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game recap

Panthers top Oilers, extend point streak to eight games

Score on first three shots of second period, end Edmonton's perfect start at home

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Ekblad scores on wrister

FLA@EDM: Ekblad fires home wrister off Barkov's pass

Aaron Ekblad receives the puck on Aleksander Barkov's feed and fires a wrist shot past Mike Smith to open the scoring

  • 00:43 •

EDMONTON -- The Florida Panthers extended their point streak to eight games and handed the Edmonton Oilers their first home loss of the season, 6-2 at Rogers Place on Sunday.

Aaron Ekblad, Brian Boyle and Noel Acciari scored on the first three shots of the second period for Florida (5-2-4), which is 4-0-4 in its past eight games. Evgenii Dadonov, Frank Vatrano and Jayce Hawryluk scored in the third period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves.

"It was a heck of a game in a lot of ways," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had good offensive-zone time, I thought we made a lot of nice plays; good individual plays on the goals. Certainly [Bobrovsky] made some key big saves early in the game."

 

[WATCH: All Panthers vs. Oilers Highlights]

 

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and assist, and James Neal scored for Edmonton (8-3-1), who lost at home for the first time in six games this season. Oilers starter Mike Smith gave up three goals on 13 shots and was pulled at 2:36 of the second period. Mikko Koskinen replaced him and made 13 saves.

"It's frustrating and a little disappointing, we got outcompeted and we didn't have the execution. We didn't execute near to the level Florida did and we were chasing the whole game tonight," Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. "Our goaltending has been very good, and tonight was average. But we didn't give our goaltenders much of a chance."

Ekblad scored 31 seconds into the second period to make 1-0, taking a drop pass from Aleksander Barkov at the top of the right face-off circle and beating Smith with a wrist shot. Boyle, playing his third game since signing with Florida as a free agent, made it 2-0 at 1:58, waiting out Smith while skating across the top of the crease before lifting a shot over the fallen goalie.

"It feels great. Scoring is fun," Boyle said. "That was a cool goal, because we had a huge block right before then by Jayce and [Brett Connolly] won three or four battles just to get an opportunity for me, so that was some good momentum for our line."

Video: FLA@EDM: Boyle shows patience to score

Acciari made it 3-0 at 2:36 with a wrist shot from near the left face-off dot following a turnover by Oilers defenseman Ethan Bear.

Dadonov scored on a wraparound 49 seconds into the third period for a 4-0 lead.

"We didn't support each other, lazy plays up the wall, forwards not backtracking, it starts with our line, it starts with me," Draisaitl said. "We lost the game there. I think today the start wasn't good, the last seven minutes of the first period we got our legs under us and the start of the second was just not good enough, so we have to fix it."

Neal scored on the power play at 3:37 to cut the deficit to 4-1. It was his 10th goal of the season. Draisaitl scored on a rebound off the end boards at 13:18 to make it 4-2.

Video: FLA@EDM: Neal deflects home power-play goal

Vatrano scored into an empty net at 18:36 for a 5-2 lead, and Hawryluk beat Koskinen with 20 seconds remaining for the 6-2 final.

"I think we definitely tightened up our D-zone from that last game in Calgary [a 6-5 shootout loss Thursday]," Acciari said. "Whether it was taking away sticks or getting the puck out of the crease or anywhere in the soft areas. I think each game our defense has gotten a lot better and it's a work in progress. It's 10 or 11 games in right now and it's only getting better, so it's a good sign."

 

They said it

"I think my defense made my job easier. They kept them to the outside and they didn't give them the middle. I think the whole team played really well, and it's a good win for us." -- Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky

"They played the way we would have liked to play this game. They were stronger, they won more pucks, they got more pucks to the net and they outbattled us. We have to learn from this and focus on the next game. We're still off to a good start and we want to have that positive energy going in the group, but we still have to learn from this." -- Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom

 

Need to know

The three goals in the first 2:36 of the second period were the fastest three goals to start a period in Panthers history … Bobrovsky has a point streak of six games with Florida. It's the seventh time a Florida goalie has a point streak of at least six games in his first season with the Panthers. Mike Vernon holds the record with an eight-game point streak in the 1999-2000 season ... Barkov has seven assists in his past three games … Draisaitl and McDavid are the third set of Oilers teammates to have at least 20 points each through the first 12 games of a season. Each has 21 points; McDavid (six goals, 15 assists) and Draisaitl (nine goals, 12 assists).

 

What's next

Panthers: At the Vancouver Canucks on Monday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNP, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Oilers: At the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN1, SN360, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Video: Panthers top Oilers, extend point streak

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