NEWARK, NJ -
Edmonton and New Jersey traded goals 29 seconds apart in the first, but it was the Devils who would come away with a 2-1 win over the Oilers in overtime.
"It was a good effort for us coming off a back-to-back,” Oilers centre Sam Gagner. “Especially in the third period, when you're low on energy, we really did a good job of pushing through it and finding ways to create chances. Tough one at the end, but something we can build off of for sure."
The Devils opened up scoring at 11:01 of the first period as Andrei Loktionov scored his fourth of the season. Bryce Salvador and Jaromir Jagr recorded the assists.
The Oilers got the equalizer just 29 seconds later when a turnover at the visitor’s blue line led to a Nail Yakupov and Taylor Hall 2-on-1 rush. Yakupov froze Schneider and dished it to Hall, who buried his 20th goal of the season.
The second period yielded some fast-paced action from both teams and the home team outshot Edmonton 10-6 in that frame. However, no points were scored as the Oilers and Devils would head into the third tied at one.
In the third, Oilers top-line centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a shot off his hand and sat out a few shifts, icing the sore spot, before returning to the game.
The Oilers got their share of chances in the third, outshooting New Jersey 8-5, but 60 minutes proved not enough time to decide a victor and the fans were treated to some free hockey.
In the overtime period, John Merrill hammered home a big shot from the top of the circle and the Devils would take the game, 2-1 in OT.
The overtime loss meant the Oilers collected three of a possible four points in their back-to-back. They won five of their last seven, heading into the Olympic break.
"I think we're more happy with the style of play,” Hall said. “I think everyone is playing just a bit harder. We're winning more battles than we were earlier in the year and playing with a little bit more intensity. It's the fun way to play. Tonight wasn't the result we like, but as far as the way we're playing, we have to continue after the break. We'll win a lot more games than we'll lose if we play that way."
The break will give the Oilers some down time to reset and get ready to build off their latest successes.
"It's important for us to get a mental break and just kind of hit the reset button,” Gagner said. “Enjoy your time off and get ready to come back. At the same time, it's important to stay physically ready and try to stay active as much as you can, but it's nice to get a mental break and be refreshed coming back."