The Oilers continue their homestand against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday. The game can be seen on Sportsnet West and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. MT.
The Oilers dominated the first period to a tune of 10-4 on the shot clock and 1-0 on the scoreboard after Jujhar Khaira broke the deadlock by finishing off an exchange with linemates Leon Draisaitl and Sam Gagner with 5:51 left in the frame.
But three-straight goals from the Ottawa Senators in the second period, including two in 12 seconds from Artem Anisimov and Connor Brown, provided the major plot twist in a 5-2 defeat for Edmonton on Wednesday night.
"Every team in this league, you can't take it for granted," Nurse, now speaking post-game, said from the Oilers locker room. "You give them enough opportunities, they're going to take the game from you. That's what they did."
Gagner contributed his second assist of the night on Oscar Klefbom's power-play tally that represented a vital goal to the Oilers hopes of battling back at 3-2, but Anthony Duclair's wraparound bank shot 1:30 into the third period dashed those hopes.
Mikko Koskinen made nine saves on 12 shots before giving way to Mike Smith following Tyler Ennis' eighth of the campaign that extended Ottawa's lead to two midway through the second.
"We gave up two poor goals that got them in the game," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "They're a desperate team and outworked us the rest of the game."
Ottawa outshot the Oilers 21-16 after Edmonton's first-period onslaught, snapping a five-game losing streak with the win and extending their winning ways on the road in Edmonton to six-straight games.
"I thought we were okay in the first, I thought we were the better team, but we just can't seem to find a way to play that over 60 minutes," Leon Draisaitl, who tallied an assist, said post-game. "You have to play your game for 60 minutes, and we didn't do that tonight."
The Oilers impact on the power play was limited to one goal on seven opportunities, including a trio of advantages in the final five minutes.
Despite Ottawa's less-than-favourable spot in the standings and the Oilers own position atop the Pacific Division, there wouldn't be any guarantees.
"At this point, we're on a winning record," defenceman Adam Larsson said. "I think we need to find a way to not get too high and too low. You can't win them all, but a game like this we should recognize when things aren't going our way. I think we can play a lot smarter."
When you're chasing the game, any opposition is a handful.
"I thought our killer instinct was fine in the first period, but then we gave up those tough goals and chased it," Tippett said. "It's hard to chase a game, doesn't matter who you're playing. You look at the games where we have given up goals, and then us chasing it isn't as good a recipe as us working with the lead, and that goes for every team."
The Oilers fall to 17-10-3 and 7-4-2 on home ice after dropping the first game of a four-game homestand that continues Friday against the Los Angeles Kings.