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Oilers' Scrivens gets first road win against Devils

by Mike G. Morreale

NEWARK, N.J. -- Right wing Nail Yakupov scored his first game-winning goal of the season and goaltender Ben Scrivens earned his first road victory in a 2-1 win against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Monday.

Scrivens (10-17-7), who made his first start in four games, needed 13 saves to record the first of his 10 victories away from Rexall Place.

"I don't think we were being outplayed to the extent of causing our own headaches," Scrivens said. "The Devils are good in transition and wait for you to make mistakes and then capitalize. We took steps forward by not defeating ourselves, by not making any unforced errors."

The formula worked to perfection for the Oilers (15-30-9), who ended a two-game losing streak and played much better than the score indicated.

"I thought our second and third periods were great; a staple of our game is our speed and that's how we played," Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "We knew they would come in and make it tough to play against. They were in the first but we didn't back off at all or make many mistakes. We played smart and kept it simple and it worked out for us."

Scrivens, who made five saves in the third period, is 1-7-5 on the road. Oscar Klefbom also scored for the Oilers, who have played the past three games without injured forwards Taylor Hall (ankle) and Benoit Pouliot (foot).

"I think that was a really tough game, but we played positively, were aggressive and played with confidence in our zone," Yakupov said. "In the third we made the simple plays with the puck and our goalkeeper played well."

Patrik Elias scored in the first period for New Jersey (21-24-9), which was out-shot for the 44th time this season. The Devils have held an advantage in shots on 10 occasions and are 2-7-1 in those games. Goalie Cory Schneider, who was solid again, made 22 saves in his League-leading 46th start. Schneider is 7-2-1 in his past 10 decisions and has a 1.73 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in 11 games in 2015.

"We certainly didn't get enough shots as far generating offense," Devils general manager and co-coach Lou Lamoriello said. "We weren't winning battles, whether it was fatigue, I'm not an excuse person. [Edmonton] came in and we gave them an opportunity to win and they took advantage of it."

Yakupov, who played 2:53 of the first period after receiving five stitches above his lip following a collision with Devils forward Steve Bernier, gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead on a power-play goal from the right circle at 12:45 of the second. Jordan Eberle (two assists) fed Yakupov with a pass from the opposite circle that Yakupov connected for a one-timer past Schneider inside the right post.

"It's my job to get open and we have really good guys and skilled players to pass the puck, so I took a couple of shots and on the third one put it in," Yakupov said. "That's what I have to do, that's what I have to do more every game; that's what I'm trying."

The power-play goal was the Oilers' first in 15 chances, a span of seven games.

"I don't normally play on the power play with those guys, but [Iiro] Pakarinen was hit in the face so I was out there," Eberle said. "Yakupov has a great shot on the power play, so you just have to try and find him."

The Devils pulled Schnieder with 1:30 remaining in the third for an extra attacker but could not get the tying goal. New Jersey had one power play and did not record a shot. The Devils are 0-for-6 with one shot in the past four games with the man-advantage.

Lamoriello was asked about the lack of opportunities and chances on the power play.

"It's a problem when you don't win; you look at everything microscopically as far as what's going on so you can pull out any individual thing and say it's a problem, but there are 60 minutes in a game and power-play and penalty-kill are a part of that," Lamoriello said. "You have to kill and cash in and we didn't do either and didn't help our chances. You also have to do it 5-on-5."

The Oilers tied it when Klefbom released a snap shot from the left circle that beat Schneider low on the long side with 35.7 seconds remaining in the first period. Klefbom's second goal of the season was set up by Eberle, who sent a pass across the crease from the goal line.

"The thing I liked about our game was our third period," Eberle said. "We were giving up some leads the past few games that we had leads in, but we played a mature way tonight."

Eberle was being double-shifted in the first when Yakupov went to the locker room to get stitched at 9:19. The No. 1 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, Yakupov returned in the second.

"That was not positive [feeling on the injury]," Yakupov said. "The doctor did a good job helping me to get back. It was a good effort, we were pretty solid."

Elias gave the Devils a 1-0 in the first when he scored the 401st goal of his career at 5:47. After collecting a feed from Martin Havlat in the right circle, Elias sent a wrist shot inside the right post and past Scrivens

New Jersey has lost two in a row and will travel to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday and Nashville Predators on Saturday before returning to Prudential Center to open a six-game homestand against the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 17.

"There was a lot of things [that went wrong]," Devils forward Scott Gomez said. "We didn't sustain the pressure in keeping it in their zone and they did a good job breaking out of the zone. But don't take it away from them. They were a struggling team but did the job. We'll have to come back [Tuesday at practice] and go over it.

Edmonton will play the third game of a six-game road trip against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

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