Recap: Oilers @ Devils 12.21.23

NEWARK, N.J. -- Connor McDavid scored the first of four consecutive goals in the third period by the Edmonton Oilers, who came back to defeat the New Jersey Devils 6-3 at Prudential Center on Thursday.

McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Adam Erne scored in a span of 1:09 early in the third to give Edmonton a 5-3 lead. McDavid scored on a wrist shot from the slot at 1:40, Draisaitl on a backhand from the left face-off circle at 2:22, and Erne on a rush down the right wing at 2:49.

"We felt there were a lot of pucks laying around the net and sometimes you just need a bounce,” said McDavid, the Edmonton captain.  “... We got one early, and then [Draisaitl] makes a special play that not a lot of guys can make, and Erne chips in with another big one a couple of seconds later. It was a big stretch of the game that turned it in our favor."

Ryan McLeod scored his second of the game for the Oilers at 9:04 for the 6-3 final.

McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and an assist, and Mattias Ekholm and Sam Gagner each had two assists for the Oilers (14-15-1), who ended a three-game losing streak. Calvin Pickard made 23 saves.

"I've liked a lot of aspects of our game, felt like we've had lots of chances, but we've just been finding ways to lose games," McDavid said. "Tonight we obviously were in a tough spot heading into the third period, but there was great resilience and the boys stuck with it."

EDM@NJD: Oilers score three times in 1:09 in the 3rd

The Oilers outshot the Devils 11-8 in the third.

"I don't think much changed in the third," McDavid said. "I feel like we had lots of loose pucks around the net, lots of little plays that could have gone in and, all of a sudden, in the third they just started going in. It's a funny game that way. You stay with it long enough, you get rewarded, and I thought we did that."

Dawson Mercer had a goal and an assist, Michael McLeod had two assists, and Vitek Vanecek made 28 saves on 32 shots in relief for the Devils (16-13-2), who have lost three straight. Akira Schmid allowed two goals on six shots before being pulled at 5:24 of the first period.

Vanecek had made 21 consecutive saves after entering the game but allowed four goals on 11 shots in the third.

"We got our [butts] beat,” New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said. “We didn't win enough battles, we didn't beat enough people to the net and then when we had opportunities to shoot, we didn't want to shoot. You look at three of their goals ... the puck is going to be ours so we're heading on the offense, and we turn it over. It's commitment to being in shot lanes ... free shots from the point where we're not blocking shots." 

Ryan McLeod gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead on a snap shot at the right post 24 seconds into the first. Nugent-Hopkins made it 2-0 on a rebound at the left post at 5:24.

Mercer scored from the right circle to pull the Devils within 2-1 at 13:14 of the first.

"The message (to the team) is buckle up, we have to get out of it together," Devils captain Nico Hischier said. "We're all frustrated. But that's when teams get together and you’ve just got to dig deeper."

EDM@NJD: McLeod scores just 24 seconds into the game

Jonas Siegenthaler tied it 2-2 at 1:39 of the second period, scoring his first of the season a wrist shot from the left point.

"I think it's a mindset," Hischier said. "We’ve got to start having a different mindset, especially when we play with the lead. It has cost us games."

Timo Meier gave New Jersey a 3-2 lead at 16:26 of the second on the rebound of Mercer’s shot from the right circle. It was Meier’s first point in 10 games.

"There was a lot of excitement because tonight the hard work we've been putting in paid off," Edmonton coach Kris Knoblauch said. "That happens when guys score. It's easier to play hockey after you score a couple of goals."

NOTES: Oilers forward Sam Gagner (undisclosed) left the game after taking a hit from Devils defenseman Simon Nemec at 6:15 of the third and did not return. Knoblauch had no update. ... McDavid has had at least one point in all 15 of his games against the Devils (27 points; seven goals, 20 assists). ... Erne was a healthy scratch for the previous eight games. ... It was the first time brothers Michael and Ryan McLeod had a point in the same game.