Oilers debutants Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Ennis each posted a goal and assist in an overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks
ANAHEIM, CA - Tyler Ennis and Andreas Athanasiou both recorded a goal and assist each in their debuts as the Oilers fell 4-3 in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday after fighting back from a two-goal deficit after 20 minutes.
The Oilers play the second of back-to-back games on Wednesday against the Golden Knights. The game can be seen on Sportsnet West and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 8:38 p.m. MT.
Connor McDavid had his second-consecutive three-point night following his return from injury with three helpers, and NHL leading scorer Leon Draisaitl is now one point off the century mark after making it 99 points on the season with his 37th goal.
The Oilers were put on the back foot in the first period by the Ducks when Sonny Milano and Nicolas Deslauriers put the Ducks ahead by two heading into the intermission.
"We got behind and we came back to get a point, but it's frustrating," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "I'd like to see us play 60 minutes tomorrow night."
Deployed on the top line with McDavid for their first games in an Oilers uniform, the forward pair of Ennis and Athanasiou had an impact on the scoresheet after finding their footing in the middle frame with their new teammates.
"It was a slow start. I was a little rusty," Ennis said post-game. "But I think as a unit, we got better as the game went on. These things take a little bit of time to gel, but for the first game I thought we did some good things."
A slick tic-tac-toe passing play between the Oilers new first line was converted midway through the second period when the Edmonton, AB product deflected Athanasiou's pass top shelf on a 3-on-2 that pulled a goal back for the Oilers.
"It was special," hometown product Ennis said of his first goal in Oilers colours. "My focus was just on playing hard, competing and getting the rust off. I hadn't played in a little bit, but definitely it was fun to score."
Leon Draisaitl finished off a one-timer from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for point #99 on the year to level the contest 4:23 into the third period.
After Adam Henrique restored Anaheim's lead, Athanasiou went hard to the net in pursuit of a second opportunity from Ennis' rush down the right side and cleaned up a loose puck that trickled behind Ducks netminder John Gibson.
The Oilers were down a man in overtime with McDavid in the box for tripping Milano, and the Ducks newly-acquired forward completed a dream debut of his own with the game-winning goal and his second of the game that secured Anaheim the extra point.
"I think we showed a lot of heart coming back sticking with it and getting that point," Athanasiou said. "Obviously every one is huge. We wanted the 'W' and we have another one tomorrow. So we just have to come out and be ready from puck drop."
Gibson stopped 29 of the Oilers 32 shots, while Mike Smith made 17 saves on 21 shots in defeat.
The single point drops the Oilers to 33-22-8 and puts them in a tie for second place in the Pacific Division with the Vancouver Canucks at 74 points.
"We talked about it. I don't think we started good enough tonight," Ennis said. "It's good to get a point, but at this time of year you need two. We're going to have a better start and a better game tomorrow."