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Draisaitl, McDavid Key in Oilers’ Big OT Win Over Panthers

A lead that slipped away from the Edmonton Oilers allowed for a last-second goal to tie it up and a thrilling overtime win over the Panthers.

It appeared the Edmonton Oilers were going to get unlucky when a questionable high stick by Matthew Tkachuk was allowed to count as a live play and led to the Florida Panthers’ third goal late in the third period. The Oilers had played fairly well and controlled much of the play up to that point, and with a couple of minutes left, it seemed like a home-ice victory might slip away. They pulled goaltender Stuart Skinner in hopes they could catch a break the other way and that’s exactly what they did.

A couple of pucks into the stands gave the Oilers life with faceoffs in the offensive zone and with just seconds left, a big faceoff scramble led to Connor McDavid finding a wide-open Evan Bouchard and he put it past the solid Spencer Knight with a Bouch-Bomb to tie things up and with only 4.4 seconds to play. It was Bouchard’s third goal in two games — after scoring no goals up to that point this season — and this one couldn’t have come at a better time.

In overtime — where the Oilers were 1-0 and Florida 0-2 — it was the McDavid and Leon Draisaitl show. Defenseman Darnell Nurse made a smart play by waiting in his own zone as Tkachuk blew a tire and took himself out of the play. Nurse hit Leon with a great breakout pass, Leon over to McDavid, back to Leon, and in. That was the game, and early into the OT period.

Oilers over Panthers OT Leon Draisaitl
Oilers over Panthers OT Leon Draisaitl

The Panthers didn’t have Aleksander Barkov in the lineup, but Edmonton was missing Warren Foegele and Ryan McLeod, plus they were without the services of Evander Kane and Kailer Yamamoto. Without much of their top nine, a young guns fourth line of Dylan Holloway, James Hamblin, and Brad Malone deserved a lot of credit for being engaged and part of the grind. They worked hard and created chances, allowing the top line a little more time to rest than most fans might have expected (McDavid still played over 26 minutes). The big guns showed up late as McDavid finished with a goal and two assists, Zach Hyman three assists, and Draisaitl the game-winner for the second-straight game.

Stuart Skinner made 25 saves to earn the win for the Oilers, who are now two games above .500 and doing their best to stay above water and win some games with a depleted roster. The Oilers directed a ton of shots toward Spencer Knight, facing 40 shots and who was very good in the loss.

Next: Four Takeaways from Maple Leafs 4-2 Win vs. Red Wings

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