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Smith records 27 saves in season debut, Oilers top Sens 3-1

February 9, 2021 GMT
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Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) fires the puck wide of the net as Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith looks on during the first period of an NHL game Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, in Ottawa, Ontario. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) fires the puck wide of the net as Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith looks on during the first period of an NHL game Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, in Ottawa, Ontario. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Tyler Ennis scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and goaltender Mike Smith made 27 saves in his season debut as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 Monday night.

Ennis beat Matt Murray with a low shot on a 2-on-1 for his first goal of the season after Ottawa was caught on a line change at 6:09.

Josh Archibald scored into the empty net with 1:10 remaining after Connor McDavid won the puck in his own end. The assist extended McDavid’s points streak to 10 games.

Edmonton coach Dave Tippett liked his team’s defensive effort and the fact the Oilers got better as the night wore on.

“Pretty solid right throughout the lineup tonight … It felt like a good team win,” he said.

It was career regular-season game No. 611 for Smith.

“He was really strong, really dialed in,” Tippett said. “The only one they got was one that was shot in the net ourselves.”

The teams meet again Tuesday.

The Senators entered the game with the worst record in the league, three points behind Detroit. They came out fighting, with two bouts in the first two minutes.

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Leon Draisaitl also scored for Edmonton. Evgenii Dadonov scored for Ottawa.

Draisaitl ran his points streak to 10 straight, his fifth career double-digit run. Since he entered the league in 2014-15, only David Pastrnak (five times) and Nikita Kucherov (five times) have recorded at least five point streaks of 10-plus games.

Ottawa had lost 10 of its last 11 — with nine of those losses in regulation time — although the losing streak was actually at one given a split in a series with Montreal that saw the Sens win 3-2 last Thursday and lose 2-1 on Saturday.

“We didn’t get to the goalie near enough and when the goalie sees the puck in this league, they make saves,” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said.

“We make a mistake and it’s in the net,” Smith said.

NOTES: Mark Smith had been on long-term injury reserve since Jan. 15. The 38-year-old saw his first action since March 11, 2020. Mikko Koskinen had started 12 of the Oilers’ 13 previous games, with Stuart Skinner starting the other.

UP NEXT

The Oilers and Senators play again Tuesday night.

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