EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers like to advertise themselves as a high-octane, highly skilled collection of elite-level talent, which is why it hurt so much when the Toronto Maple Leafs rolled into town Tuesday and beat them at their own game.
For the second time in two weeks.
Toronto dumped Edmonton 4-0 Tuesday at Rexall Place, falling up the Leafs' 6-5 home victory over the Oilers on Oct. 12.
In the end, Toronto's best players were far better than Edmonton's in the rematch, with Phil Kessel, Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk combining for eight points and a plus-11 rating, while Jordan Eberle, Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov combined to post a minus-11 rating for the Oilers.
Kessel, the driving force behind Toronto's recent surge, has seven goals in his past four games. He scored twice Tuesday.
"I'm getting some good bounces, some good passes right now," Kessel said. "Things are good right now. Things are good."
Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said it os a lot more than just being in the right place at the right time.
"Puck luck is part of it, but skilled players find a way to get goals," he said. "The puck kind of follows those guys around. (Kessel) doesn't need many opportunities to score.
"When he wasn't scoring, you could chart where his shots were coming from, and tonight, where did his goals come from? He's going into those dirty areas to get goals. That's what has to happen because goals aren't easy to score in the NHL.
"He has quick hands, and if you give him an open net, his eyes get a little bit wider."
Toronto goalie James Reimer appeared to have the much smaller net, stopping 43 Oilers shots for the shutout.
"They came hard in the first (period) and were throwing everything at the net," he said. "But in the second, I thought we really established our game and controlled most of the play.
"As a team, I don't think we want to give up 40-plus shots, but having said that, I don't think it was as dangerous as the quantity suggested."
The Leafs, who led 1-0 after 20 minutes and 3-0 after 40, improved to 9-4-0. The last-place Oilers fell to 3-9-2.
"It's getting frustrating," Edmonton defenseman Ladislav Smid said. "We're not consistent enough. We can't sustain the same game for 60 minutes. It seems to be every game is the same story, so obviously we have to change something.
"There are several things that are wrong right now. We talk about the right things every day, but we have to go out and do it on the ice. Nobody is going to do it for us. We have to wake up in here."
Getting shut out at home after being outshot 48-18 the previous game in Los Angeles put a black cloud over an Oilers season that was never all that sunny to begin with. After a series of well-played losses to begin the year, things are getting worse.
"It's something that we can't accept, it's something that we have to turn now," Edmonton captain Andrew Ference said. "For the first five or six games, we could focus on the fact we were taking steps in the right direction, but you hit a point in the season where that's not acceptable. You have to be professional enough to push ourselves to demand more than just progress."
Kessel's partial breakaway deke at 1:08 was the only scoring of a wild first period in which the two teams threw defense out the window and decided to trade 20 minutes worth of chances. Edmonton outshot Toronto 14-12, but the 1-0 score held up until the first intermission.
Toronto struck twice in the second, with van Riemsdyk capping off an odd-man rush at 1:41 and Kessel scoring from an impossibly sharp angle at 8:42.
Kadri rounded out the scoring at 6:14 of the third.
Goalie Richard Bachman earned his second start in a row after a 47-save performance in his Oilers debut. He made 22 stops Tuesday.
NOTES: Gagner played his first game of the season after missing a month with a broken jaw suffered in the preseason. In order to make room, Edmonton sent C Anton Lander back to AHL Oklahoma City. ... LW David Perron fell ill before the game, so Edmonton, which didn't have an extra forward on the roster, had to dress seven defensemen instead. ... Edmonton G Devan Dubnyk is out with a sore ankle. ... Toronto RW Joffrey Lupul was questionable for Tuesday's game with a bruised foot, but he took the pregame skate and declared himself good to go. ... Reimer made his second consecutive start since suffering a head injury Oct. 17 against the Carolina Hurricanes. ... Kessel extended his goal-scoring streak to four games.
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