Russell scores in 3rd to lift Oilers over Panthers, 4-3
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Kris Russell’s goal with 7:58 left was his first in more than a year and lifted the Edmonton Oilers over Florida 4-3 on Wednesday night to snap the Panthers’ five-game winning streak.
Russell’s goal was his first since Feb. 11, 2016, when he played for Calgary. He went goalless in his first 48 games with the Oilers.
Fellow defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton, as did forwards Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Connor McDavid, who came into the night leading the NHL scoring race, had an assist on Russell’s goal.
Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida. Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, giving him 400 points for his career.
Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for the Oilers, who have won their last eight games at Florida — last losing on the Panthers’ ice in 2002. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Panthers, who just completed a 5-0-0 road trip.
The Panthers trailed for 93 seconds on their five-game road trip. They trailed for the final 14:42 of the first period alone in this one, after Klefbom’s unassisted goal opened the scoring.
From there, the trend of the night emerged: Edmonton would lead, and Florida would come back. It worked three times — but not a fourth.
Florida knotted the game on a power-play goal from Barkov 21 seconds into the second period. Kassian made it 2-1 midway through the second on a goal that was originally credited to defenseman Eric Gryba, only to have Sceviour answer five minutes later. And just when it seemed like Edmonton would take a 3-2 lead into the third period, the Oilers quickly gave the advantage back.
Nugent-Hopkins’ goal off a rebound with 1:01 left in the second gave Edmonton its third lead, but Matt Hendricks was whistled for holding five seconds later. And just as it did to start the period, Florida finished the second by cashing in on the man advantage — with Marchessault scoring with four seconds left to send the teams into the final 20 minutes tied yet again.
NOTES: The two leading scorers in NHL history were at the game — No. 1 Wayne Gretzky appeared on the Panthers’ telecast during the first intermission, and No. 2 Jaromir Jagr was on the ice for Florida. ... Not only was Wednesday the 37th anniversary of the U.S. Olympic hockey team’s 4-3 “Miracle on Ice” upset of the Soviet Union in Lake Placid, it was the 19th anniversary of Jagr and the Czech Republic beating Russia 1-0 for the gold medal at the Nagano Games. ... Trocheck left the game with an upper-body injury in the second period but returned in the third. ... Talbot has appeared in more games (54) than any goalie this season. ... Defensemen had six points in the game.
Oilers: Visit Washington on Friday.
Panthers: Host Calgary on Friday.