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game recap

Canadiens blow two-goal lead against Oilers in eighth straight loss

McDavid reaches 70 points with assist for Edmonton, which is 4-0-1 in past five

by Sean Farrell / Independent Correspondent

Nugent-Hopkins' PPG ties it

EDM@MTL: Nugent-Hopkins nets equalizer on power play

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sets up between the circles and rips home a one-timer on the power play to tie it at 2 in the 3rd

  • 00:30 •

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens blew a two-goal lead and lost their eighth straight game, 4-2 to the Edmonton Oilers at Bell Centre on Thursday.

The Canadiens (18-20-7) are 0-7-1 in their past eight. They also lost eight in a row Nov. 16-Dec. 1, when they went 0-5-3.

"Every little bounce seems to be going the wrong way," Montreal captain Shea Weber said. "At the other end, bounces don't seem to be going in. And I don't know, it's one of those snowball effects. It's not easy to explain, but it just happens, and you've got to find a way to correct it."


[WATCH: All Oilers vs. Canadiens highlights]


Edmonton's Connor McDavid became the first NHL player to reach 70 points when he got an assist on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' power-play goal at 2:16 of the third period that tied the game 2-2.

McDavid got his 70th point in his 46th game for the second straight season. He is the first NHL player to reach 70 in 46 or fewer games in consecutive seasons since Jaromir Jagr with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1998-99 (46 games) and 1999-00 (38).

Alex Chiasson redirected Oscar Klefbom's pass to put the Oilers ahead 3-2 at 9:40, and Josh Archibald scored into an empty net with 35 seconds remaining for the 4-2 final.

"The way we came back and worked for it in the third was huge," Klefbom said. "We've got to learn a lesson from this game, obviously the first two periods, and take the third with us for a good confidence boost."

Video: EDM@MTL: Chiasson stakes lead on crafty redirect

Mike Smith made 35 saves in his fourth straight start for Edmonton (24-17-5), which is 4-0-1 in its past five games.

"I'm really happy for him because he did have a tough December and he's come back," Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. "But I've known Mike for a long time, he's a good pro. He prepares, he's an unbelievable athlete, and I've seen him get on rolls before, and he's a really good player when he's on a roll. And we've kind of ridden him on this trip out here and he's played very well, so it's good to see."

Phillip Danault gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead at 12:35 of the first period. Smith made the save on Danault's initial shot but kicked out the rebound directly to the Montreal forward.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi put the Canadiens up 2-0 with a wrist shot from the slot at 2:24 of the second.

Riley Sheahan made it 2-1 at 7:16 with a wrist shot over goalie Carey Price's glove.

"I think for the first two periods we didn't play our best hockey," Smith said. "And I felt like keeping that two when they got that second one there was an important thing for our team. I knew that if we could come back and get our legs going and play up to our capabilities, we had a chance to come back in that game, and that's what ended up happening."

Video: EDM@MTL: Sheahan strikes on Nygard's tough effort

Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher had four shots on goal in 17:19 after missing the previous four games with a concussion.

"We got outplayed in the third period," Gallagher said. "It's probably what's been happening to our team in this little stretch here, you know, we're in a game and the third period has got to be your best, and that hasn't been the case."


They said it

"It's a game that we can learn a lot about ourselves through. Learn a lot about the start and how to have a better start, and learn a lot about the third where we started to play and we gave ourselves a chance to win." -- Oilers coach Dave Tippett

"We haven't thrown the towel in as individuals or as a team. We show up every game and compete. But, you know, a mistake here or there ends up in our net, an opportunity here or there that we should bury doesn't go in. So those are the challenges that we have, and somehow you've got to overcome those things and you kind of try and turn those things into your favor, and that's what we're trying to do." -- Canadiens coach Claude Julien

Video: EDM@MTL: Kotkaniemi goes glove side for 2-0 lead


Need to know

Leon Draisaitl had two assists for Oilers and is second in the NHL with 69 points, one behind McDavid. ... Price made 22 saves. ... Ilya Kovalchuk was held without a point for the first time in three games with the Canadiens. He had three assists in his first two games.


What's next

Oilers: At the Calgary Flames on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: At the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, CITY, TVAS, NHL.TV)

Video: Oilers net four unanswered, double up Canadiens, 4-2

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