NHL

NHL: Edmonton Oilers earn sixth straight win

By Sports Desk December 09, 2023

Evan Bouchard's second goal of the game broke a tie early in the third period and sent the resurgent Edmonton Oilers to a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

Edmonton won its sixth consecutive game and improved to 8-3-0 under Kris Knoublach, who replaced Jay Woodcroft as head coach on Nov. 12 after the Oilers got off to a 3-9-1 start.

Bouchard added an assist and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had four assists to help the Oilers battle back twice from one-goal deficits. Stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each contributed a goal and an assist to back 17 saves from Stuart Skinner.

The Wild were outshot by a 40-20 margin but kept it close throughout behind 36 saves from Marc-Andre Fleury.

After Draisaitl's power-play goal late in the second period forged a 3-3 tie, Bouchard also converted a power-play chance 1:32 into the third to put Edmonton in front.

Bouchard's first of the night gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead after one period, but Matt Boldy and Joel Eriksson Ek each scored in the opening minute of the second to send the Wild ahead. 

McDavid answered just 40 seconds after Eriksson Ek's goal, but Minnesota regained the lead on Connor Dewar's one-timer with 8:02 left in the second.

The Wild have now lost two straight after winning their first four games since John Hynes replaced Dean Evason as head coach on Nov. 28.

Bobrovsky, Panthers extend Penguins' losing streak

Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves and Eetu Luostarinen scored the deciding goal in the third period as the Florida Panthers came through with a 3-1 win over the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Aleksander Barkov also had goals to help the Panthers move to 4-1-1 over their last six games.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has now lost four straight (0-2-2) after failing to hold on to a 1-0 lead provided by Reilly Smith's goal 8:05 into the second period.

The Panthers drew even when Ekman-Larsson knocked in a rebound late in the second period, then took a 2-1 edge when Luostarinen sent a loose puck past Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry with 6:10 elapsed in the third.

After Florida killed off a late Pittsburgh power play, Barkov sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 27 seconds remaining.

Jarry stopped 30 of 32 shots for the Penguins, who went 0 for 3 on the power play and have now gone 13 straight games without a man-advantage goal.

Greaves stars in NHL debut as Blue Jackets top Blues

Jet Greaves stopped 41 shots to win his first NHL game as the Columbus Blue Jackets pulled away for a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues.

Yegor Chinakhov had two of three Columbus goals in the third period to support an outstanding debut from Greaves, called up from the minors Thursday after the Blue Jackets placed regular goaltender Elvis Merzlikins on injured reserve.

The 22-year-old rookie came up with 23 saves alone in the third period, during which Chinakhov scored twice in a span of under six minutes to stretch Columbus' lead to 4-1.

Chinakhov also assisted on Kirill Marchenko's goal that put the Blue Jackets ahead just 1:42 in, though Robert Thomas tied it for St. Louis later in the first period with the first of his two goals.

Adam Fantilli put Columbus back ahead with a shot past Blues goaltender Joel Hofer with 2:59 left in the opening period.

Thomas scored again with 2:22 remaining to get St. Louis within 4-2, but Alexandre Texier's empty-net goal in the final seconds ended any Blues' comeback hopes.

Columbus snapped a three-game losing streak, while the Blues have now dropped three of four. Hofer stopped 17 of 21 shots in defeat.

 

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