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Pickard, Oilers extend winning streak to seven games with 4-1 victory over Devils

EDMONTON — Calvin Pickard made 26 saves for his first win in almost two years as the Edmonton Oilers earned their seventh straight win, 4-1, over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

Pickard, who the Oilers signed to a two-year, two-way contract back in July 2022, last won a game on Jan. 28, 2022 with the Detroit Red Wings.

Derek Ryan, Evan Bouchard Connor McDavid and Evander Kane, with an empty-net goal, scored for Edmonton (12-12-1). Kane and McDavid each added an assist.

Bouchard and McDavid extended their point streaks to 11 and nine games, respectively.

Jesper Bratt responded for New Jersey (14-11-1), which had its three-game winning streak halted.

Akira Schmid stopped 26-of-29 shots.

Edmonton looked to have struck first on its initial shot just under five minutes into the contest. Connor Brown seemed to snap his 36-game goalless streak by banking a shot off Schmid and into the net.

However, a video review determined that Kane had interfered with Schmid on the play.

Ryan opened the scoring with 1:24 left in the first period. Sam Gagner sent a backhand pass from behind the net to Ryan and he snuck one past Schmid for his third of the season.

Edmonton continued to press and hit three posts by the midway point of the second period but couldn’t add to its lead.

That changed on the power play with 5:40 to play in the middle frame as Bouchard blew a cannon of a shot from the point past Schmid for his eighth.

Oilers forward Zach Hyman had a chance to extend that lead shortly after but was stoned by Schmid on a breakaway attempt.

McDavid made it 3-0 just 4:23 into the third period. Hyman tied up Schmid behind the net and Kane was able to pop the puck loose to McDavid for the wide-open net goal, his 10th of the year.

Bratt ended Pickard’s shutout bid just 30 seconds later as Nico Hischier made a perfect feed across to allow Bratt to redirect home his 12th.

Pickard made some solid saves with Schmid pulled and three minutes of play remaining, allowing Edmonton to go the other way and McDavid set up Kane for an empty-netter, also his 12th.

NOTES

The Devils were without the services of Tomas Nosek (right foot) and Dougie Hamilton (torn left pectoral muscle). Edmonton was missing Dylan Holloway (lower-body) … Stuart Skinner had made the previous seven starts in net for the Oilers before Sunday.

UP NEXT

The Oilers play the fourth of a six-game homestand on Tuesday when they host the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Devils return home to face the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2023.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press