Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers will look to continue their winning ways Sunday when they visit the Montreal Canadiens.
Thanks to a 6-3 road win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, the Oilers are on a 9-0-2 run that has them just one point behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division.
Edmonton saw a 3-1 lead disappear against Ottawa but pulled away with a three-goal third period.
“We knew the Sens were playing well before the break,” McDavid said after his one-goal, two-assist outing. “We tried to get on them early and got off to a lead, but they did a great job battling back. It’s not easy to do that after a 12-day break, but we got contributions from all over the lineup.”
Edmonton hasn’t lost in regulation since Jan. 9, but that’s not the only streak. McDavid, who leads the league with 97 points, is riding a 15-game point-scoring streak in which he has 10 goals and 25 points. He has scored in 32 of his past 33 games.
However, the Oilers’ success is going beyond their superstar captain. While still possessing a top-shelf offensive attack, the Oilers have been much better defensively during their winning stretch. As evidence, their penalty kill has snuffed 31 of 34 short-handed situations and even has four short-handed goals.
“Winning teams get contributions up and down the lineup and through all three areas of the game — power play, penalty kill and five-on-five,” McDavid said. “We’ve been doing that and getting good goaltending, as well, and that helps a lot.”
The Canadiens sit at the bottom of the Atlantic Division but snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 overtime home win over the New York Islanders on Saturday.
It was Montreal’s first victory while wearing their powder-blue Reverse Retro uniforms, a design even coach Martin St. Louis said may have been an affront to the hockey gods by the storied franchise.
“I don’t know what next year brings, but I hope it’s not those jerseys,” said St. Louis, whose team has a 1-6-1 record while donning the sweaters.
Jersey jinxes aside, the Canadiens made their first game since Jan. 31 a success by twice erasing third-period deficits en route to a victory that required a lengthy video review on the winning goal.
The Canadiens were coming off the All-Star break and weeklong bye, which can make getting into the flow difficult, but they showed the kind of push necessary.
“Really happy with the effort today,” said goalie Sam Montembeault, who made 27 saves. “That was their fourth game after the break and that was our first, but that didn’t show. I think we played with intensity and with pace for 60 minutes. I gave up a little bit of a bad goal at the end of the second, but we didn’t get down.”
–Field Level Media