Oilers falter in third period as Devils in fifth in a row behind 4-3 comeback victory

EDMONTON — It took just seven seconds for the New Jersey Devils to flip the script and keep their winning streak alive while ending that of the Edmonton Oilers.

Miles Wood notched two goals and an assist as the Devils engineered a late third-period comeback for a 4-3 victory over the Oilers on Thursday. Ryan Graves and Jesper Bratt scored the game-tying then game-winning goals seven seconds apart as the Devils (8-3-0) won their fifth in a row.

“That was a huge win for us. They were 7-3 just like us heading into this game. They’re a great team and to come back like that in the third period was a great sign and it was a big win for us,” Wood said. “It was huge to come back like that in the third. It just showed a huge sign of strength by all the guys on the team and it was a good win.

Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 16-of-18 shots he faced before exiting the game and being replaced by Vitek Vanecek, who made 18 saves.

“We talked about it in the second period, that good teams have be able to come back when they are down,” said Devils head coach Lindy Ruff. “We were going to have to put a little bit more gamble in our game. There was a lot we liked in our game, I thought we left some opportunities out there early. That was just two fast teams playing incredibly fast hockey.”

Connor McDavid, Derek Ryan and Leon Draisaitl replied for the Oilers (7-4-0) who had their five-game winning streak halted. Stuart Skinner made 39 saves.

“I definitely feel we should have won,” McDavid said. “I definitely feel like we created enough chances. We probably gave up too many chances, but I thought (Skinner) gave us a great chance to win. You have a team on the ropes, and we had a couple looks there, and you’ve got to put them down. That's the way it goes. You have to find a way to close that one out.”

Edmonton struck first 9:20 into the opening period when Darnell Nurse’s diving defensive play created a two-on-one that led to Zach Hyman assisting McDavid on his league-leading 12th goal of the season.

The Devils tied it up three minutes later as an Oilers neutral zone turnover led to Wood sending a quick wrist shot past Skinner.

Edmonton regained its lead eight minutes into the second period as Ryan tipped a Tyson Barrie shot into the net for his second goal in as many games.

Blackwood came out of the game in the middle frame after suffering an injury on an Edmonton power play, making way for backup Vanecek.

The Oilers gave Vanecek a rude welcome as they scored on their first shot against the Devils netminder. McDavid passed off to Draisaitl, who extended his point streak to six games with his sixth goal of the campaign.

New Jersey battled its way back with a goal 1:14 into the third as Wood rifled his second of the game and fourth of the season past Skinner off a faceoff win.

The Devils tied the game with 3:15 remaining as a Graves shot just trickled through Skinner’s legs.

Seven seconds later, New Jersey completed the comeback as John Marino sprang Bratt on a breakaway, who sent a shot off the post and in for his fifth of the year.

Bratt’s goal extended his point streak to 11 games on the play, setting a franchise record for the longest such streak to start the season.

NOTES

The Edmonton Oilers decided to recognize players of note from their storied history in their Team Hall of Fame, adding two new names in the ring during a pre-game ceremony. Newly-enshrined were Ryan Smyth who ranks second in franchise history in all-time games played at 971, fifth in goals with 296, and eighth in points with 631 — and defenceman Lee Fogolin, who was selected by the Oilers in the 1979 expansion draft from the Buffalo Sabres and was a part of the team’s first two Stanley Cup championships in 1984 and 1985 … The last time both the Oilers and Devils made the playoffs was in 2006 … New Jersey came into the contest having allowed fewer than 25 shots in nine consecutive games, but Edmonton ended that run … Devils defenceman John Marino played his 200th game. Marino was originally an Oilers draft pick, but never played for them … Out with injuries for New Jersey were Jonathan Bernier (hip) and Ondrej Palat (groin). Bernier, who has not played since Dec. 3, 2021, took part in the morning skate, rotating through goaltender drills with Vanecek.

UP NEXT

Both teams return to action on Saturday. The Devils wrap up a three-game trip in Calgary against the Flames. The Oilers welcome the Dallas Stars to town to conclude a three-game homestand.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2022.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press