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GAME STORY: Oilers 2, Devils 1

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers

NEWARK, NJ – A strong second period which saw the Oilers outshoot the New Jersey Devils 12-3 titled the game in Edmonton's favour en route to a 2-1 win over the Devils on Monday night.

Edmonton's goals were scored by Oscar Klefbom and Nail Yakupov in the victory.

“It was a nice win for us," said Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson. "Jersey started to press pretty hard there in the third but we did a good job keeping pucks to the outside. Tonight was a good road win for us. We generated enough goals to win tonight. It would be nice to see us capitalize on some other opportunities because we had some opportunities that could have given us a bigger lead.”

The Devils got on the board first only 5:47 into the opening period. From the slot, Martin Havlat dished the puck over to Patrik Elias at the right circle. He made no mistake, quickly snapping it just inside the post behind Oilers starting goaltender Ben Scrivens.

Nelson thought Scrivens rebounded very well after that goal. 

“We found a way. I thought everybody played well. It was a game where all four lines and six defence played well. Benny settled in after that first one went in on him. He made some timely saves. It was a good win for us all.”

Just before the opening period’s midway point, Nail Yakupov collided in the neutral zone with Steve Bernier and had to be helped off the ice, suffering from a bleeding nose. At the same time, Marek Zidlicky got sent off for roughing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The result was Edmonton's first power play of the game. The Oilers were unable to convert and Yakupov returned to action at the end of the period.

With 35.7 seconds to play in the first, the Oilers got back on even terms. Oscar Klefbom wired a shot from the left circle along the ice past Devils goaltender Cory Schneider to make it 1-1. The play was set up nicely by Jordan Eberle after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins dished it to Justin Schultz who got it to Eberle behind the Devils net.

Shots on goal after one period were 6-4 New Jersey.

After a great start for the Oilers that saw them rattle off six shots in the opening 90 seconds of the second period, Adam Larsson headed to the penalty box for holding 1:40 into the middle frame, sending the visitors on their second power play of the night.

The Oilers had a very active, but ultimately unsuccessful, power play. The best chance came when Anton Lander hammered at the puck from his knees at the top of the crease and the puck bounced off the post. They used that power play to continue to carry the momentum throughout the period.

Larsson took another penalty when cleared the puck over the glass from his own end. The result was  Edmonton's third power play of the game.

With 7:15 to play in the second, after two missed one-timer attempts in succession, Nail Yakupov blasted a one-timer from the right circle. He made no mistake the third time, rifling it past Schneider to put the Oilers in front.  The goal came off a great cross-ice feed from Jordan Eberle — his second assist of the night.

“I just tried to get open and we have really good guys who can pass the puck," said Yakupov. "The third one I just put it in. That’s what I have to do more and more every game so that’s what I’m trying.”

With 5:07 left in the second, the Oilers had a commanding 11-1 edge on the shot clock over the Devils. New Jersey went on the power play for the first time on the night after Andrew Ference received two minutes for holding as they tried to steal some momentum away from Edmonton. However, their power play was largely unsuccessful.

Final shot count in the second period was 12-3 Edmonton. Overall in the game, it was 16-9 for the Oilers after 40 minutes.

Oilers did a good job holding on in period three, outshooting New Jersey 8-5 in the final frame. The Devils only had 14 shots on goal in the entire game -- and none in the final 10 minutes of the period.
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