Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid each score 2 as Oilers top Vegas 8-2
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers finally found their scoring touch.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid each had two goals for the Oilers in their 8-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.
Edmonton entered with the fewest goals in the NHL.
“It is definitely good for the confidence of the group,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “We kind of put everything together tonight and things went well for us. We can’t get away from that now.”
Oscar Klefbom, Patrick Maroon, Matt Benning and Mark Letestu also scored for the Oilers, who snapped a two-game skid.
“We’ve had a lot of tight, one-goal games,” Klefbom said. “It’s nice to see some of the players who usually don’t score a lot get some points tonight. I heard that 13 guys had at least a point for us tonight. It was a huge game for us.”
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and James Neal had the goals for the expansion Golden Knights, who have lost three of four.
“Everything went wrong tonight. We weren’t skating, we gave them too many odd-man rushes, and they’re a talented team and they take advantage of that,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “Right from the start it wasn’t a good game for us. I thought we got a little better in the second, but it was a bad game overall.”
Edmonton got off to a good start with a short-handed goal 6½ minutes into the first period when Klefbom converted a 2-on-1 pass from Jujhar Khaira to beat Vegas goalie Maxime Lagace.
The Oilers made it 2-0 on the power play with just more than two minutes left in the opening period as Maroon fed the puck from behind the net to Nugent-Hopkins, who scored his seventh of the season.
Maroon got a goal of his own 57 seconds later, beating Lagace up high on a shot from the slot.
Edmonton padded its lead midway through the second when Benning redirected Klefbom’s shot, which appeared to catch Lagace by surprise.
The Golden Knights got on the board with five minutes left in the second as Bellemare tucked a shot over the shoulder of Oilers goalie Cam Talbot.
Edmonton started the third on a power play and had a goal credited to McDavid after Vegas’ Deryk Engelland inadvertently swatted the puck into his own net.
The Golden Knights got that one back shortly afterward when Neal scored his 10th of the season.
McDavid scored his second of the game and ninth of the season five minutes into the third.
Nugent-Hopkins gave the Oilers seven goals for the first time this season with his eighth midway through the third before Letestu scored late to make it 8-2.
“Tonight a lot of guys got rewarded, and it was a little more relaxed on the bench,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. “A little bit of fun in the game, and we haven’t had that in a while.”
Lagace was replaced in the third period by 19-year-old rookie Dylan Ferguson, the fifth goalie to play for the Golden Knights (10-6-1) in their first 17 games.
NOTES: It was the first meeting between the teams, which will face each other three more times this season. Their next game is at Vegas on Jan. 13, which is McDavid’s 21st birthday. ... Edmonton made a trade before the game, dealing forward Jussi Jokinen to the Los Angeles Kings for center Mike Cammalleri.
Golden Knights: At the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
Oilers: Host the St. Louis Blues.
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