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Draisaitl nets overtime winner as Oilers edge Canadiens

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EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers’ usually deadly power play finally got the job done, even if it took a fifth try and an opportunity in extra time to do so.

Leon Draisaitl scored a power-play goal at 3:17 of overtime as the Oilers edged the resilient Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

Draisaitl converted a feed from Connor McDavid with a one-timer from a sharp angle for his 34th goal of the season.

“We still had our looks today but teams are obviously hyper-aware when we’re out there so it only gets harder and harder,” Draisaitl said of Edmonton’s work with the man advantage. “But we stuck with it and eventually got one.

“We’ll take the two points, but obviously there is lots to do better.”

McDavid and Adam Henrique also scored for the Oilers (41-21-4) who have gone 8-1-2 in their last 11 outings.

It was Henrique’s first goal since being traded near the deadline to Edmonton from the Anaheim Ducks.

“I feel my game’s been good. Of course you want to score, coming into a new team. You want to find ways to contribute,” Henrique said. “For me, the focus is that the complete game has to be there. (It was) certainly nice to get on the board tonight.”

Nick Suzuki and Kaiden Guhle scored for the Canadiens (25-31-12), who have lost three in a row, including two in overtime.

“It’s one of the best games that we’ve played all year, so a lot of positives.,” said Montreal assistant coach Trevor Letowski. “I’m not going to stand here and be negative.

"It’s a tough way to go down because the players really left everything on the line and to have to kill six minutes like that in the game, especially against a team like that, we almost got to the end, but they made us pay right at the end of it. The (Montreal players) certainly shouldn’t hang their heads after that game, they should be real proud of their effort.”

Edmonton started the scoring 9:20 into the opening frame on a terrific individual effort from McDavid who stripped a puck, danced around defender Guhle and then undressed goalie Sam Montembeault with a deke before depositing his 26th of the season into the net.

Guhle made up for his earlier gaffe about five minutes later as he fished a puck to safety that was lying in the blue paint before the Oilers could poke it into a wide-open net.

The Oilers took a 2-0 lead with five minutes remaining in the middle frame as Mattias Ekholm made a nice pass to Henrique in tight and he corralled it and scored his 19th of the season.

Montreal ended Oiler goalie Calvin Pickard’s bid for consecutive shutouts just 32 seconds into the third period with a bit of a lucky goal as a puck caromed off of both of Suzuki’s skates before heading into the net to count as his 27th of the season.

The Habs tied the game 2-2 while the teams were skating four players aside 4:43 into the third period as Jake Evans fed Guhle with a direct line on net and he beat Pickard glove side for his fifth of the campaign.

The Oilers were awarded a late power play and almost took advantage but Zach Hyman rifled a shot off of the post.

Then with 28 seconds to play, Joel Armia was assessed a double-minor for a high stick on Henrique that extended into overtime.

NOTES

It was the second and final meeting of the season between the two teams, with Edmonton winning the previous encounter 2-1 in overtime in Montreal on Jan. 13. … The Canadiens were without head coach Martin St. Louis, who was attending to a personal family issue. … Troy Stecher drew in on the Oilers defence with Vincent Desharnais nursing a slight hand injury. It was only the fifth game an Oilers defenceman has missed this season, the lowest in the NHL. Winnipeg is next at 17, followed by Carolina at 19. … Habs forward Alex Newhook suited up for his 200th career NHL game. … McDavid is the first player with more than 80 assists in consecutive seasons since Joe Thornton accomplished the feat in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007.

UP NEXT

Canadiens: Visit the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

Oilers: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2024.