The Oilers complete the third-period comeback to triumph in overtime over the Washington Capitals and stay a perfect 5-0-0 at Rogers Place
EDMONTON, AB - Capital 'C' in comeback.
Facing a two-goal deficit in the third period after being beaten with three-straight goals in the middle frame, the Oilers weren't about to lose three straight and have their perfect home record snapped.
"Losing two in a row is no fun," Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. "We needed to find a way to come back, and we did. Credit to the group, they battled hard in that third. It took the full 20 minutes, but we found a way."
The Oilers top line led the charge, combining for eight points in a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Washington Capitals that was put on ice by Leon Draisaitl in the extra frame to keep the club perfect at home with a 5-0-0 record.
Billed as a challenge with a capital 'C' at this morning's skate, the Oilers answered the bell against the 2018 Stanley Cup winners and a Capitals side that entered tonight's contest on a four-game streak.
"We stuck with it, we battled, and obviously that's a good team over there," Draisaitl, who overtakes linemate McDavid and alumni Jari Kurri for the team lead for overtime goals with eight, said.
"They're going to make their plays and score their goals, but it's a matter of sticking with it and not getting off our game too much."
Goaltender Mikko Koskinen maintained his perfect record as well, a cool 5-0-0, by making 25 saves on 28 shots to become the first Oilers goaltender in franchise history to win his first five starts of the season.
"He's been great. Both goalies have been great for us this year," Zack Kassian, who recorded two assists, said. "We feel as a team that there's no number one, they're A1 and A2, and we're going to need that to continue. It's a big win tonight, but we have to get ready for Florida."
When you're goalless in two-plus games, sometimes a little luck is needed to end the drought.
Nurse and the Oilers were beneficiaries of just that on the opening goal when the blueliner's rush and ensuing pass in front of goal banked off Washington defenceman Dmitri Orlov and under goaltender Brayden Holtby for the opener, breaking 165:58 of scoreless hockey for the home side in the process.
But the Capitals roared back in professional fashion with a sharp turnaround unassisted marker by Jakub Vrana and a sublime deflection from Alex Ovechkin in a 1:47 stretch of the second frame. Ovechkin and defenceman John Carlson, the league leader in points, would both extend their league-leading point streaks to nine games on the play.
'The Great Eight' added another on the power-play to the top-left corner that capped off a three-goal period for the visiting Capitals.
Draisaitl and McDavid took their positions as the Oilers mounted a third-period comeback, combining on a 2-on-1 that marked the seventh goal of the campaign for the Deutschland Dangler with over 15 minutes left to play.
An assist ended McDavid's three-goal pointless streak, only the second time in his career he's been pointless in three contests, and you can bet he wasn't about to go four games for the first time.
After McDavid flatfooted a Caps defender and struck the crossbar minutes later, the captain and offensive catalyst had the direction pointed firmly towards a final-period fightback that came to fruition.
"I think it was just a group effort," a humble McDavid said. "Everyone found another gear, our D moved the puck up quick, we were playing fast, and when we do that everyone looks good."
With the net empty and 1:37 on the clock, Ethan Bear kept the puck in at the top of the circle and put it down low to Alex Chiasson and James Neal, who walked out and fed an open McDavid for a quick one-timer that squeaked through the five-hole of Holtby to force overtime
The Dynamic Duo capped off sudden death on a 2-on-1 to secure their club's eighth win of the campaign after dropping two goalless losses on the road in Winnipeg and Minnesota the games prior.
"I wanted to see us play well because we didn't play well the other night," Head Coach Dave Tippett said.
"I was happy if you just go by compete level, not even score. I was pleased with how we competed in that game... Your big guys make some good plays to get the win, but everybody in the lineup had to compete that hard to get us to that place."
The Oilers will wage a matinee matchup on Sunday against the Florida Panthers before departing on a three-game road trip.