EDMONTON, AB - Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got off the schneid, Matt Hendricks recorded his 100th career point and Connor McDavid maintained his NHL scoring lead with a three-point night as the Oilers scored five or more goals in two consecutive games in their 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Five Oilers had multi-point outings while McDavid had his eighth three-point night of the season in the team's second win in a row.
"We scored goals tonight which was great but I didn't think we were exceptionally sharp in a lot of the other areas of the game," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "Tonight, our offence got us through it."
The Manning-McDavid feud was finally put to rest. Brandon Manning answered the bell in the second period when he looked to spark his squad by dropping the mitts with Patrick Maroon, a welcoming combatant.
"I'm not scared of fighting, it was just a matter of time," said Manning. "We're down 4-1, there's an opportunity there, Maroon was willing so you take it."
Manning hopes the fight finally put the grudge behind both teams.
"Let's hope so, I'd love that" he said. "Connor (McDavid) didn't say a word on the ice today, even their guys, Patrick (Maroon) said, 'Good job,' after (the fight)."
It didn't take long to crack Flyers netminder Michal Neuvirth.
Hendricks opened the scoring at 2:14 of the first period on the Oilers second shot of the game. He and Mark Letestu encroached on a 2-on-1, with Hendricks keeping, shooting and scoring his fourth goal of the year. Letestu and Iiro Pakarinen each recorded an assist on the marker. Hendricks' goal put him on a two-game goal streak. He hasn't done that since 2016 when he tallied on March 18th and 20th of that year.
The Flyers challenged the play for offside on the entry but the call on the ice would stand.
The Oil then flaunted some impeccable puck movement to put them up 2-0.
Leon Draisaitl won an offensive zone draw to Andrej Sekera. Sekera dished it to Nugent-Hopkins along the half wall, then directing it cross-ice to Matt Benning who placed a perfect feed on the doorstep for Draisaitl. The goal was the Cologne, Germany native's 22nd of the season and 51st point of the campaign, matching his career-high.
Edmonton barraged Philadelphia late in the first, putting a stamp on the opening frame. The Oilers led the Flyers 2-0, outshot them 10-7 and out-hit them 15-10. The teams wouldn't skate to their respective dressing rooms without exchanging some chirps. Of course, Manning was included.
Radko Gudas then cut the Oilers lead in half 31 seconds into the second period. Sean Couturier rushed the puck into the Oilers zone then threw it on net where it caught a bounce off the big defenceman's skate as he was stopping in the crease.
But the Oilers would answer swiftly.
Eberle potted his 12th goal of the year at 7:17 of the second to put the Oilers back up by two. After heavy pressure surrounding Neuvirth, Eberle backhanded a loose puck that hit the back bar and bounced out. It was Eberle's first goal since January 21st when he had two against the Calgary Flames.
Following suit, Nugent-Hopkins then made it 4-1 only 1:15 later. An Eric Gryba point shot hit off Nugent-Hopkins' skate and went past the goal line. Nugent-Hopkins' redirection was his first goal since January 25 against the Anaheim Ducks.
"We're going to need them," said McLellan of his two long-serving Oilers.
After the midway mark of the second frame, the jawing ceased and fists flew. Manning and Maroon paired up for a donnybrook. The Big Rig threw a bevy of rights, then fed some jersey jabs before facilitating the takedown. It was the second time the two players fought in the NHL, with the first being while Maroon was still a member of the Ducks.
"It's over, it's done with, it was a good fight and I think that was it, no one wanted to do anything dirty, no one wanted to talk, people just wanted it to get over with," said Maroon.
Maroon also expressed his respect for Manning.
"It's a tough job, fighting's not easy especially when going into a game you know you're biting at the bit that you might have to, you might not, so I respect him. It's over."
The offensive assault then continued. An Oscar Klefbom bullet from the blueline beat Neuvirth at 16:39 of the second period to put the Oilers up 5-1.
Said McLellan about Klefbom: "He hasn't reached his ceiling yet. He's still a very young defenceman that's learning how and when to do things on the ice... I think he's a tremendous player that we're going to be happy with for many years."
It was Klefbom's 10th of the year and 24th point while McDavid registered his second assist of the night. Hendricks recorded the secondary assist on the play, which was the 100th point of his career.
The score was 5-2 after 40 minutes.
Brayden Schenn made it 5-3 at 7:13 of the third period.
After stripping the puck in the neutral zone, Maroon fed it to Eberle in the offensive zone, who then dropped it for McDavid. The Oilers captain placed a wrist shot past Neuvirth to make it 6-3. It was his 19th goal of the season. That would be all the offence in the match.
With the win, the Oilers tie the Ducks with 70 points for the second spot in the Pacific Division, four back of the first-place San Jose Sharks.
Edmonton will play the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday in The Windy City.