Connor McDavid extended his point streak to 10 games with two goals and Mike Smith bounced back with a 25-save performance in the Oilers 4-2 win over Vegas
LAS VEGAS, NV - Hockey in Vegas has, and always will be, a spectacle.
Saturday night in Sin City was no different.
Connor McDavid extended his point streak to 10 games with two goals, Leon 'The Human Apple Tree' Draisaitl nabbed three assists and Mike Smith had himself a bounce-back performance with 25 saves in Edmonton's 4-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.
"That's what good teams do," Draisaitl said post-game. "Every team lays an egg every once in a while. It's all about how you respond. Throughout the whole lineup, everybody was ready to answer.
"It was a big win for us."
Looking for a rebound effort after Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Kings, the Oilers got the start they were looking for in the first period when McDavid opened the scoring just over five minutes into the match.
Given that it's Vegas, the Oilers Captain caused quite the sight when he showed extended patience as he curled before Marc-Andre Fleury's crease, eventually tucking it past the netminder when he was down and out.
"He's one of the best goalies in the League," McDavid, who has 18 goals on the year, said of the opposing netminder. "I just tried to beat him to that far post and was lucky to do it."
The first visit to Vegas is always special and rookie defenceman Ethan Bear made it a memorable one when he added to the Oilers lead in the first.
Draisaitl sauced a pass to Bear in the high slot and the defender whipped it in and out for the two-goal advantage, notching his fourth of the year.
Vegas never relented in what turned out to be a back-and-forth, North-South affair. The club cut the deficit to 2-1 with a Cody Eakin goal, then made it 3-2 in the second period.
But the Oilers got the final piece of insurance they needed in the third period when McDavid deposited a power-play marker to get ahead 4-2.
"They scored a key goal at a key time for us," said Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett of his club's power play. "As Glen Gulutzan says, they play road hockey. When they play road hockey, they're dangerous."
Draisaitl and McDavid combined for five points on the night and continue to lead the League in scoring. Draisaitl tops all with 47 points and McDavid is directly behind him with 46. The two superstars were critical of their performance on Thursday but answered in a big way on Saturday.
"It's the one lesson my dad always taught me: it's all about how you respond. That's the most important thing," said Draisaitl. "Good players, they respond the game after.
"I was ready to respond."
In the blue paint, Smith was happy to get an opportunity to right the ship after being pulled following the first period against the Kings. Saturday's win was a testament to the Oilers maturity as a club, Smith felt.
"It's nice not to have to fester over it," said the keeper, who ended the night with a .926 save percentage. "I wasn't really happy with the way things went. I was motivated to get back in there and play well. The team responded, too, which was a great sign of maturity."
Tippett felt it was an all-around strong team effort Saturday in Vegas.
"We had good performances right throughout the lineup," said the coach. "We needed a good team win like that."
The Oilers are 2-1-0 on their current five-game trip and will return right back to action Sunday against the Arizona Coyotes.
"Now we move on to Arizona for another key divisional game."