Nugent-Hopkins helps Oilers snap 7-game skid against Wild
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and two assists as the Edmonton Oilers beat Minnesota 5-2 Friday night to snap a seven-game skid against the Wild.
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist. Derek Ryan and Kailer Yamamoto also scored for the Oilers, who have won six of their last eight. Stuart Skinner made 42 saves.
“Each night is a new game, but at the same time they’ve kind of had our number in recent games. We wanted to put our best foot forward,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “We needed a good start, they’re a good starting team. We did that and got better as the game went on.
“Overall, it was one of our best 60-minute performances.”
Joel Eriksson Ek and Mats Zuccarello scored for the Wild, who have lost two in a row. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 33 shots.
“We got enough pucks to the net but not enough quality,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “I honestly don’t remember their goalie making too many outstanding saves, we were hitting him with a lot of pucks. Our willingness to get pucks there, it just wasn’t quality when we needed to score.”
Edmonton got a rare opening goal 2:45 into the first period as Devin Shore made a pass from behind the net to Ryan, who sent his own rebound in for his second goal in two games.
“When you’re getting contributions throughout the lineup it’s awesome,” Oilers forward Zach Hyman said. “It provided momentum for the team. You can get off to a quicker start. It gives confidence to everybody in the lineup. A lot of guys are playing more now than they did at the beginning of the year and they’re contributing.”
Just over six minutes later, McDavid extended his goal streak to seven games. Nugent-Hopkins sent the puck across to McDavid and he blasted home his 25th of the season. McDavid currently leads the league in goals, assists (29) and points (54).
Minnesota briefly appeared to get on the scoreboard just over a minute later when a puck hit the post and landed behind Skinner. He fell back and held it between his arm and pad, but the officials ruled that it crossed the line after a video review. However, a second review determined the Wild had committed interference during their attempts to poke Skinner and the puck into the net and the goal was disallowed.
Minnesota eventually got on the board at 11:24. Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse sent a puck behind his own net that was intercepted by Eriksson Ek, who was able to come out in front unhindered, make a move on Skinner and score his 10th. It was the fourth straight game against Edmonton that Eriksson Ek has scored.
The Wild tied it 2-2 at 6:22 of the second as Zuccarello picked the top corner just as a two-man advantage expired for his ninth. Kirill Kaprizov picked up an assist on the goal, extending his point streak to 14 games.
Edmonton regained the lead with seven minutes to play in the middle period as Yamamoto tipped Nurse's shot past Fleury for his first of the season.
The Oilers made it 4-2 on the power play 3:43 into the third as Nugent-Hopkins got it across to Draisaitl who had a wide-open net for his 19th. It was also Draisaitl’s 12th power-play goal.
Nugent-Hopkins scored his 14th into an empty net with 9 seconds remaining.
McDavid became the first Oilers player to score in seven straight games since Jimmy Carson in 1988. ... Kaprizov ended his franchise-record goal streak at seven games. His point streak is the third longest in the NHL this season. ... Minnesota D Jonas Brodin returned after missing four games with a lower-body injury. ... The Wild recalled F Sammy Walker from Iowa of the AHL and reassigned F Joseph Cramarossa to the minor league club. ... Edmonton F Tyler Benson cleared waivers and was assigned to Bakerfield of the AHL.
Wild: At Vancouver on Saturday night to finish a four-game trip.
Oilers: At Minnesota on Monday night to open a two-game trip.
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