McDavid scores his fifth-career hat-trick, Nugent-Hopkins scores twice and Draisaitl delivers four assists as Edmonton is two-for-two with the moms in attendance
ANAHEIM, CA - Mom's the word.
The Oilers are now two-for-two with their moms in attendance as they defeated the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 on Sunday in the first of two road games for the special guests.
The moms converged on Rogers Place on Friday to watch their boys blank the New Jersey Devils 4-0 and they kept the good times rolling on the road, witnessing Connor McDavid score three times and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tally twice on their way to the impressive win to improve to 12-5-2 on the season.
The Oilers offence was obviously clicking with a half-dozen goals on the board, but the team's shorthanded efforts made the difference on the night as they killed all five penalties they took including four in the second period alone.
"I liked our game," McDavid said following the victory. "I thought we were solid all over. Our PK was great, our power play scores two, goaltending was real good when we needed him. It was a good effort by everyone."
The Oilers got the quick start they coveted when Nugent-Hopkins scored his second goal of the season just 1:28 after puck-drop. James Neal's aggressive forecheck generated a loose puck behind the Anaheim net and Nugent-Hopkins scooped it up before sneaky a wrist shot between goaltender John Gibson and the post to make it 1-0.
The Ducks quacked back just 1:56 later, though, as they created a cycle in the Oilers zone, allowing Jakob Silfverberg to make a nifty drop pass behind the net to Rickard Rakell, who snuck a backhand shot past Mikko Koskinen after the Edmonton netminder had already started to move the other way across his crease to track Silfverberg.
Just over a minute later, the Ducks nearly took a 2-1 lead when Sam Steel had a pair of opportunities on the doorstep, but Koskinen got his pad on the first attempt and just managed to stick out his glove to deny the rebound and maintain the tie.
McDavid rewarded his goalie's outstanding save at the 10:40 mark when he gave Edmonton the 2-1 advantage, darting through the neutral zone, receiving a pass from Draisaitl, streaking down the left wing and sniping a shot past Gibson's blocker for his 400th point in his 306th career game.
McDavid is the 13th player in NHL history to record 400 points in 306 games or less. Dale Hawerchuk (305 games) and Teemu Selanne (304 games) beat the Oilers captain to the milestone by one and two games, respectively.
The go-ahead tally was McDavid's ninth goal of the season and 28th point, while Draisaitl collected his team-high 31st point. Zack Kassian contributed the second assist on McDavid's tally for his 11th point of the season.
The Oilers killed off back-to-back penalties to start the middle frame after Kassian and McDavid were sent to the sin bin for tripping. Their PK prowess was rewarded with a man advantage of their own shortly thereafter, which resulted in Nugent-Hopkins scoring his second goal of the game and third on the season.
Oscar Klefbom fired a pass down to Draisaitl, who quickly found Nugent-Hopkins in the high slot for a wrist-shot snipe through traffic and over Gibson's blocker-side shoulder to give the visitors a 3-1 lead at the 7:45 mark of the second period.
After scoring a career-high 28 goals last season, Nugent-Hopkins had just one through 18 games this season, so his two-tally showing brought added jubilation to the locker room on an already triumphant night.
"He's always been deadly out there," Kassian said of his teammate. "If he's not scoring he's playing the right way. A great player, and obviously through an 82-game season there's going to be highs and lows, and different people stepping up at different times. All of us knew in here that he was gonna get on the scoresheet eventually."
The trend continued as the Oilers killed off another penalty and scored another goal as Kassian showcased his sneaky speed, exploding with the puck down the right wing, cutting to the net and sliding a backhand deke past Gibson for his fifth of the season. Patrick Russell earned one of the helpers on Kassian's 4-1 goal to record his first NHL point in his 22nd career game.
"My mom was here to witness it so that was pretty special," said the Danish forward. "That was nice to get the first one out of the way finally."
Edmonton added one more penalty kill for good measure in the middle frame to take a perfect five-for-five shorthanded success rate into the third period. Heading into Sunday's game, the Oilers ranked 10th in the NHL in penalty killing with an 84.5% success rate, and they jumped up to fifth spot at 85.7% after the five kills.
Max Jones made it a 4-2 game 3:11 into the third when he corralled a loose puck behind the Edmonton net, cut in front and roofed a point-blank wrist shot on Koskinen.
The two-goal gap was held until the 7:14 mark when McDavid made some magic for what will undoubtedly be a goal-of-the-year candidate to make it 5-2. The Oilers captain burst down the left side, got knocked to one knee by Silfverberg and managed to get up, keep control of the puck, stop on a dime and roof a wrist shot on Gibson to extend the lead to 5-2.
He completed his hat-trick at 13:25 of the final frame, blasting a one-timer on a pass from Klefbom that snuck through Gibson's pads to make it 6-2 as both he (three goals, one assist) and Draisaitl (four assists) posted four-point performances.
The dual four-point games vaulted Edmonton's dynamic duo back ahead of Boston's potent pair of David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand in the NHL scoring race. Draisaitl regained top spot at 34 points, while McDavid and Pastrnak are tied for second at 30, and Marchand has 29.
Koskinen made 31 saves in the win to improve his personal record to 7-1-1, stopping 60 of the 62 shots he's faced in his last two starts. The big Finn is tied for third in the NHL in wins with seven and ranks fifth in goals-against average at 2.16.