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Instant Reaction: Connor McDavid snaps goalless drought with overtime winner over Blues

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
1 month ago
Connor McDavid picked the perfect time to break out of his goalless drought.
After going 10 games without a goal, the captain found the back of the net with an overtime game-winner to lift the Edmonton Oilers over the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues came into town fresh off of a loss in Winnipeg to the Jets on Tuesday night and flew out of the gates with two goals in the first five minutes of the game. By the middle of the first frame, St. Louis’ early energy subsided and the Oilers started to pull themselves back into it. Zach Hyman scored on the power play late in the first and he scored a few minutes into the second to knot the score at 2-2.
The third period saw both teams exchange quality scoring chances and both Stuart Skinner and Jordan Binnington come up with some huge saves. The Blues actually had a prime opportunity to pull ahead while the Oilers were on the power play in the third period but Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made an excellent defensive play to deny Robert Thomas of a breakaway chance.
The back-and-forth play continued into overtime before McDavid finally got a puck past Binnington to give Edmonton the win. McDavid wheeled the puck deep into St. Louis’ zone and fired a puck at Binnington that clipped off of his shoulder and floated into the top corner of the net.
 

INSTANT REACTION IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY


That’s back-to-back wins for the Oilers, who finished off their homestand on a positive note.
They dropped the first three games of this homestand last week to the Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, and Calgary Flames, but salvaged it with wins over the Los Angeles Kings and Blues. Edmonton allowed three or more goals in their first 10 games after the All-Star break and held both the Kings and Blues to two goals in those wins. That’s an encouraging sign for a team that had been loosening things up defensively.
The score being 3-2 and the shots on goal being 35-to-34 would suggest a very tight game from beginning to end, but that wasn’t actually the case. The Blues had a strong start and there was a tight finish, but there was a period in the middle of the game where it became clear the visiting team was exhausted from playing the night before and the ice was tilted in Edmonton’s direction. The Oilers had 66 shot attempts at even strength compared to St. Louis’ 43 and they also had 17 high-danger scoring chances while the Blues had six.
The game-winner was Connor McDavid’s first goal since the team’s 3-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights back on February 6, Edmonton’s first game out of the All-Star break. During those 10 games without a goal, McDavid recorded a whopping 23 assists. He also picked up two assists in this game for three points all told.
Zach Hyman scored his 39th and 40th goals of the season to tie the game after the Oilers fell behind early. When the Oilers signed Hyman in the summer of 2021, his career-high in goals for a single season was 21. He set a new career-high in his first season with the Oilers with 27 goals, he surpassed that in 2022-23 with 36 goals, and he’s now on pace to break the 50-goal mark this season.
Stuart Skinner was sharp again for the Oilers on Wednesday. He had a great game against the Kings earlier this week and came through against the Blues with 32 stops on 34 shots. It was a bit of a shaky start with two goals in the first few minutes of the game but Skinner was rock-solid the rest of the way and made a handful of big stops when the game was tied.
Up next… The Oilers will hit the road for a Saturday afternoon game in Seattle against the Kraken. After that, they’ll head right back home to host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday evening.

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