The Oilers return home to face the Toronto Maple Leafs, kicking off a six-game homestand on Thursday. The game starts at 7:08 p.m. MST and can be seen on Sportsnet West or heard on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.
NEWARK, NJ – It was fitting that on a night where the New Jersey Devils honoured goaltender Martin Brodeur, it was a tight defensive battle on both sides. A third-period power play goal proved to be the difference as the Oilers fell 2-1 to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.
“We’re happy with the effort and the response. Obviously, it was much improved over the past two games. Very competitive group that worked their butts off and gave themselves a chance to win. But that part of the game is a given. It should be a given on a nightly basis. That’s the problem we have right now. I’m glad the group responded but short end of another one-goal loss,” said Oilers head coach Todd McLellan.
The winning goal was scored on a wrist shot from the right circle by Reid Boucher early in the third period. Both of New Jersey's goals came on the power play.
Taylor Hall got in behind the Devils defence on the first shift of the game, but his deke attempt was kicked away by Cory Schneider's right pad.
The Oilers were denied on another breakaway attempt about seven minutes later. After stripping a Devils player of the puck, McDavid skated in all alone but his shot rang off the post behind the Devils netminder.
“When I look at the game, we had two really good chances within the first 10 minutes. A couple of breakaways, had a real good chance on a two-on-one and Schneider made an excellent save," McLellan continued.
Just before the midway point of the opening frame, the first power play of the game went to the Devils after Matt Hendricks took a hooking penalty and with 46 seconds left in the Hendricks penalty, New Jersey converted. Reid Boucher's shot was stopped in front by Cam Talbot but Adam Henrique was at the doorstep to lift the rebound over the Oilers goaltender for one of two power play goals on the night by New Jersey.
“Their power play gets them two and we get shut out and that’s the difference in the game.”
Oilers got that goal back just over a minute later while even strength. McDavid made a nice quick backhand pass over to Benoit Pouliot who dished it to Jordan Eberle for a quick tap-in and tie game.
With 5:50 to go in the first, a penalty to Seth Helgeson gave Edmonton its first power play of the night. Devils killed that one off, but a penalty to Lee Stempniak on the tail end of that New Jersey kill resulted in another Oilers power play. New Jersey killed that one too.
Taylor Hall cleared the puck over the glass late in the period, receiving two minutes for delay of game.
Shots on goal after one were 7-6 for Edmonton. Oilers opened the second period with 1:53 of the Hall penalty remaining.
Edmonton killed off the Hall minor. Coming out of the box, Hall picked up the puck and skated in on a two-on-one with Letestu. He dished the puck over to Letestu who had two cracks at it, but Schneider came up big both times.
At the exact midway point of the second, Hendricks and Helgeson dropped the gloves at centre ice. It was a spirited bout with plenty of punches landed but no clear victor.
With 16 seconds to go in the second period, Andy Greene took a penalty for high sticking to give Edmonton a late man advantage.
Shots after two periods were 17-12 for New Jersey.
Edmonton opened the third with a 1:44 man advantage but the Devils killed off the penalty with Oilers unable to even register a shot.
Past the five-minute mark of the third, Clendening cleared the puck out of the rink from his own zone, resulting in New Jersey heading to the power play.
With 13:42 to go, Jacob Josefson had a wide open net but the puck skipped over his stick, keeping the game tied. However, the Devils redeemed themselves less than a minute after that.
Boucher's shot from the right circle beat Talbot glove side for the goal with 14 seconds to go in the penalty. The goal was the first shot of the period for either side.