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GAME STORY: Oilers 4, Canadiens 3 (OT)

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers


MONTREAL, PQ – The Edmonton Oilers rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the Canadiens 2-2 and again rallied from down 3-2 in the final minute to tie the game at 3-3 before prevailing 4-3 on an Anton Lander overtime goal.

Lander's goal came with 3:13 left in overtime as he pounced on a loose puck at the top of the crease and poked it past Montreal starting goaltender Dustin Tokarski.

“Me and Yak came in on a two-on-one there and Yak missed the net. Oscar (Klefbom) came flying there. I didn’t know where Oscar came from. He took a shot and it came straight out to my stick," said Lander, describing the goal post-game. "I think it went under the goalie. I kind of missed the shot. But sometimes you’re lucky and other nights it bounces out. So it was a good thing.”

Final shot count in the game was 38-26 Oilers, including 18-6 in the third period and OT combined. Lander talked about the Oilers finally getting rewarded for some very strong play late in the game after a loss to the Islanders on Tuesday.

“It didn’t go that way tonight. That’s a good thing and something we have to keep doing. Tonight we got those points that we wanted. It was a big win for us as a group, too. Let’s try to do it again in Ottawa,” Lander continued. “Nelly likes to tell us to shoot the puck and it’s starting to pay off. We have to start doing that more because we’re getting the rebounds. It’s a good thing to shoot the puck.”

While the two teams were playing four-on-four near the midway point of the third period, Pacioretty stole the puck from Oscar Klefbom at the point and barrelled down the right side. Pacioretty wired a shot high to put the Habs back in front 3-2.

Less than a minute later, Tokarski sprawled out to make a huge save on Matt Hendricks after the Oilers winger chased a rebound but couldn't lift it over the Montreal goalie.

With 7:54 to play in the game, Nail Yakupov took advantage of a turnover and streaked down the ice with Ryan Hamilton on a two-on-one. Yakupov fed Hamilton who tried to tap it in but Tokarski again got a piece of it before the puck rang off the post.

With 25 seconds to play, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his second of the game to tie it. He spun and shot to get the last-minute marker and send the game into overtime.

Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson talked about the team sticking with their game plan despite it looking for awhile like they would go unrewarded once again.

“I thought our team got stronger as the game went on. First period I thought we were in a feeling-out process but we had a lot stronger second and pushed hard in the third. I liked the fact that we stuck with it, even when we got down late in the game. We found a way to get it to overtime and obviously we were happy with the result,” said Nelson.

Christian Thomas took advantage of an Oilers turnover in the neutral zone and wired a shot under the crossbar behind Edmonton starting goalie Viktor Fasth to make it 1-0 for the home side late in the first. The goal was the first in Thomas' NHL career.

After one period, shots on goal were 11-9 for the Oilers.

Montreal made it a 2-0 game only 1:06 into period two. P.K. Subban spotted Alex Galchenyuk at the circle and fed him a cross-ice pass for a one timer and two-goal lead.

The Oilers got that goal back nearly three minutes later. Jeff Petry's shot from the point was deflected on its way to the net by Matt Hendricks, bouncing through the legs of Tokarski.

With 5:51 to play in the second, the Oilers did a great job keeping the puck in the zone and it led to the game-tying marker. Eberle carried the puck to the net and his first backhand attempt was stopped by Tokarski. Nugent-Hopkins drove the crease and pounded home the rebound for the goal. The play went under video review where it was determined there was no kicking motion and as a result it was a 2-2 game. 

"It was very encouraging for us. There was no let-up at all after we got down 2-0," said Nugent-Hopkins, who scored to tie it 2-2 and again with 25 seconds left to force OT. "It's definitely a positive feeling."

Period two came to a close with the game tied 2-2 and each team with 20 shots on the clock.
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