Oilers score 4 in shutout win against Devils
New Jersey Devils' Travis Zajac (19) and Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) battle for the puck during third period NHL action in Edmonton, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)
EDMONTON -- A three-goal surge by the Oilers in the second period proved too much for the Devils to overcome, as Edmonton salvaged the final game of a three-game homestand with a 4-0 win over New Jersey.
It was a significant victory, beyond just limiting a losing streak at two, as Friday’s win produced the team’s most decorated scoresheet of the season: Eight players, excluding Connor McDavid, combined for 12 points on Friday.
However, the first tense moment was provided by a former Oiler midway through the second.
An Edmonton turnover in the offensive zone landed on the stick of Taylor Hall, who put on the burners for a breakaway chance on Mikko Koskinen. Hall went high with his on the Oilers goaltender, ringing the Devils' best chance of the game off the crossbar.
Aside from that chance, the first period was uneventful in comparison of what was to come.
The Oilers opened the scoring less than two minutes into the second period.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins set it up with a stretch pass from inside his own blue line, finding Leon Draisaitl at the Devils’ blue line, and sending him in on a breakaway. The team’s leading scorer went five-hole with his backhand for the 1-0 lead.
While the Devils controlled most of that period, aside from the early goal with a few good chances to score, the Oilers took over in the second half of the period, and the rest of the game.
The Oilers got some long-awaited depth-scoring with less than five minutes to play in the frame.
The play got worked around to the Oilers' bottom-two defence pairing. Kris Russell passed it to Matt Benning along the blue line. With traffic in front of Devils’ goalie, Corey Schneider, Benning’s point shot got redirected by Oilers’ fourth-line centre, Gaetan Haas, for his second goal of the season.
Matt Benning had a combined eight points leading up to this game.
Just over a minute later, the Oilers added another goal, this time by James Neal.
Schneider, again with traffic in front of him, made the initial save on the Persson point shot, but the rebound fell within reach of Neal, who snuck the backhand past Schneider for the 3-0 lead.
The Oilers would add a fourth goal in the third period, a powerplay marker for an Oiler desperate for his first of the season.
Nugent Hopkins put a shot on net from the slot area, Chiasson got his stick on it, tipping it past Schneider and throwing his fist in the air in celebration of his first goal of the season.
Nugent-Hopkins picked up his second assist of the night.
The Oilers snap a two-game losing skid with the 4-0 win. They'll head to Anaheim on Sunday to open up a two-game road trip.