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GAME STORY: Canadiens 3, Oilers 2 (OT)

Eric Staal scores the sudden-death winner in his first game with Montreal as Edmonton emerges with a single point on the road

by Ryan Frankson /

MONTREAL, QC - What a debut for Eric Staal as the veteran forward scored the game-winner in his first appearance with the Canadiens as the Oilers were dealt a 3-2 overtime defeat on Monday.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game at MTL 04.05.21


The Oilers were outshot 15-5 in the opening frame but they still managed to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission thanks to Jujhar Khaira connecting with Devin Shore for a beauty with just 21 seconds left on the clock. After Alex Chiasson's tenacious forecheck created a turnover to Khaira, the burly forward carried the puck around the net and found Shore unguarded on the doorstep for the one-timer and his third tally of the season.


As they've done many times this season, the Oilers executed power-play passing to perfection late in the middle frame that resulted in Darnell Nurse scoring his career-best 13th goal of the year. With just 15 seconds left in the period and seven seconds to go in the man advantage, Connor McDavid gained the advantage on the faceoff, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins jumped in and poked the puck to Jesse Puljujarvi, who got it back to the point to Leon Draisaitl, who passed across to Nurse for the mammoth slap shot past the glove of Carey Price to make it 2-0 Edmonton.


Not one but two Montreal players stacked their pads to deny Chiasson of a would-be power-play marker on the same man advantage that later resulted in Nurse's goal. The Oilers forward got the puck at the side of the net for the scoring chance, but Price and defenceman Shea Weber hit the ice and slid across with their respective legs stacked, as the netminder ultimately made the sprawling save with the veteran blueliner looking like a carbon copy in front of him.

Video: POST-RAW | Darnell Nurse 04.05.21


Trailing 2-0 through 40 minutes, the Canadiens clawed their way back with two goals in the final frame and the eventual OT winner, starting with Josh Anderson getting them on the board with his 14th of the season just 1:45 into the third period on a feed from Corey Perry.


Staal made a formidable first impression with his new team as he scored the OT winner, won 78% of his faceoffs and had two shots on goal in 16:56 TOI, despite not playing a game since March 25, the day before he was traded to Montreal from the Buffalo Sabres.

Video: POST-RAW | Devin Shore 04.05.21


Per Sportsnet Stats, Shore has scored more goals against the Canadiens than any other opponent in his career, now with five against Montreal thanks to his opening tally in this game. It was his 42nd goal in his 313th career game, meaning 12% of his total markers have come against the Quebec squad.


As a result of the NHL announcing more schedule changes earlier in the day, the Oilers will play an extra game this week. They'll still head to Ottawa for two but instead of playing Wednesday and Friday they'll go back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday before heading to Calgary to play the Flames on Saturday.

Video: POST-RAW | Dave Tippett 04.05.21


"We know we can play with a lead and we know we can close those out," said Shore, who played 13:17 and had three hits with two shots in addition to his goal. "We're focused on results and we didn't get that tonight. We'll take the point, and I think it's important not to dwell on it. We know we can close games out and we just have to make sure that's what we do."

"It's easy to dwell on it, but that's not the team we have," said Nurse, who's the first Oilers defenceman since Sheldon Souray in 2008-09 to score 13 or more goals in a season. "We're going to get back to work tomorrow and get ready for our two-game set against Ottawa."

"The best way to protect the lead is to play in the other team's end," Head Coach Dave Tippett said of Montreal's third-period comeback. "For the first five minutes or so we were just too passive. We didn't do enough forechecking to give us the momentum we needed."

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