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GAME STORY: Oilers 4, Rangers 1

Another come-from-behind victory for Edmonton as they extend their season-opening win streak to five games in the Big Apple

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

NEW YORK, NY - Two third period goals from Leon Draisaitl and one from Connor McDavid broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Oilers their fifth consecutive victory with a 4-1 decision at Madison Square Garden.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game at NYR 10.12.19

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The Oilers travel to Chicago on Monday to finish their four-game road trip against the Blackhawks. The game can be seen on Sportsnet One and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 6:38 p.m. MST.

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Edmonton is now 5-0-0 on the year, trailing in all five games this season but managing to battle back and secure the victory on every occasion - the first team in NHL history to accomplish that feat.

The perfect record through five also matches the second best start in franchise history, as the 1985-86 squad also rattled off five in a row. This year's edition will need two more victories to match the seven strung together by the 1983-84 squad.

"The start is one thing, but we want to compete with those records at the end of the season," said McDavid, whose two-point day vaulted him back into sole possession of first in the scoring race with 12.

"It's nice to be 5-0, but there's so much work to be done... The hockey has got to keep getting better and we've got to keep finding our game."

An odd scheduling quirk had the Rangers back in action after a week off and they displayed their fresh legs early as Mika Zibanejad got a partial breakaway but his hard snap-shot was denied by Mike Smith's blocker.

The Blueshirts kept coming early in the first and ended up with a two-man advantage after infractions by James Neal (hooking) and Kris Russell (high-sticking). Smith made a few more big saves and the rest of the Oilers PK corps came through as well as the visitors managed to kill off the five-on-three.

New York's strong opening frame finally paid dividends in historic fashion with 1:32 on the clock as 2019 second-overall NHL Draft selection Kaapo Kako beat Smith with a backhand deke to record his first NHL goal and point.

Some unfortunate circumstances landed the Oilers back on the PK early in the middle frame when they appeared to tie the game on a point shot, but Zack Kassian was called for goaltender interference and the Rangers went back on the PP. Edmonton's excellent shorthanded stretch continued, though, as they got the game back to even strength once again.

Henrik Lundqvist's solid afternoon continued with 15:22 to go in the second period when Joakim Nygard found Alex Chiasson streaking to the net, but the veteran Swedish puck-stopper slid across his crease to deny the winger, seeing his first action since opening night after missing time with an illness.

It took a fellow Swede to solve King Henrik two minutes later when Oscar Klefbom sent a seeing-eye point shot through traffic and past his countryman's glove hand for his first goal and sixth point of the campaign. Fellow 2011 first-round draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up his third point of the season with the lone helper.

Video: Oilers top Rangers for best start in 34 years

After putting their PK prowess on display, the Oilers finally got their turn on the PP with 2:50 to go in the second period when Brett Howden took down Markus Granlund with an interference penalty.

Neal came within mere inches of his sixth power-play goal of the year and eighth overall when he shoveled a backhand towards the awning net after a deflected point shot, but Lundqvist managed to reach across and get his glove on the puck to keep the game tied.

Draisaitl put forth a tremendous individual effort five minutes into the third period when he dangled through the Rangers defence, but Lundqvist denied him on back-to-back backhand attempts to preserve the 1-1 score into the latter stages of regulation.

McDavid took a tripping penalty with 13:40 to go in the third, but once again the Oilers were able to kill it off. Just a few seconds after the captain emerged from the sin bin, he drew an interference penalty and sent his team back on the PP.

And wouldn't you know it? Captain Connor capitalized on the ensuing man advantage, banking what was supposed to be a pass to Neal in front off Jacob Trouba and past Lundqvist for the go-ahead goal - his fourth and 11th point of the season.

Video: POST-GAME RAW | McDavid 10.12.19

Klefbom earned his second point of the night and seventh of the season with one assist, while Draisaitl delivered the primary helper down low to McDavid for his ninth point of the year.

Smith stoned Tony DeAngelo's point shot blast and Lias Andersson's rebound attempt with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation to preserve the one-goal cushion.

The veteran puck-stopper made 20 saves in the game, but many of them were of the highlight-reel variety.

"We're finding ways to get it done, and that's what it's all about really," said Smith, who's now 3-0-0 while dropping his GAA to 2.67 and raising his save percentage to .907.

"The points are in the bank, you can't take them back from us and we're just finding ways to get it done. It's good for our confidence, it's good for the belief of this team and moving forward these are going to be huge points."

Draisaitl provided the insurance marker moments later with 6:48 remaining as his shot attempt snuck through Lundqvist's pads for his third goal and 10th point of the year.

The German superstar then tucked home the empty-netter for the 4-1 final to secure his fourth tally and 11th point.

The Oilers will conclude their four-game road trip on Monday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, who dropped their first two games of the season and are hosting the Winnipeg Jets tonight.

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