McDavid leaves late in third, Oilers beat Canadiens 4-1
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) The Edmonton Oilers were able to celebrate their victory over the Montreal Canadiens – but only after Connor McDavid’s X-rays came back negative.
McDavid and Jujhar Khaira each had a goal and an assist and the Oilers extended their winning streak to a season-high four games, beating the Canadiens 4-1 on Saturday night.
There was a bit of a scare late in the game when McDavid limped off the ice after blocking a shot with his foot late in the third period, but coach Todd McLellan said it doesn’t appear to be an injury that could cost his star player any time off the ice.
”The doctors have X-rayed it and it came back negative,” McLellan said. ”His foot is a little sore obviously from blocking it, but he’s in good spirits. The three days (break) will help him and I fully expect him to play in Winnipeg (on Wednesday night).”
Ryan Strome and Milan Lucic also scored and Leon Draisaitl had three assists for the Oilers. They reached the .500 mark for the first time since their second game of the season, sitting at 17-17-2.
”I think we’ve been playing some really good hockey lately,” Draisaitl said. ”We’re back to playing the way we were playing last year. We have all four lines going right now. It’s nice to take that into the break.”
Oilers goal Cam Talbot made 29 saves for his career-high seventh consecutive win.
”It says we are a resilient group,” he said. ”We could have folded our hand after we got down and everybody said we had no chance of making the playoffs and counted us out. But we still believed in this room. Obviously .500 isn’t where we wanted to be at this point, but it is a good place to start from after the break.”
Andrew Shaw scored for the Canadiens, coming off a 3-2 victory in Calgary on Friday night.
”We were playing a good hockey team and we made key mistakes at certain times of the game,” Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher said. ”We had our chances. Their goalie made some saves, it’s nothing to hang our head about, the effort.”
Edmonton opened the scoring with 5:10 left in the first when Strome beat goalie Antti Niemi with a one-timer. McDavid made it 2-0 two minutes later on a wrist shot through a screen for his 14th of the season.
Edmonton added to its lead four minutes into the middle period Lucic’s power-play goal.
Montreal got on the board with seven minutes left in the second period on Shaw’s power-play goal.
Edmonton put the game away with Khaira’s empty-netter.
NOTES: It was the second and final meeting of the season between the two teams. Edmonton won the first 6-2 on Dec. 9 in Montreal. … Niemi made his first start since Nov. 22. The Canadiens are his third team this season, starting as Pittsburgh’s backup, getting claimed by Florida off waivers and subsequently getting claimed by Montreal.
Canadiens: At Carolina on Wednesday night.
Oilers: At Winnipeg on night.