EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Leon Draisaitl’s third-period goal proved to be the winner as the Edmonton Oilers rallied from two goals down and beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 on Saturday night.
“I think that we’re resilient. We figured out different ways to stick around and win hockey games. It’s obviously a big part of making the playoffs. I think we’ve done a great job of that this year. Obviously, we have to keep that going,” Draisaitl said.
Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist, and Darnell Nurse and Devin Shore also scored. Mike Smith made 29 saves. The Oilers have won three consecutive games and are tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs atop the North Division. Edmonton was coming off a 2-1 win on Thursday night.
Andrew Copp and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Winnipeg. Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves in the loss.
“We don’t like it. The locker room is not thrilled right now, so that’s a good sign,” Jets forward Blake Wheeler said.
Copp scored the first goal of the game on a power play at 10:36 of the first. Nikolaj Ehlers fired a puck that pinballed off an Oilers defenseman and Copp’s stick before finding the back of the net.
Dubois doubled the Jets’ lead with 4:33 left in the opening period. McDavid responded almost two minutes later, cutting the Jets’ lead in half.
Neither side scored in the second as the goaltenders kept the shooters at bay. Smith even made a highlight-reel save after nearly costing his team a goal.
Smith made an errant pass from behind his own goal that was intercepted by Jets forward Kyle Connor, who had an open cage to shoot at, but Smith caught the puck in mid-air with his glove.
“I’ve said it all along, (Smith) is one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached. You see it on display there tonight. I just mentioned it. He makes timely saves. I’ve seen him play like this for a long time. He’s in a groove. He’s playing very well and he’s a big part of our team,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said.
Nurse tied the game in the third period with his 10th of the season, beating Hellebuyck with a shot that nestled into the right-hand corner of the goal.
Draisaitl capped off the comeback with a goal after coming up ice on a 2-on-1 with McDavid. McDavid fed Draisaitl a pass that he slapped past Hellebuyck to take the lead.
Shore’s empty-net goal with 1:20 left to play in the game gave the Oilers all the breathing room they needed to secure the victory.
McDavid tied Auston Matthews for NHL goals lead with 21, and padded his league-leadings points (60) and assists (39) total. He extended his points streak to nine games. He has seven goals and 20 points in that span.
Jets: At Vancouver on Monday and Wednesday nights.
Oilers: At Montreal Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights.