ST. LOUIS, MO – For the second consecutive night, the Oilers forced overtime against one of the top teams in the West, but for the second straight night they were bested in sudden death.
The Oilers and St. Louis Blues battled back and forth all night at Scottrade Center, but Vladimir Tarasenko scored with just 40 seconds to go in OT to secure the 4-3 win for the home side. Ben Scrivens put forth a remarkable 37-save performance for the Oilers in a losing cause.
The Blues dominated the opening frame, peppering the Oilers netminder with shots and finally beating him on their 14th as T.J. Oshie stepped into a slap shot and picked the top shelf to make it 1-0 with 9:25 to go in the opening frame.
Moments before the goal, Tarasenko burst in on a one-on-one against Andrew Ference and, on his shot attempt, whacked the Oilers captain's stick through the air, hitting Scrivens in the mask and stunning him a little bit.
Despite continuing to be outshot, the Oilers picked up the equalizer in the middle frame as Leon Draisaitl won a race to the puck in the corner and found David Perron alone in the slot for a wrist shot that beat Jake Allen. The winger has now scored in both games he's played in St. Louis against his former team.
Perron said during the morning media availability he's happy with how his game has progressed recently, and he was rewarded with his third goal of the season. Meanwhile, the rookie Draisaitl picked up his sixth point with the beauty helper.
After eight consecutive games without playing with a lead, the Oilers finally gained the advantage on an opponent when Nikita Nikitin put them up 2-1 with 3:14 to go in the middle frame. Taylor Hall saw the Russian defender streaking down the left side and floated a perfect pass onto his stick for the one-timer.
The go-ahead tally was Nikitin's second goal and fifth point of the season, while Hall picked up his 14th point on the helper and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also assisted, tying Jordan Eberle for the Oilers scoring lead at 15 points.
The lead was short-lived, however, as the Blues tied it up just 31 seconds into the third when Kevin Shattenkirk's point shot somehow found its way through traffic and past a screened Scrivens to knot the game at 2-2.
The Oilers pushed back after the Blues tied it up, as Hall got the puck behind the net and found Mark Arcobello streaking in the slot for the point-blank one-timer to put the visitors up 3-2. It was Arcobello's fifth goal of the season, while Hall's second helper of the night tied him with Eberle and RNH for the team points lead.
Edmonton couldn't hold onto the lead again unfortunately, as Alex Pietrangelo scored the equalizer with 7:35 remaining in regulation, whacking home a rebound after Scrivens made two big saves and the Oilers were unable to corral the loose puck and clear the zone.
Scrivens shut the door from there, forcing OT and helping the team kill an OT penalty before Tarasenko finally ended the game for the home side. The Russian sniper deked around Justin Schultz and flicked a wrister past the Edmonton goaltender.
"We were able to survive a first period where we were under tremendous pressure," Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. "We got our legs underneath us in the second, had a good period and then had an average period in the third. We made a couple of mistakes that we couldn't recover from."
With their three-game Central Division road trip complete, the Oilers get two days off to prepare for a battle with the Arizona Coyotes on Monday at Rexall Place. It's back on the road after that, however, as they play the Jets in Winnipeg on Wednesday.