EDMONTON — Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid continue to make life difficult for opponents in crunch time.
Draisaitl scored the overtime winner as the Edmonton Oilers came away with a 4-3 victory over the suddenly slumping Florida Panthers on Monday.
It took just 22 seconds into the extra session for Draisaitl to take a pass back from McDavid and score his 13th of the season. McDavid had a goal and two assists, the first helper coming with five seconds left in regulation on the game-tying goal.
“It was kind of a weird one from our group. I thought we were kind of lethargic. We’ve talked about hanging in there, about winning with your B and C game,” McDavid said. “We kind of stole it late.
“Leo and I like getting two-on-ones.”
Tyson Barrie and Evan Bouchard also scored while Zach Hyman had three assists for the Oilers (12-10-0) who have come from behind to win two games in a row.
“You don't want to find yourself in that situation too much, but when we are, we’ve got a lot of confidence that we can just continue to play our game, stick with it and come away with a point or two,” Draisaitl said. “We've put in to two pretty solid games here.”
Stuart Skinner made 25 saves in the win.
Matthew Tkachuk, with one goal and one assist, Anton Lundell and Brandon Montour responded for the Panthers (10-8-4) who have lost five of their last six games. Spencer Knight stopped 36-of-40 shots.
Florida head coach Paul Maurice referred to the McDavid-Draisaitl combination as a lethal one.
“They are two dynamic players, they are a lot to handle. They tied the game and then won the game for them,” he said. “Our goaltender was fantastic tonight. We found a way to get the lead back. That’s a tough one to lose, with them scoring with five seconds left.
“The fight was there, but we know we can do better.”
The Panthers only needed 3:49 to open the scoring. Tkachuk took a pass that deflected off the skate of Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse and put it past Skinner after taking a couple of whacks at the puck for his 10th of the season.
Edmonton had a great chance a few minutes later when forward Mattias Janmark tipped a Barrie shot through Knight’s legs, but the puck ran out of steam before crossing the goal line and Knight was able to plop down on it.
The Oilers looked to have tied the score seven minutes into the second period as Hyman put his own rebound past Knight in tight, but the goal was waved off after officials determined he had kicked the puck into the net following a quick review.
Hyman helped make up for it shortly after on the power play, sending a pass more than half the length of the ice to spring McDavid on a breakaway. He beat Knight with a backhand shot following a deke for his 17th of the season.
Edmonton took the lead 5:18 into the third frame as Brett Kulak's shot took a lucky bounce off Hyman right to the stick of a pinching Barrie, who netted his fourth.
Florida tied the game 10:58 into the third as Lundell finished off a nice three-way passing play by deflecting a Sam Reinhart pass home, pushing his goal streak to three games.
The Panthers regained the lead with 4:44 remaining after a mad scramble in front on the power play saw the puck come back to Montour, who fired it into the top corner. Edmonton challenged the play, saying Tkachuk knocked the puck down with a high stick on the play, but the goal counted.
With just five seconds remaining in regulation, Bouchard took a desperate shot from the slot and beat Knight stick side for his third of the season.
Panther Aaron Ekblad recorded his 300th career NHL point … The Oilers have allowed six goals in the first three minutes of a game this season, the most of any team in the NHL … Undrafted forward James Hamblin made his NHL debut for the Oilers after being called up from their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield … Out with injuries for the Oilers were forwards Kailer Yamamoto (undisclosed), Evander Kane (wrist surgery), Warren Foegele (undisclosed) and Ryan McLeod (undisclosed) … Missing for the Panthers were star forward Aleksander Barkov (illness) and Anthony Duclair (torn Achilles). Recent call-up Alexsi Heponiemi took Barkov’s roster spot.
The Panthers are right back at it on Tuesday night as they play the second game of a five-game road trip against the Flames in Calgary. The Oilers begin a quick two-game trip in Chicago against the Blackhawks on Wednesday night.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2022.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press