The Oilers could have easily packed things in. The Capitals had scored two straight to take the 2-1 lead and they’d eventually outshoot the Oilers 34-20 (13-5 in the third period).
But the Oilers didn’t quit. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made one of the best players in the league, Alex Ovechkin, pay for a costly turnover. Nugent-Hopkins tied the game 20 seconds after the Capitals second goal and Nikita Nikitin netted the winner on the power play later in the second period.
The Oilers withstood the onslaught of shots in the third period to close out the win.
“They’re maturing, they’re getting some gamesmanship,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said of his team’s response. “It’s not like there’s a big fire drill going on anymore. It’s just alright, settle in, they scored so let’s get back to it. There’s a lot of different ways to look at a score and react to it. A good example is, let’s say you’re up 2-1 and the team ties it at 2-2. You can react to it like, ‘Oh my god, they just tied it.’ Or the score is still 2-2. What if the score is reversed? You were down 2-1 and you made it 2-2. You would be, ‘Hey! We’re coming, we’re coming.’
“The score is 2-2. You’ve got to handle it better mentally and our guys have had amazing progress in that department.”