McDavid and Draisaitl accumulate eight points and the Oilers beat the Canadiens 5-3
EDMONTON — The Canadiens committed a sin by taking six consecutive penalties on Saturday night at Rogers Place, and Connor McDavid’s gang took the Montreal squad to hell.
McDavid had two goals and two assists, Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists and the Edmonton Oilers took advantage of three consecutive power-play goals in the second period to win 5-3 against the Habs.
Indiscipline sank the Canadian, even though he was 2-for-3 on the power play. For their part, the Oilers were 3-for-5.
“We were in control, then we took a bad penalty, underlined the head coach of the Canadian, Martin St-Louis. We came back in the game and we had our chances in the third period.
The Canadian made up for a two-goal deficit in the second period, but Darnell Nurse hurt the Habs by hitting the target with less than five seconds to go.
“We had the wind in our sails. This goal hurt us,” admitted St-Louis.
Nick Suzuki, Evgenii Dadonov and Arber Xhekaj hit the target for the Canadian (12-11-1). Jake Allen, who was making his third straight start, stopped 17 shots.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored for the Oilers (14-11-0). Zach Hyman and Tyson Barrie were credited with two assists each, while Stuart Skinner made 30 saves.
Jordan Harris and Chris Wideman were left out at the Canadian. Johnathan Kovacevic and Rem Pitlick have been added to the lineup.
The Habs finished the game with one less defender. Joel Edmundson was ejected in the second period after cross-checking the side of Hyman’s head.
The Canadian will conclude his trip by facing the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, then the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday.
The Canadian controlled the game at five against five in the first period, but it was on the power play that he opened the scoring, with 3:23 to go. Suzuki outsmarted Skinner with an accurate shot from the near side.
A silly penalty from Xhekaj for blowing off McDavid’s skates behind the play started the Canadiens’ ride in the penalty box late in the first period.
The Oilers tied the game on a power play 1:25 into the second period. Nugent-Hopkins took advantage of a cross-handed pass from Draisaitl to get the ropes moving.
The sky fell on the Canadiens’ head when Edmundson received a major penalty and a game misconduct for a cross-check. Hyman was cut in the face on the footage as he also crashed into the tape.
Finding themselves on the power play of two players, the Oilers took a 2-1 lead at 6:27. This time it was Draisaitl who scored on a one-timer following a pass from McDavid.
The Canadian looked like he could get away with it when Suzuki went to the dungeon for closing his hand on the puck, giving the Oilers another two-man advantage. McDavid completed the job himself, beating Allen at 9:36.
True to form, the Canadian showed character and resumed his wanderings.
Dadonov cut the lead to 3-2 with 6:34 left in the second frame, taking advantage of a generous comeback after a Joel Armia pitch.
Xhekaj then tied the game 3:12 later, when the Canadian found himself on the power play of two players.
However, Nurse restored the lead to the Oilers before the end of the second period. Kovacevic lost his balance behind the Canadiens’ net, then Nurse completed a nice exchange with Hyman and Draisaitl.
Joel Armia hit the crossbar early in the third period for the Canadian.
McDavid delivered the knockout blow with 5:20 to go. He beat Allen on a breakaway.
Locker Room Echoes
Edmonton suburban Kaiden Guhle admitted he was a little nervous about facing Connor McDavid.
« I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous at first. I had to watch his body and simplify my footwork. He is so good. He is able to wait for you to make the first move.
Mike Matheson acknowledged that the indiscipline had hurt the Canadian.
« When you’re playing against a team that has one of the best power plays in the league and has two of the best players in the world, it’s hard to give two long 5-on-3s and think you’ll win. »
Nick Suzuki had a hard time explaining the Canadian’s indiscipline.
“The first half of the second half and one of the weirdest things I’ve seen. At least we fought and we managed to tie the game.”