EDMONTON, AB - The Edmonton Oilers halted a six-game losing skid with a big 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets to head into the holiday break on a high note.
“The puck was following him around," Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said of Taylor Hall. "It kept feeling like nothing was finishing off for him. Nothing was developing. The great thing about Taylor and a number of our guys is he stuck with it and then finally was rewarded for all the work they were doing. You don’t need just one of those guys, you’d like to have 10 or 11 that could really drive the play.
“Taylor came out hard in the game. That’s what we needed. We needed another good start and then, more importantly, able to sustain it.”
With 3:20 to go in the second and the game tied 2-2, Edmonton regained the lead. David Perron backhanded a Taylor Hall feed past Pavelec to put Edmonton back in front. Hall gathered the puck behind the net and dished it to Perron for the marker.
"Overall it was a way better game than in against St. Louis. We had a good start and seemed to carry it over into the rest of the game. That's been our kryptonite," Hall said.
Prior to the five-minute mark of the third period, Jeff Petry completed a nice three-way passing play between Nail Yakupov, Petry and Perron. Yakupov made a nice move to get the puck over to Petry pinching down the right side and the defenceman put the puck into the open cage for the 4-2 goal.
A couple minutes after the Petry goal, Stuart took two minutes for cross checking and with two seconds left in that power play, Hall one-timed a feed from Nugent-Hopkins to extend the Edmonton lead to 5-2.
Yakupov converted a feed from Hall on a two-on-one to make it a 6-2 game with 3:44 to play.
“Right before we let them loose in there and said ‘Happy Holidays’ my message was I love winning the game, I love the goals that you scored, but my favourite moments were us sticking up for each other. I was so excited on the bench. Luke comes to Yak’s defence, we line up there and then all of our guys were in. Everybody was in there sticking up for each other. And that is a huge step for our team. It’s great to see. They’re together," Eakins stated.
“The win’s great, the goals are great, the electricity in the building was great. But that moment, when Winnipeg was trying to flex their muscles, I thought that was excellent for our hockey team.”
A minute into the game, Justin Schultz had a great chance from the high slot but his wrist shot was knocked down by the glove of Jets starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.
Evander Kane got sent off for tripping near the five-minute mark, giving Edmonton an early power play.
Just as the penalty expired, David Perron had a great chance to score but couldn't get a handle on the puck while stationed at the top of the crease. The puck was then fired up ice where Kane was sprung out of the penalty box. Kane skated in alone on Bryzgalov and his deke was denied by Bryzgalov.
Several minutes later, Edmonton went back on the power play when Tobias Enstrom received two minutes for hooking, setting up another Edmonton man advantage and this time, the Oilers converted.
Jordan Eberle redirected a feed from Hemsky to put Edmonton on the board with the power play marker.
With 8:40 to play in the opening frame, the Jets tied it up. Mark Stuart's shot from the left circle beat Bryzgalov through the five hole to make it 1-1.
A beautiful three-way passing play that culminated in Sam Gagner scoring made it a 2-1 game for Edmonton. Justin Schultz pinched in and fired the puck around the net to Eberle. Eberle then threw the puck in front where Gagner redirected it in for the goal.
After one period, shots on goal were 14-7 for the Oilers.
Five minutes into the middle frame, the Jets received two minutes for having too many men on the ice on the tail end of a really good shift for the Oilers fourth line.
The power play ended when Edmonton also received a bench minor for too many men, setting up 1:02 of four-on-four action followed by an abbreviated Winnipeg man advantage.
With 29 seconds left in the bench minor, Smyth cleared the puck into his own penalty box from his own zone, resulting in a delay-of-game penalty and Winnipeg two-man advantage.
Winnipeg tied the game with 51 seconds to go in the Smyth minor. Andrew Ladd redirected a shot from the high slot by Blake Wheeler.
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