With each victory, the confidence builds for Leon Draisaitl and the undefeated Edmonton Oilers.
Draisaitl scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Oilers a 4-3 victory over the winless New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Draisaitl, who also scored in regulation, connected in the third round of the shootout as the Oilers improved to 4-0-0.
“Winning makes everything easier and better, but we’re working for it,” Draisaitl said. “We’re playing the right way. We’re working hard for our wins. It’s great to see. It’s great to see different guys contribute and make a difference every night.”
WATCH | Oilers rally against Devils to remain unbeaten:
Leon Draisaitl scores only goal in shootout for 4-3 victory over New Jersey, Edmonton wins 4th straight to start season. 1:32
A dose of resiliency helps. The Oilers rallied three times to pull even before putting the game away.
“We’re not going to stop until it’s over,” Draisaitl said. “I’m happy to be part of this group and I think we’re building our game in the right direction.”
James Neal and Connor McDavid also had Oilers goals. Mikko Koskinen stopped 28 shots.
Oilers coach sees the big picture
Oilers coach Dave Tippett has been around the league long enough to know four games does not make a season, but he likes what he sees, so far.
“You’ve got to go more than four games,” Tippett said. “I’m really happy with the start. If you would have said you’d be 4-0 after four, I’m good with that. But it’s a process. We’ve got to continue to get better.”
Kyle Palmieri, Nikita Gusev and Damon Severson scored for New Jersey (0-2-2). Mackenzie Blackwood made 19 saves.
Severson scored late in the third period to give the Devils their third lead of the game. Severson, set up by Taylor Hall, scored his first of the season from the bottom of the left circle with 4:25 remaining.
The lead did not stand as McDavid forced the overtime, scoring a power-play goal with 1:06 left in regulation.
The whistle blew as McDavid knocked the puck past Blackwood on a scramble in front. The referees went to a video review before confirming the tying goal.
Step in the right direction for Devils
In the overtime, Hall had two outstanding chances for the Devils, including a shot off the post.
That’s how it has gone for the Devils, who took this game as a step in the right direction after they were shut out 4-0 on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
“I commended our guys,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “They were a rested team. We were coming off a back-to-back. Obviously, it was a tough loss last night but if you look at the way we competed and the way we played five-on-five, we played a lot to our identity. I think everybody on the team showed up on a gut check game. If you look at that, that’s certainly something to build on.”
The red-hot Neal scored on the power play with 27.8 seconds remaining in the second period to pull the Oilers even at 2-2.
Neal, who leads the NHL with seven goals, deflected Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ shot to knot the score with his fifth goal in the last two games.
Neal’s seven goals are a team record for Edmonton for the most through the first four games of a season. Wayne Gretzky held the old mark at six.
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CBC | Sports News