Purcell caps Oilers’ rally with OT goal, 4-3 win over Ducks
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) When the Anaheim Ducks struggled with holding a late lead and navigating the intricacies of the new overtime format, the Edmonton Oilers skated right past them for a comeback victory.
Teddy Purcell scored 1:16 into overtime after the Oilers twice rallied from a third-period deficit in a 4-3 victory over the Ducks on Wednesday night.
Oscar Klefbom and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored tying goals in the third for the Oilers, who snapped a six-game skid at Honda Center that dated to April 2012. Purcell ended it with a breakaway, roaring past Rickard Rakell for his third goal of the season and Edmonton's third win in nine games.
''I just kind of went on instinct,'' Purcell said. ''We haven't been getting the results we've wanted every game, but we're doing the right things and we're showing that we can push back. We've shown that we can beat good teams, so this is a real confidence-builder for us.''
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists for Edmonton, matching the highest-scoring game of the 20-year-old German's career. Anders Nilsson made 34 saves for the Oilers, who needed a confidence-boosting win – their first since learning they had lost top draft pick Connor McDavid to a broken collarbone.
''It's huge,'' Draisaitl said. ''I know (the Ducks') record doesn't necessarily say it, but they're one of the best teams in the league for sure. That's a big, strong team, so to win a game in here like this shows that we can beat any team.''
Corey Perry scored two goals for the Ducks, including the 300th of his career in the third period. Anaheim has earned points in six consecutive games in November, but has lost back-to-back overtime home games.
The Ducks again struggled to handle the 3-on-3 OT format, getting caught in a change on Purcell's goal.
''It's kind of gimmicky, but it's here and it's not going anywhere,'' said Anaheim's Shawn Horcoff, who scored his 500th career point. ''So maybe we ought to spend a little more time on it.''
Horcoff scored early in the third period and Frederik Andersen stopped 23 shots for Anaheim, which had won 21 of its last 25 meetings with the Oilers. Andersen had never lost to Edmonton.
''We've just got to find a way to close out games,'' Perry said. ''We get a 2-1 and a 3-2 lead, and you see it evaporate pretty quickly. We're doing a lot of good things. We've just got to keep working, and we're going to start to keep these leads.''
Perry got credit for a goal in the first period when Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse accidentally kicked in his pass attempt during a power play. Draisaitl evened it with a power-play goal early in the second after a slick cross-ice pass from Benoit Pouliot.
''I liked that we were able to manage the early part of the game when they came real hard at us,'' Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said. ''We bent, but we didn't break. Every time they got ahead, we responded right away.''
The 37-year-old Horcoff scored his 500th career point off a behind-the-net pass from Cam Fowler early in the third. Horcoff's second goal for his new team came against Edmonton, where he played his first 12 NHL seasons.
Klefbom tied it moments later with a long shot through traffic for his third goal. Perry scored in front of Nilsson to put Anaheim back ahead, but the lead again lasted only moments, with Nugent-Hopkins getting his sixth goal.
NOTES: With his 300th, Perry pulled even with Paul Kariya for second place on the Ducks' career goals list. … Perry also has 30 points in his last 32 games against Edmonton. … Horcoff played 796 regular-season games for Edmonton, becoming the Oilers' captain in 2010. … Rakell returned to Anaheim's lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury.
- Anders Nilsson
- David Perron
- Edmonton Oilers
- Leon Draisaitl
- Marc-Andre Fleury
- Olli Maatta
- Oscar Klefbom
- Pascal Dupuis
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Sidney Crosby
- Teddy Purcell