EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Connor McDavid brought the Edmonton Oilers back from a late deficit and delivered a victory.
The defending NHL MVP scored with 1:50 to play in the third period, and then won it in the shootout as the Oilers edged the New York Islanders 2-1 on Thursday night.
“He just takes over the game when he wants to,” said Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, who made 30 saves. “He has that ability on any given night. In a one-goal game, that is who you want on the ice. You know he is going to do something special at some point.
“He never ceases to amaze.”
With the Oilers trailing 1-0, McDavid ended Christopher Gibson’s shutout bid when he banked a shot off of New York defenseman Brandon Davidson and into the net for his career-high 31st goal of the season.
“He is such a difference maker,” Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse said. “When we need a big goal, he always seems to get one. Night-in and night-out, he is making differences like that.”
McDavid was hooked on a breakaway three minutes into overtime and was awarded a penalty shot, but hit the post on the attempt.
He made up for the miss in the shootout.
“We got the win and that is all that matters,” McDavid said. “It would have been nice to score on that opportunity in overtime, but we’ll take the shootout win.”
New York’s Jordan Eberle also came close in overtime, but Talbot came across to make a pad save.
Thomas Hickey had the lone goal for the Islanders, who have lost eight straight — their longest skid in more than four seasons.
“It’s a tough way to lose a hockey game, because for the most part we are in control and we are playing good hockey,” Davidson said. “It would be nice to get on a roll, but it’s tough one tonight with that bounce.”
The game marked the return to Edmonton for Eberle, who was dealt by the Oilers for forward Ryan Strome on June 22, 2017.
There was no scoring in the first period, with the Islanders putting nine shots on Talbot and Edmonton sending seven on Gibson, who made just his second start of the season and was playing in the sixth game of his NHL career.
The game remained scoreless through 40 minutes, with Edmonton taking a 22-17 edge in shots.
The Islanders broke the scoreless deadlock 1:54 into the third period after the Oilers got sloppy in their own zone, allowing Hickey to get in tight and score, picking the top corner with a backhand shot for his fourth of the season.
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