Draisaitl, McDavid combine for nine points, Oilers defeat Predators
EDMONTON — Leon Draisaitl had a goal and four assists, and Connor McDavid had two goals and two assists for the Edmonton Oilers in their fifth straight win, 7-4 against the Nashville Predators at Rogers Place on Tuesday.
Evander Kane scored a hat trick, and Jack Campbell made 19 saves for the Oilers (7-3-0).
McDavid leads the NHL with 11 goals and 22 points; Draisaitl is second with 21 points and leads the League with 16 assists. …
“I thought it was really good offensively,” Draisaitl said. “Sometimes when you go up early in a game like that, by three or four goals, those games can be hard sometimes because you naturally just let off the gas. They are a good team that can score and make plays, but I thought we did a pretty good job.”
Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists, Mikael Granlund, Matt Duchene and Roman Josi each had two assists, and Juuse Saros made 30 saves for the Predators (3-6-1), who have lost seven of eight.
“[Draisaitl and McDavid] are two of the top players in this league, and I think we gave them a little too much room, especially at the start,” Forsberg said. “When we give these guys time they’re going to take advantage of it and it was a little too easy for them at times. You can’t give anyone in this league too much time, but especially not those guys.”
Mattias Ekholm scored 34 seconds into the first period on the first shot of the game to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.
Kane tied it 1-1 at 4:14, converting a backhand centering pass from Draisaitl from the right boards. The two combined again at 7:25 to make it 2-1, with Draisaitl finding Kane in front with a pass out of the corner.
McDavid made it 3-1 at 7:51, keeping the puck on a rush and shooting it between the pads of Saros.
“I thought we had a really good first period, we fought well after they scored early,” Kane said. “In the second period, we traded power-play goals. In the third, we knew we had to come out and check, we knew we had enough goals to win, we wanted to make sure that we handled their push and made sure we pushed back. We stuck with it all night and we were able to get the two points.”
Derek Ryan scored his first of the season at 14:58 to give Edmonton a 4-1 lead. He tapped in at pass from Tyson Barrie from the side of the net.
McDavid scored on the power play at 7:26 of the second period to make it 5-1. He collected the puck off a clean face-off win by Draisaitl and snapped a shot from the slot over the shoulder of Saros.
“We have to be better collectively in different phases of the game,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “They’re two dynamic players and they made some good plays, and they got right back in the game through skill. They had a good night tonight for sure.”
Ryan Johansen made it 5-2 on the power play at 9:28, redirecting a pass from Josi.
Forsberg scored at 4:51 of the third period to cut it to 5-3, one-timing a cross-ice pass from Duchene.
“After we scored they came back and got those three quick ones and turned the game around,” Saros said. “We tried to get back, but it wasn’t enough today. Then when you get close, you can’t give up that next one, that’s kind of how it was tonight.”
Draisaitl scored on the power play at 8:55, converting a centering pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to make it 6-3.
“At 5-3, that penalty would have been nice to kill off, but it’s hard, they have five elite players out there; two of the best in the world and the other ones aren’t too bad either on that unit,” Forsberg said. “I thought the killers did a great job all night, but you can’t stop them when you’re taking that many penalties. That was something that we kind of shot ourselves in the foot with on the comeback.”
Nino Niederreiter scored on a 6-on-4 power play with Saros on the bench for an extra skater to make it 6-4 at 17:10, and Kane scored into an empty net at 18:23 for the 7-4 final.
“I think if you look at the goals we gave up, there were a few things we can do better,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “One of them was a 6-on-4, but there are things we can do better. But I keep going back to the fact the team is 7-3, but we realize we’re not perfect, we have areas that we need to get better in and [penalty kill] is certainly one of them.”
NOTES: n 21 games against the Predators, Draisaitl has 30 points (20 goals, 10 assists). He has five five-point games, which is fifth among active players behind Evgeni Malkin (eight), McDavid (seven), Sidney Crosby (six), and Brad Marchand (six). … McDavid has five multipoint games through the first 10 games of the season. … Kane has five NHL hat tricks. … Duchene had his 400th NHL assist.