Oilers, with momentum from comeback win, face Rangers


For most of the game on Thursday, it looked as if the Edmonton Oilers were in the process of finding another unique way to lose.

However, all it took was 69 seconds early in the third period for the Oilers to finally figure out a way to win.

The Oilers will look to build off the late comeback when they complete a back-to-back road set Friday night by visiting the New York Rangers.

Edmonton snapped a three-game losing streak on Thursday, when Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Adam Erne all scored within the first three minutes of the third period. The result was a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J.

The Rangers have been off since Tuesday, when they earned their third straight win, beating the host Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2.

The third-period flurry provided a tangible sense of relief for the Oilers, who chased Devils goalie Akira Schmid by scoring twice in the first 5:24 before New Jersey scored three unanswered goals to enter the final frame with the lead.

The Oilers, who were outscored by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and New York Islanders 15-6 during their losing streak despite outshooting the trio 127-84, seized on a series of mistakes by the Devils to potentially change the narrative of a season-high, six-game road trip.

McDavid took advantage of a collision in the crease between Devils goalie Vitek Vanecek and defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler to fire a puck into the nearly empty net to tie the score at the 1:40 mark of the third.

Draisaitl scored an unassisted goal 42 seconds later, when he picked off Kevin Bahl’s pass and beat Vanecek with a backhander.

Erne and James Hamblin then mounted a two-on-one that ended with Erne holding on to the puck and navigating a shot around Vanecek at 2:49.

Ryan McLeod capped the evening by scoring off another Devils turnover at 9:04.

“I’ve liked a lot of aspects of our game, felt like we’ve had lots of chances, but we’ve just been finding ways to lose games,” McDavid said postgame. “Tonight we obviously were in a tough spot heading into the third period, but there was great resilience and the boys stuck with it.”

The Rangers produced a memorable third period Tuesday as well, when they scored the game’s final three goals in a span of less than eight minutes. Braden Schneider snapped a 2-2 tie before Artemi Panarin scored on the power play and Mika Zibanejad added an empty-netter.

The victory gave the Rangers their fifth winning streak of at least three games this season. New York, which leads the Eastern Conference with 45 points, has lost consecutive games just once and is 10-4-0 against the teams occupying a playoff spot entering Friday.

“I think any time you have success against the top teams, it’s obviously a good reflection of how you’re doing and how, maybe, things are going,” Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller told Newsday after practice Thursday. “I think we’re doing a really good job, honestly. I think we’re dialed in around the rink and people are having fun. It’s a good atmosphere coming to the rink every day.”

–Field Level Media

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