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GAME STORY: Oilers 8, Senators 5

Draisaitl and McDavid combine for 11 points as Edmonton's offence explodes against Ottawa

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid combined for 11 points while Stuart Skinner won his first NHL game as the Oilers offence exploded in an 8-5 victory over the Senators.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game vs OTT 01.31.21

FIRST BLOOD

Dominik Kahun matched an Oilers franchise record held by Wayne Gretzky when he found the back of the net just eight seconds into the game. One of three Germans in the lineup alongside his teammate Draisaitl and Ottawa rookie Tim Stutzle, Kahun fired a quick wrist shot after the faceoff win by Draisaitl and the puck hit the stick of Josh Norris on its way to the net, hand-cuffing and evading Matt Murray.

PLAY OF THE GAME

There were A LOT of goals to choose from on Sunday, but the prettiest of the night belonged to Kailer Yamamoto with 17 seconds to go in the middle frame. Kahun made a great steal in the offensive zone and got the puck to Tyson Barrie at the point. The defenceman passed it down to Draisaitl who ripped it across to Yamamoto for the top-shelf one-timer and his fourth of the season.

SAVE OF THE GAME

Making his NHL debut, Stuart Skinner's best save came with just over a minute remaining in the second period as Drake Batherson found Norris cutting hard to the net, but the Edmonton native stood his ground and stuck out his pad for the denial to keep the score 7-3 for the home side at the time. Skinner made 33 saves on the night.

TURNING POINT

The Oilers held a 5-1 lead at one point in the first period, but two quick Ottawa goals by Brady Tkachuk and Batherson made it a relatively close 5-3 game through 20 minutes. McDavid made sure the Senators didn't get any closer just 47 seconds into the middle frame, though, scorching a shot through Marcus Hogberg's five-hole on the power play for his eighth of the season.

Video: POST-RAW |Leon Draisaitl 01.31.21

TOP PERFORMER

Draisaitl was a human apple tree as he assisted on six of Edmonton's eight goals in the wild victory, becoming the fourth different player in franchise history, and first in nearly 34 years, to record six or more helpers in a regular season or playoff game. Gretzky had six assists on April 9, 1987, as the Oilers crushed the Los Angeles Kings 13-3 in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

FACT CHECK

It's McDavid and Moose for the second straight day. The Oilers captain became the first Edmonton player with three or more points on consecutive days since Mark Messier just over 30 years ago on Jan. 12-13, 1991 in a 5-4 overtime win over the New Jersey Devils followed by a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. It took Messier until Esa Tikkanen's empty-net goal in the final minute to record his third point, though, while McDavid had three assists in Sunday's opening frame and finished with a goal and four helpers.

Video: POST-RAW | Stuart Skinner 01.31.21

NEXT UP

The Oilers will play their third game in four nights on Tuesday as they wrap up their two-game set with the Senators to conclude their four-game homestand. The much-anticipated first of 10 Battle of Alberta matchups this season is next on the schedule as the Oilers will play in Calgary on Saturday. 

PARTING WORDS

"Giving up five, that's not going to cut it most nights," Draisaitl said of the high-scoring affair. "We had a good start and we ended up scoring enough to win it, but we're looking to be a lot tighter next game."

"We're playing catch-up a bit, so we needed that," Draisaitl said of the team's first back-to-back wins of the season, improving their record to 5-6-0. "We have to keep getting better and banking points."

Video: POST-RAW | James Neal 01.31.21

"It was a lot of fun," Skinner said of his first NHL start. "I was a little bit nervous at the beginning. I had to take a couple deep breaths, lean back and see everything happening. I just tried to stay focus and not get too overwhelmed."

"My family has made a ton of sacrifices for me to be in the position that I'm in," Skinner said of his parents and eight older siblings. "It's not only a dream come true for me, but also for my family."

"I'm feeling more comfortable each night," said James Neal, who scored two of the team's eight goals in the win, which was his sixth game of the season after missing the first five. "It was good to get my legs under me in the first few and I'm looking to build on that."

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