EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Leon Draisaitl scored twice and the Edmonton Oilers beat the defending champion St. Louis Blues 4-2 Friday night.
Caleb Jones and Josh Archibald also scored to help the Oilers improve to 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. Mikko Koskinen stopped 30 shots.
The Oilers led 2-0 before St. Louis tied the score early in the third. Draisaitl then gave the Oilers a 3-2 lead at 4:13 of the final period as Kailer Yamamoto feathered a pass through to him. Draisaitl beat goalie Jake Allen glove side for his second of the game and 29th of the season.
“That was huge,” Draisaitl said of getting the win. “That team over there, they know how to win hockey games. For them to tie it up, and for us to come back and win the game, it’s a big confidence boost for us.
“The standings are tight, points are tight … we just have to keep grinding away, keep getting points. Hopefully at the end it will be enough.”
St. Louis had a great opportunity with a late third period power play and pulled Allen for the extra attacker, but Archibald picked off the puck and danced his way to open ice to score a short-handed empty-netter with 1:41 left to seal the win.
David Perron and Robert Thomas had goals for the Blues, who have lost four of their last five. Allen finished with 31 saves.
“Our puck execution wasn’t very good for sure, we watched, we didn’t skate and didn’t win many battles and they had jump early and had good energy,” Blues head coach Craig Berube said. “They got on us and forced us to turn pucks over and we didn’t make very good plays with the puck.”
Edmonton grabbed the early lead as Draisaitl opened the scoring 5:31 into the first on a slap shot past Allen. It extended his point streak to 10 games.
“Both of his goals were good goals, well-earned goals,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “That line has played well for us. It is good to see that Leon, he has his game turned back the other way and is playing very well.”
Jones made it 2-0 just 17 seconds later as his long shot trickled through Allen, giving the young defenseman his second career NHL goal
St. Louis only had three shots on Koskinen in a first period that also saw Edmonton hit two posts.
Perron scored from his knees on a backhand rebound just under 11 minutes into the second for his 23rd goal of the season to pull the Blues to 2-1.
St. Louis tied it early in the third as Tyler Bozak pounced on a bouncing puck during a scramble in front of the Edmonton net and fed it across to Thomas for his ninth at 2:12.
Draisaitl put the Oilers ahead for good just over two minutes later.
NOTES: It was the third and final meeting between the two teams this season, with the Blues winning both previous encounters by 5-2 and 2-1 scores. … Blues F Alexander Steen played in his 999th NHL game. … Edmonton F James Neal was a late scratch with a foot injury, with Archibald taking his place on McDavid’s line.
Blues: At Winnipeg on Saturday night.
Oilers: At Calgary on Saturday night.
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