves behind the eight ball," said McDavid post game. "I liked the way our team battled back I thought our game was pretty good overall."
But those happy and hopeful cheers soon turned to frustrated chants.
After Jordan Martinook scored his second of the season to put the Canes back up, followed by a roughing Penalty on Kassian (who later picked up a 10-minute misconduct), Oilers fans delivered a clear message midway through the third.
"You suck ref!” echoed throughout the building.
Not long after that, Carolina scored their third power play goal on Aho's second of the game. And if that wasn't enough to seal it, Hurricanes defenceman Dougie Hamilton scored on Koskinen from centre ice, giving the Oilers a 6-3 loss.
"Tonight, our special teams wasn't where it needed to be and tonight it cost us," said McDavid.
The Oilers may be looking forward to hitting the road for a game against the Wild in St. Paul on Thursday after going 1-3-2 in their last six home games, compared to a 4-2 record on the road.
"For the most part we’ve been good at home," Nugent-Hopkins told reporters. "This one wasn't our best but we still battled, we were in there."
The Oilers return home to play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
- McDavid's three assists gives him a league leading 55 points in just 33 games
- Oilers top line finished with a +2 rating
- Oilers lose back to back games for the fourth time this season
- Oilers are now 8-4-3 at home having lost five of their last six at Rogers Place (1-3-2)