With the Oilers pressing in the offensive zone just prior to the midway point of the first period, Tyson Barrie passed the puck back to the point for his D partner Darnell Nurse who stepped into a one-timer that ricocheted off at least one Senators player and past a helpless Marcus Hogberg between the pipes as he had started to move the other way to track the trajectory of the initial attempt. The fortuitous bounce gave Nurse his third goal of the season, Barrie his sixth point in the last four games and Connor McDavid his league-leading 23rd point with the secondary assist.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Jesse Puljujarvi's first goal of the season and first of his return to the team was a tremendous individual effort at 12:45 of the opening frame as McDavid found him streaking through the neutral zone and he burst down the left side, cutting to the slot, firing a shot on net that was stopped by Hogberg, pouncing on his own rebound and making a lightning-quick deke to beat the goalie and make it 2-0. McDavid made it 24 points on the season and six consecutive multi-point efforts with the setup, while Barrie picked up another helper as well to give him seven points in the last four games.
SAVE OF THE GAME
The Oilers took a 4-1 lead into the third period, but the Senators came out flying to start the final frame as Mikko Koskinen was forced to make a strong shoulder save on a point-blank backhand from Nick Paul. Koskinen finished the game with 23 stops to secure his fifth win of the season.
Puljujarvi's second goal of the night 5:30 into the middle frame put the Oilers up 4-0 and gave the home side ample breathing room, especially since Cedric Paquette got Ottawa on the board later in the frame. Evan Bouchard, making his second debut, launched a point shot and the big Finn made a slight but perfect redirect to beat Hogberg.
Playing some solid hockey but held out of the goal column for the first 11 games of the season, Puljujarvi finally broke through on Tuesday with a pair of tallies, his 18th and 19th of his NHL career.
With his two-goal performance, Puljujarvi scored in the NHL for the first time in more than two years. His last goal with the Oilers came on Jan. 6, 2019 when he tallied the team's second of the game in a 4-0 road victory against the Anaheim Ducks.
Edmonton's four-game homestand is now complete and they'll play the next four away from Rogers Place, starting Saturday with the first of 10 Battle of Alberta showdowns of the season in Calgary. The Oilers will then play back-to-back games in Ottawa next Monday and Tuesday before wrapping up the trip with a single game in Montreal next Thursday.
"I've been talking to him quite a bit and he's such a good kid," Head Coach Dave Tippett said of Puljujarvi's two-goal performance. "It's great to see him get on the board. He's one of our top guys not just getting chances himself but helping create chances for other people. You'd like to see him get rewarded for that work and tonight he got rewarded."
"It took a couple games to get the first one, so it feels pretty good," Puljujarvi said of his pair of goals. "But the important thing is to win those games."
"Really solid, really solid," Tippett said of Bouchard's season debut. "That's a tough thing to jump into a game like that. Every game, these points are critical for us... I was really pleased with his game. He was smart and got an assist on a real good shot from the point. He jumped in and didn't look out of place at all. That's a real good sign for a young player."
"It feels good to get back playing here in Edmonton," said Bouchard, who has been with the team since the start of training camp but sat out the first 11 games. "I don't think anyone wants to be in the stands watching the game, but you have to make the most out of it, really scout out the teams you're playing against, really learn from watching. That's what I did."