Blues fall 3-2 as Oilers tie it late, win in shootout
ST. LOUIS — Connor McDavid hasn’t always looked like a natural in shootouts.
The work he’s put in showed up Wednesday night.
McDavid scored in the shootout after Oscar Klefbom tied it late in the third period, and the Edmonton Oilers beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on Wednesday night.
McDavid improved to 7 for 13 in shootouts for his career. It was his fifth game-deciding shootout goal.
“You know we’re a pretty confident team once it gets past 60 minutes,” McDavid said. “We felt pretty good about the overtime period, but obviously it was our first shootout, but we got the win.”
Klefbom scored with 55.2 seconds remaining to tie it at 2, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid scored in the shootout. Nugent-Hopkins also scored in the second period, and Edmonton won for the fourth time in five games.
“The timing’s been good lately with my goals and I’ll take that,” Klefbom said. “It gives us so much confidence to win a game like this.”
Cam Talbot made 28 saves, plus two more in the shootout to win for the first time in seven tries dating to Oct. 28.
“Guys did a great job in front of me,” Talbot said. “After that first period, we adjusted some things and tightened up and that’s what we needed to do tonight. It was a big team win, and that’s a good confidence booster going home.”
Ivan Barbashev and Brayden Schenn scored for the Blues, who lost for the fourth time in their last five games. Jake Allen made 34 saves as St. Louis lost for the fourth time this season after taking a two-goal lead.
“We got caught in a three-fourths ice game there,” Blues interim coach Craig Berube said. “We just stopped making plays, and when you stop making plays, you get the puck out and they just pound it back in and that’s their game.”
Klefbom scored on a slap shot through traffic from just inside the blue line with Talbot pulled for an extra skater. Klefbom has a point in five straight games.
“I saw the big wind-up,” Allen said. “I knew he was going far side so I tried to push over there, but I just didn’t get a good enough read on it.”
Barbashev gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 6:05 of the first, burying Oskar Sundqvist’s feed from behind the net short-side. Schenn made it 2-0 with 6:28 left, banking the puck off the far post at a severe angle. Schenn has 13 points in 13 career games against Edmonton.
Nugent-Hopkins got Edmonton on the board at 4:04 of the second. After Darnell Nurse’s centering pass went off of Blues center Robert Thomas’ skate, Nugent-Hopkins chipped it in from in between Thomas’ legs.
“We didn’t have a good first period,” Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock said. “I thought the first period was one of the poorest periods we’ve played, and I thought the second period was the best period we’ve played on the road by a mile.”
FACES IN THE CROWD
Wayne Gretzky and Curtis Joseph were in attendance. Gretzky played for the Oilers from 1979-1987 and finished the 1995-96 season with the Blues. Joseph, who played for the Blues from 1989-1995, was promoting his autobiography, “Cujo.”
NOTES: Oilers C Leon Draisaitl had his four-game point streak snapped. … Blues C Ryan O’Reilly has won at least 15 faceoffs in a game 10 times this season. … Hitchcock coached the Blues from 2011-2017 and amassed a 248-124-41 record. … The Oilers scratched D Chris Wideman, D Jason Garrison and C Drake Caggiula. … The Blues scratched LW Sammy Blais, LW Alexander Steen and D Jordan Schmaltz.
Edmonton: Host Minnesota on Friday.
St. Louis: Play at Winnipeg on Friday