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game recap

Kris Russell's first goal gives Oilers win

Defenseman ends Panthers' five-game winning streak

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Russell scored his first goal of the season with 7:58 left in the third period, and the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Florida Panthers 4-3 at BB&T Center, stopping their winning streak at five games.

Connor McDavid got his NHL-leading 68th point with the second assist on the goal by Russell, who scored on a 3-on-2 after taking a pass from Leon Draisaitl.

It was Russell's first goal since Feb. 11, 2016, when he scored for the Calgary Flames against the San Jose Sharks, a span of 60 games.

"It was a real good play by Leon," Russell said. "He slows down the play so much. He does a quick pass. I just wanted to get it off quick and try and get it high. Fortunately, it went in."

Oscar Klefbom, Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for the Oilers (33-20-8), who have won four of five. They are tied with the Anaheim Ducks for second place in the Pacific Division, three points behind the San Jose Sharks, and have one game in hand.


WATCH: All Oilers vs. Panthers highlights


Cam Talbot, starting for the 11th time in 12 games, made 31 saves for Edmonton.

Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for the Panthers (28-21-10), who could have passed the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division. Keith Yandle and Jussi Jokinen had two assists each.

James Reimer, making his fifth start in eight games, made 31 saves for Florida.

Video: EDM@FLA: Klefbom lights lamp with blistering slapper

Edmonton took three leads in the first two periods before Florida tied it each time, the last when Marchessault scored a power-play goal with 4 seconds left in the second period.

Klefbom scored the only goal of the first period at 5:18. Barkov made it 1-1 when he scored 21 seconds into the second period with a power-play goal.

Kassian gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead at 10:26 before Sceviour tied it 2-2 at 15:53 off a feed from Jokinen.

Nugent-Hopkins made it 3-2 at 18:59 when he jammed home a rebound.

Goal of the game

Marchessault scored on a breakaway when he got between two Oilers after taking a long pass from Yandle at the Edmonton blue line. Marchessault beat Talbot with a shot high to the glove side.

Video: EDM@FLA: Marchessault snaps in Yandle's feed for PPG


Save of the game

Edmonton led 1-0 a little more than halfway through the first period when McDavid fed Draisaitl across the ice on a 2-on-1. Draisaitl quickly shot, but Reimer was able to slide across in time to make a pad save.

Video: EDM@FLA: Reimer lunges to deny Draisaitl on the rush


Highlight of the game

McDavid's speed was the catalyst for the game-winning goal. He carried the puck into the Florida zone before feeding Draisaitl in the high slot.

Video: EDM@FLA: Russell finishes tic-tac-toe passing play


Unsung performance of the game

With Edmonton leading 1-0 in the first period, Patrick Maroon passed to Draisaitl at the side of the net. As Draisaitl prepared to shoot into an empty net, Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad extended his left skate and deflected the shot.


They said it

"If you were at the game last night and showed up and watched this one, it was two different teams. We had about 11 players last night; tonight we had 20. It takes that much to win this time of year. The message got through." -- Oilers coach Todd McLellan on Edmonton rebounding from a 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday


"They've got high-end talent and I thought we did a pretty good job. They're paying well right now and I thought we answered well." -- Oilers defenseman Kris Russell


"Four games in six nights and the effort we got I thought was outstanding. We did a lot of good things. Everybody gave us good minutes. It's just we didn't make a couple of reads on the defensive side of the puck that cost us on that last rush." -- Panthers coach Tom Rowe


Need to know

Already missing defenseman Adam Larsson (lower body), the Oilers lost defenseman Andrej Sekera to an apparent arm injury in the second period. Sekera was injured on Barkov's goal when he blocked a shot from the point by Ekblad. Sekera returned to play two shifts, the last with 8:21 left in the period. McLellan called it a soft-tissue injury. Larsson was injured against Tampa Bay. … Panthers center Vincent Trocheck missed the final 6:52 of the second period after sustaining an upper-body injury but returned to play 6:57 in the third period. … The Panthers were playing at home for the first time since sweeping a five-game road trip for the first time. It was the longest active winning streak in the NHL. … Yandle's second assist was his 400th NHL point. He has played 720 games.


What's next

Oilers: At the Washington Capitals on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Calgary Flames on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, SNW, NHL.TV)


Video: Russell's 3rd period strike hands Oilers 4-3 win

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