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GAME STORY: Panthers 4, Oilers 1

Leon Draisaitl notched his 10th of the season and Cam Talbot made 29 saves as the Oilers lose 4-1 to the Florida Panthers Thursday at BB&T Center

by Paul Gazzola /

SUNRISE, FL - Sun down in Sunrise.

The Oilers dropped a 4-1 decision to the Florida Panthers Thursday at BB&T Center.

Leon Draisaitl scored 23 seconds into the third period to notch his 10th of the season and Connor McDavid registered a single helper, putting him up to 23 points on the year.

Cam Talbot made 29 saves in the losing effort. Edmonton falls for the third straight on the road, completing the trip 1-3-0 and are now 8-7-1 in the 2018-19 campaign.

"You never want to lose three in a row and you never want to lose back-to-back," said McDavid. "Obviously it's frustrating but we got to regroup here."

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game at FLA 11.08.18





The Oilers return home for a match against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. The game can be seen on Sportsnet West and One, and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 7:38 p.m. MST.


Note to self: don't test Roberto Luongo's glove hand.

The Panthers netminder, making his home debut Thursday against the Oilers, caught everything that was directed at his left hand, including a Draisaitl rip from the right circle shortly after puck drop as well as an acrobatic stop on Ty Rattie on the doorstep in the first period. 

Luongo stopped 26 of 27 saves, posting a .963 save percentage to help his club defeat the Oilers at home for the first time since 2002.

"We had our chances in the first and early on in the game," said Milan Lucic. "Lou made some really big saves for them. They kind of got some momentum after that, especially in the second period."

Florida's keeper made nine first-period stops, having a major hand in keeping the game scoreless through the opening 20.

Luongo's performance in the first set his club up for a dominant second. 

"Luongo made some good saves, we didn't bear down and then we gave a lot of it back in the second period," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan.

The Panthers came out firing in the middle period, throwing 19 shots at Talbot and scoring twice to give the home side a 2-0 lead to enter the third.

"I thought from the beginning of the second until the end of the night, they were a lot harder on loose pucks," McLellan added.

Evgenii Dadonov lit the lamp first, finishing off a pretty passing play that involved linemates Mike Hoffman and Aleksander Barkov. Hoffman pulled, dragged and fed Barkov at the bottom of the left circle. The Panthers captain spun a backhand feed for Dadonov on the doorstep and the forward flashed his hands in tight to put his squad up by one at 6:45.

"Dadonov made a nice move to go back on me," said Talbot, who ended the night with a .906 save percentage.

Nick Bjugstad added to the lead less than two minutes later. Bogdan Kiselevich's shot caught a bounce off Kevin Gravel's left leg and Bjugstad was in the right spot to put it past Talbot.

Video: POST-RAW | Milan Lucic 11.08.18

"Tough bounce there," Talbot continued.

Down by a pair, Edmonton looked to claw their way back into it but Luongo maintained his steady play. He robbed Rattie on the doorstep to help his club keep a clean sheet on the penalty kill. After 40 minutes of play, Edmonton was 0-for-3 on the power play, 32 percent in the faceoff circle and losing the shot count 26-14.

"We chased and chased and chased... They got better as the night went on and we didn't," said McLellan.

Seeking a spark for his club, the Oilers coach started Draisaitl, McDavid and Drake Caggiula in the third period, and the unit scored just 23 seconds in.

"You kind of think you're going to come back from that and obviously a couple penalties later, we're back in a two-goal hole," said McDavid.

McDavid placed a backhand feed on Draisaitl's tape on a 2-on-1 to cut the lead in half, but the Panthers would regain the two-goal lead shortly after thanks to Jonathan Huberdeau.

Video: Balanced offense leads Panthers past Oilers

Vincent Trocheck sold the shot but made the pass instead on the power play, finding Huberdeau on the left side. He put it into a yawning cage as Talbot was down and out after buying Trocheck's fake.

"I went to take away the short side and when he went back to the seam, I couldn't find the puck again in time," Talbot said. "It was a nice play."

Colton Sceviour added an empty-netter late to ice it for the Cats, defeating the Oilers 4-1.

"We're coming home at 8-7-1," said McLellan. "We've got to put an end to this streak that we're on right now. Good teams find a way to do that."

The Oilers return home for a match against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

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