Draisaitl, McDavid help Oilers overpower Wild for 7-2 win
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — This time, the Edmonton Oilers showed off their high-powered offense.
Leon Draisaitl scored twice and Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists, leading Edmonton to a 7-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zack Kassian, Alex Chiasson and Darnell Nurse also scored for the Oilers. Draisaitl assisted on Nurse’s goal in the third period.
Cam Talbot made 31 saves to earn back-to-back victories after dropping his six previous starts.
Edmonton (15-12-2) won for the fifth time in six games. But the Oilers had scored just six times in their previous three outings, including a 4-1 loss at Dallas on Monday night.
“Offense is something that comes in waves, and for whatever reason we haven’t been able to find it, but we’ve been solid defensively,” McDavid said. “It doesn’t really matter how good your offense is if you’re only giving up two a night. You’re going to be in the game. It was nice to get a few tonight.”
Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock improved to 6-2-1 since replacing Todd McLellan last month.
“I think for me and for the players, scoring seven goals is more of a relief and it makes you feel good for all the hard work you’re putting in and it becomes an easier sell for me now,” Hitchcock said.
“The reward is worth all the work so we’re going to keep pushing that forward.”
The Wild (15-12-2) lost for the fifth time in six games. Marcus Foligno and Nino Niederreiter scored, and Alex Stalock made 22 stops in relief of an ineffective Devan Dubnyk.
“I’m concerned about every aspect of our game,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said.
“After 18 games we were third in the league defensively and now I am afraid to look where we are. It is just unravelling right now. It is on us as a coaching staff and a team to right this ship and get them back learning how to play great defense again, because that is what is going to win you games, not trying to score five goals a night.”
Edmonton got on the board on its second shot when McDavid fed Draisaitl for his 14th goal of the season 4:14 into the first.
The Oilers made it 2-0 when Dubnyk couldn’t corral a bouncing puck and Nugent-Hopkins slipped it into net at 7:44.
Edmonton scored its third goal on six shots less than a minute later when McDavid got his 15th of the season, ending Dubnyk’s night.
Minnesota got on the board just past the midway mark of the first period when Foligno got a screened shot past Talbot.
After a scoreless second period, Edmonton regained a three-goal edge on a long-distance shot by Kassian.
The Wild got a goal back when Niederreiter tipped a puck past Talbot 7:32 into the third.
The Oilers made it 5-2 midway through the third when McDavid set up Draisaitl for his second goal of the game.
NOTES: Wild captain Mikko Koivu was unable to play after taking a knee-on-knee hit from Mark Giordano in their game Thursday against the Calgary Flames. ... Minnesota forward Zach Parise played his 900th NHL game. ... Forward Valentin Zykov made his debut for the Oilers after he was claimed off waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes last week.
Wild: Host Montreal on Tuesday.
Oilers: Host Calgary on Sunday.