Koskinen stops 26 shots, Oilers blank Devils 4-0
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers didn’t need their top line in full force to beat the New Jersey Devils.
Alex Chiasson had a goal and an assist and Mikko Koskinen made 26 saves as the Oilers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory over the Devils on Friday night.
Leon Draisaitl, Gaetan Haas and James Neal also scored for the Oilers (11-5-2), who improved to 6-2-1 at home. Draisaitl and Connor McDavid were held to a point apiece after having to carry much of the load for the bulk of the season thus far.
“There were some guys who got on the board that were excited to do so,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said. “The other three lines really had an impact with their work in the game. That was a good part of it being a team win.”
Chiasson was relieved to finally be a contributor, getting his first goal of the season after netting 22 for the Oilers last year.
“Contributions from different guys,” he said. “I’ve said this time and time again: when you have guys on any given night coming in and pulling on the rope, that’s what is going to make this team dangerous.”
The Devils (4-7-4) have lost two straight.
“It’s a hard league and especially on the road you have to find your game early,” Devils forward Taylor Hall said. “Any kind of let up and a couple of bad shifts and it ends up in the back of your net.
“I thought we had some good sustained periods of time where we played well and probably maybe deserved a goal or two. But that can happen, especially on the road, especially against a team that are playing pretty dangerous right now and we didn’t seem to have an answer for that in the second period.”
There was no scoring in the first period, with the best chance going to New Jersey. Taylor Hall rang a shot off the post behind Koskinen on a breakaway with nine minutes left in the first.
Edmonton got on the board two minutes into the second period when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sent Draisaitl in on a breakaway and he scored on a back-handed shot past Devils goalie Cory Schneider.
With his 14th goal of the season, Draisaitl extended his points streak to eight games. Oilers defenseman Joel Persson also picked up his first NHL point on the play.
The Oilers added to their lead with four minutes left in the second. Haas tipped home a shot from the point by Matt Benning.
Just 66 seconds later it was 3-0. Neal picked up the rebound off a shot by Persson in front and scored his 12th goal of the season.
The Oilers got a power-play goal six minutes into the third period as Chiasson tipped a Nugent-Hopkins shot past Schneider.
NOTES: It was the second and final game between the clubs this season, with Edmonton winning the first 4-3 in a shootout. ... Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen left the game with a first-period injury and did not return. ... The game featured five of the last 10 first-overall picks in the NHL in Connor McDavid, Jack Hughes, Nugent-Hopkins, Hall and Nico Hischier. ... The Oilers got a pair of forwards back from injury in Riley Sheahan and Josh Archibald. ... Jesper Bratt returned from an upper-body injury for the Devils.
Devils: Finish a five-game trip at Vancouver on Sunday.
Oilers: Start a two-game trip at Anaheim on Sunday.