EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers dynamic duo was at it again on Tuesday.
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and four assists to give him 21 points through 10 games, and Connor McDavid recorded two goals and two assists to give him sole possession of the league lead with 22 points as the Oilers blasted the Nashville Predators 7-4.
“It’s been good, obviously that is what we are paid to do, to produce offensively,” Draisaitl said. “With that being said, we are here to win a championship and look at the big picture.
"Him (McDavid) and I, we have had our awards and it is nice and we are proud of it, but we want the big prize. It is a good start for us as a group, which is way more important.”
Kane has been bouncing between playing with McDavid and Draisaitl and said he is happy with either one as his centre.
“That’s why I am here, to be frank,” he said. “Those guys are obviously the two best players in the world and it seems like each and every night they are loading up on the scoresheet and leading us to victory.
“We had contributions from everybody up and down the lineup. That just breeds confidence within your team. We have another two games in this homestand and we want to make the most of them.”
“The first period was kind of where we lost it,” said Forsberg, who was asked about the play of McDavid and Draisaitl. “They’re two of the top players in this league and I think we gave them a little too much room, especially at the start.
"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.”
It wasn’t the start that goalie Jack Campbell and the Oilers were looking for as Nashville scored just 34 seconds into the game, as a pass deflected off a skate and on net for a stick save, but the rebound went straight to Ekholm for the easy goal.
However, Edmonton would bounce back big-time, scoring three goals in just over seven minutes.
Edmonton pulled even 4:14 into the opening period as Draisaitl extended his point streak to five games with a stellar long pass to Kane, who proceeded to deke out Predators goaltender Juuse Saros.
Three minutes later Draisaitl sent a pass from behind the net to Kane, who fired a puck home through traffic for his second goal of the contest and fourth of the season.
Just 26 seconds after that, McDavid rifled a shot through Saros’ legs for his league-leading 10th goal of the season.
The Oilers made it 4-1 with five minutes left in the first period when Tyson Barrie sent a nice backhand pass into the paint for Ryan to tip into the net.
Edmonton added a power-play goal 7:26 into the second period as McDavid picked the top corner after a Draisaitl faceoff win for his second of the game and 11th goal in just 10 games.
Nashville got a power-play goal of its own midway through the middle frame as Johansen deftly tipped a Roman Josi shot past Campbell for his fourth of the year.
The Predators made it interesting five minutes into the third on a nice three-way passing play that culminated in a one-timer goal by Forsberg to make it 5-3.
The Oilers responded with another power-play goal to restore their three-goal edge as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins threaded the needle to Draisaitl, who sniped his fifth of the season glove-side on Saros.
Nashville remained a pest with three minutes to play as they got another power-play goal on a deflection by Niederreiter.
The Predators pulled Saros, which allowed Draisaitl to feed Kane for his fifth career hat trick.
The Oilers now have an 8-0-1 record in their last nine games against Nashville, coming on the heels of losing 13 straight to the Predators. A big reason for that turnaround has been Draisaitl, who has an incredible 18 goals in those nine games … McDavid has been on fire to start the season, earning himself the NHL's First Star of the Week honours on Monday. He scored his 250th career goal on Tuesday and recorded his fifth multi-point game of the current campaign … Predator Matt Duchene notched his 400th career assist … Nashville’s power play has been less than impressive to start the year, coming into the game with just three goals in 36 chances with the man advantage, although they did get two against the Oilers … The only listed player out with injury for the game was Predator Mark Borowiecki (upper body).
Both teams return to action on Thursday. The Predators play the second game of a five-game trip in Calgary against the Flames. The Oilers welcome the New Jersey Devils to town as the second game of a three-game homestand.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2022.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press