McDavid gets shootout winner, puts Oilers over Predators 3-2
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Connor McDavid scored the shootout winner and added a goal in regulation for Edmonton Oilers in their 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
Evan Bouchard also scored for the Oilers, who look to be digging out of a recent slump with its third straight win after going 2-11-2 in their previous 15 games. Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen made 28 saves and stopped all three Nashville shootout attempts.
“We’re starting to see some things in our game that we saw at the beginning of the year,” McDavid said. “I think guys are getting the confidence back and we’re getting the goaltending, Mikko has been a rock back there. When he plays like that it makes our job easier.
“Confidence is so big in this game. Either you have it or you don’t. It’s a big thing. It’s getting better and better. We’re getting momentum.”
Filip Forsberg scored his 200th career goal and Matt Duchene also had a goal for the Predators, who lost for the first time in four games. Juuse Saros stopped 44 shots.
“I thought we played pretty well. We didn’t give up too much,” Duchene said. “I would love to see the chances, I feel like we had a few more than they did, their goalie played outstanding, he made some big saves. ... And when you get to the shootout, it’s a bit of a coin flip, it’s a big of a skills comp, and our shooters, including myself, weren’t able to find one. That’s the way it goes.”
The Oilers tied an unfortunate franchise record by allowing the game’s first goal for the 11th straight game when Forsberg scored high to the stick side past Koskinen five minutes into the opening period. It was also the 26th time in the last 30 games Edmonton has allowed the first goal of the game.
Edmonton got that back with 32 seconds to play in the first as McDavid blazed up ice and cut past defender Matt Benning before putting his 21st of the season through the legs of Nashville goalie Juuse Saros.
The Predators went ahead 2-1 about eight minutes into the second when Duchene elected to shoot on a two-on-one, notching his 21st high to the glove side past Koskinen.
The Oilers pulled even again with five minutes to play in the middle frame as a long point shot from Bouchard hit a defender and caromed into the net.
There was no scoring in the third, with Edmonton outshooting the Preds 43-26 through regulation time.
Overtime saw Darnell Nurse hitting a post for the Oilers.
Oilers: The Oilers, who signed forward Evander Kane to a one-year deal earlier in the day, have also been getting some of their top players back in the lineup. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins returned from injury Tuesday, and Zach Hyman returned from COVID protocol Thursday. … Still out of the lineup for Edmonton were Mike Smith (thumb) and Tyson Barrie (upper body).
Predators: Missing for Nashville were Dante Fabbro (upper body) and Eeli Tolvanen (COVID-19 protocol). ... Predators 24-year-old forward Tanner Jeannot came into the game leading the NHL in rookie scoring with 13 goals and his team in hits with 141.
Predators: Host Vancouver on Tuesday.
Oilers: At Montreal on Saturday.
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