EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists, Kailer Yamamoto scored twice and the Edmonton Oilers won without captain Connor McDavid in the lineup, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Riley Sheahan and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored for the Oilers (30-20-6), who will be without McDavid for two to three weeks because of a left quadriceps injury.
”With him out, we’re not going to score five goals every night,” Draisaitl said. ”But you just have to find ways to win hockey games.”
Draisaitl upped his total to 89 points, most in the NHL. McDavid is second with 81.
Edmonton has won its past two games.
”It’s a huge confidence boost for our team. Any time you can win without the best player in the world …,” said Yamamoto, who marveled at Draisaitl’s ability to fill the void with McDavid out. ”That’s insane. We’ve got two of the best players in the world.”
Brandon Saad, Jonathan Toews and Adam Boqvist scored for the Blackhawks (25-23-8), who have lost four in a row – including a 5-2 defeat in Winnipeg to begin their five-game road trip.
”Yeah, it’s a tough start to the trip,” forward Patrick Kane said. ”We had a great start in the first period the other night. Obviously, we didn’t have a great start tonight. Winning both games, and you come out with no points. It’s definitely frustrating.”
Sheahan opened the scoring 73 seconds into the game when the rebound of Zack Kassian’s shot came out to him in front. Sheahan deposited his seventh goal of the season before goalie Robin Lehner was able to get back across the crease.
Chicago pulled even six minutes in as Kane spun around before making a deft pass to Saad, who beat Oilers starter Mike Smith for his 17th of the season.
Toews fired a one-timer past Smith on a short-handed 2-on-1, giving the Blackhawks the lead with six minutes left in the first period.
Edmonton atoned with a power-play goal three minutes later as Yamamoto sent home a rebound of Alex Chiasson’s shot.
Kane picked up his second assist two minutes into the second period when he made another nice feed to set up Boqvist.
Yamamoto scooped up a puck in front on a second effort 3:38 into the second for his second of the game, and the Oilers made it 4-3 on the power play 72 seconds after that as Nugent-Hopkins put in a rebound in tight.
Toews hit a crossbar in the third, but Edmonton was able to put the game away on Draisaitl’s empty-net goal with three seconds remaining.
NOTES: McDavid was injured Saturday in a 3-2 win over Nashville when he crashed into the boards along with opposing defenseman Dante Fabbro in the second period. McDavid was able to finish the game.
Blackhawks: Play at Vancouver on Wednesday, the third stop on a five-game trip through Canada.
Oilers: Begin a three-game road swing Thursday at Tampa Bay.
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