Draisaitl's 4-point night helps Oilers beat Flames to stop slide
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Leon Draisaitl had two goals and two assists, Evan Bouchard also scored twice and the Edmonton Oilers came from behind to snap a seven-game losing streak Saturday night with a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Brendan Perlini added a goal for the Oilers (19-16-2), who were 2-11-2 in their previous 15 games. Connor McDavid had two assists and Mikko Koskinen made 44 saves in Edmonton’s first win since beating expansion Seattle on Dec. 18.
“It feels great. Losing is awful. It sucks. It is not fun. It feels like there is always a cloud around you,” Draisaitl said. “We are not where we want to be yet, but this is a start and you have to start at some point.”
Matthew Tkachuk, Milan Lucic and Noah Hanifin scored for the Flames (18-12-6), who are 3-8-1 in their last 12 games. Hanifin had two assists, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 of 30 shots.
“It’s very disappointing. We did a lot of things right, we created a lot of chances and in the third period, we spent the majority of the time in the O-zone and only gave up four shots,” Lucic said.
“It’s disappointing especially with the effort that we gave and how well we played. It’s one of those things — they get life on the power play and they get themselves back in it and we deserved better than the result that we got.”
As usual, Edmonton allowed the first goal of the game. It came at 8:29 of the first period as Tkachuk lifted a rebound over Koskinen’s leg to tie for the team lead with his 18th goal. It was the 15th time in the last 16 games — and the 24th in the past 28 — that the Oilers gave up the first goal.
Calgary made it 2-0 on a power-play goal with 41 seconds remaining in the first as Lucic tipped Hanifin’s shot through Koskinen’s legs.
Edmonton got on the board 5:35 into the second when Bouchard’s drive from the point on the power play beat Markstrom. McDavid got an assist to avoid going pointless for four games in a row for the first time in his career.
“Whenever you’re losing games it’s obviously a bad feeling,” McDavid said. “We’re human. We have feelings. Those losses pile up and they weigh on you. It’s human nature. It’s nice to find a way to get a win. Hopefully we build a little momentum here.”
Bouchard picked the top corner for his second power-play goal of the game midway through the middle period to tie it 2-all.
The Oilers surged in front with 1:42 left in the second when Perlini beat Markstrom with a long wrist shot. But the Flames erased that lead less than a minute later on an even longer shot from Hanifin.
Edmonton went up 4-3 with 5:31 left in the third period as Draisaitl showed tremendous patience in waiting for Markstrom to go down before putting the puck in the net.
Draisaitl added an empty-netter with one second to play for his 28th goal of the season.
“It was a full team effort,” Draisaitl said. “A good game for us.”
NOTES: It was the first meeting between the heated provincial rivals since Oct. 16, a game won 5-2 by Edmonton with Oilers goalie Mike Smith making 45 saves. ... The Flames were without Tyler Pitlick (undisclosed) and Tyler Parsons (ankle). ... Edmonton was missing Smith (thumb), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (lower body), Zach Hyman (COVID-19 protocol), Zack Kassian (non-COVID-19 illness) and Tyson Barrie (upper body).
Flames: Host the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.
Oilers: At the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.