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GAME STORY: Hurricanes 6, Oilers 3

The Oilers surge after falling behind by three goals in the opening 20 minutes, but can't weather the storm in a 6-3 defeat to the Carolina Hurricanes

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - The surge and shock of a contest with the Carolina Hurricanes came in waves.

It was whirlwind of action over 60 minutes on Tuesday night at Rogers Place in a 6-3 defeat for the Oilers.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game vs CAR 12.10.19

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The Oilers hit the road to face the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. The game can be seen on Sportsnet Oilers and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 6:08 p.m. MT.

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The Hurricanes improve to 11-0-1 when leading after the opening period, but it wasn't easy.

"It's one of those games where the puck luck wasn't going your way, but you grab some things out of that game that I actually thought we did well," Head Coach Dave Tippett said post-game. "But you can't give up six like we did and expect to win."

The visiting Hurricanes stormed out to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes on the strength of two power-play goals from Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Dzingel after Sebastian Aho opened the scoring at even strength 4:15 into the game.

"There were parts of our game we didn't mind, but the penalty kill got bit there and we chased the game," Tippett said of a challenging open period.

Monday's defensive recall from the Bakersfield Condors in Caleb Jones was brought up to be a strong presence for the Oilers defensively in an important stretch before the Christmas break, with the blueliner going to let the offence come as it may from a defence-first approach.

Jones' point shot that was tapped in by Zack Kassian 7:45 into the second period was just that, with his first assist of the season helping the Oilers find life with over half the contest to go.

At the onset of the game's final frame, the hosts found their second wind.

The Oilers were gifted a penalty shot to cut the lead to one when Dougie Hamilton closed his hand on the puck in the Carolina crease on a 5-on-3 penalty kill, but the puck bobbled off Connor McDavid's stick when the captain stepped up to take on the responsibility.

But McDavid made amends before the end of the power play, providing the second assist on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' sixth goal of the season before Kassian levelled the contest 2:49 later with his second of the game and 11th of the campaign.

With the Oilers faithful on their feet, the storm was calmed before the halfway mark of the final frame.

Video: POST-GAME RAW | Coach Tippett 12.10.19

Jordan Martinook wired the go-ahead goal past Koskinen, before a gift for the visitors with a power-play and Aho's second of the game off his skate and stick signalled a late downpour from the Hurricanes.

Hamilton's slap shot that fooled Koskinen from the red line with just under five minutes remaining sealed the deal for Carolina, who sunk the OIlers to their fifth defeat on home ice in six games.

"They're a good team. They're solid defensively and work hard," captain Connor McDavid, who tallied three assists, said post-game. "Our work ethic was there, we battled back from a big hole, but ultimately couldn't close it."

It was an early deficit for the Oilers after the first period that would eventually be erased, but another none the less.

Video: POST-GAME RAW | McDavid 12.10.19

"That's two games in a row we've kind of started off behind the eight ball, and we have to find a way not to be in that position," defenceman Darnell Nurse said.

After the success of both teams' penalty kills as the top-two units in the NHL since November 1 was a major feature of the pre-game musings, the Oilers special teams faltered going 1-for-5 on the power play and 1-for-4 shorthanded.

"We put ourselves behind the eight ball," McDavid said. "I liked how we battled back. I thought our game was pretty good overall 5-on-5, but special teams wasn't where it needed to be and it cost us."

A four-game homestand for the Oilers ends 1-2-1, with their overall record dropping to 18-11-4.

"Not good enough," McDavid said. "We needed to find a couple of more wins, and we didn't. So we need to go out on the road and find a big one in Minnesota and come back and defend home ice again."

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