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McDavid’s overtime goal gives Oilers 4-3 win over Panthers

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Cats can’t hold third period lead

NHL: Florida Panthers at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Connor McDavid scored the game-winning goal with three seconds left in overtime to give the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers Wednesday night at Rogers Place.

McDavid set up goals by Zack Kassian and Mark Letestu 5:56 apart in the first period to stake the Oilers to a 2-0 lead 13:04 into the action.

Edmonton opened the scoring thanks to a terrible pass by defenseman Mark Pysyk. McDavid snagged it in the neutral zone and eventually found Kassian with a nice goal mouth pass for his 100th big-league point.

Letestu picked up his goal when McDavid’s shot struck him in the skate and ricocheted into the net. The second assist on the power-play marker went to Andrej Sekera.

Red-hot Vincent Trocheck scored with 3:47 left in the frame to cut the deficit to one. Trocheck worked a give-and-go with Reilly Smith before beating Cam Talbot from the right circle on the rush. Keith Yandle picked up the secondary assist on Trocheck’s seventeenth of the season.

With the Panthers on a late second period power play, Michael Sgarbossa notched his first NHL goal when he popped the rebound of Jonathan Marchessault’s shot over Talbot’s left pad to tie the game. Aaron Ekblad drew the second helper on the play.

Florida took the lead with 5:15 left in regulation time with Ekblad once again starting off the scoring play. After an Oilers turnover, Ekblad sent Jaromir Jagr into the offensive zone with a bounce pass off the boards. Jagr patiently waited before finding a driving Greg McKegg in front for the tap-in.

Edmonton tied the game 2:16 after McKegg’s goal when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins blocked a Yandle shot and sent Jordan Eberle off to the races. Eberle sped in the Cats’ zone and snapped a wrist shot by James Reimer to force overtime and end an 18-game scoring drought.

McDavid struck the deciding blow after Leon Draisaitl intercepted Trocheck’s centering pass and sent him in on a breakaway. The young phemon deked Reimer before lighting the lamp on the backhand. Reimer caught the puck, but his glove was ruled to be over the goal line.

Once again, the Panthers were done in by their inability to put forth a complete sixty-minute effort. Despite that, the team did have the lead late in the game and could not close, another recurring theme this season. The road trip rolls on with a stop in Vancouver Friday night.

Pressure & Viscosity

  • It only took Connor McDavid 92 games to reach the 100-point mark. The 20-year-old leads the league in scoring with 54 points.
  • Speaking of 100 points, Leon Draisaitl also reached that plateau with his helper on the game-winning goal.
  • Michael Sgarbossa first-ever goal came in his 30th NHL game. The power-play marker was Florida’s first against Edmonton since 2009. Sgarbossa also won 10 of 13 faceoffs.
  • Florida captain Derek MacKenzie suited up for his 500th NHL tilt. MacKenize dished out a game-high four hits.
  • Cam Talbot made 28 saves to get the win while James Reimer turned aside 27 shots and dropped to 7-6-4 on the season.
  • Vincent Trocheck’s goal extended his scoring streak to six games. Trocheck has ten points (6G/4A) over that torrid stretch.
  • Copper & Blue has the other side of the penny on yet another Oilers win over the Panthers.