For first the time since December 14, 1999, the Edmonton Oilers beat the New York Islanders on the road.
Mark Letestu scored the only goal in the shootout as the Oilers downed the Islanders 4-3 Saturday night.
“Kind of some dirty goals got us back in the hockey game,” remarked Letestu. “But I think it showed the guys were willing to stick with it, no matter the circumstances. And Cam (Talbot) was again big for us. He gave us a chance to win that one.”
The Islanders stormed out of the gate, with Nick Leddy scoring just 13 seconds into the game. Shane Prince made it 2-0 shortly after, and the Oilers were down 2-0 before the game was six minutes old.
Patrick Maroon put the Oilers on the board at 8:22 of the first, tipping in a Matthew Benning shot. The assist was Benning’s first career point. Benning added another helper less than four minutes later on Leon Draisaitl’s power play goal.
Casey Cizikas and Milan Lucic traded goals in the second period. There was no scoring in the third.
The three-on-three overtime featured several good scoring chances, but neither team could end it.
Cam Talbot stopped all three Islanders shooters in the shootout. Letestu scored after Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had been denied.
Oilers wingers Jesse Puljujarvi and Zack Kassian were both injured in the first period and did not return.
Defenceman Kris Russell didn’t play because of a lower body injury. Dillon Simpson has been called up from Bakersfield.
“I think we’re a different group, I really believe that,” explained head coach Todd McLellan. “It began last year; our belief system started to get stronger. We’ve retooled our team. We’ve still got a lot of work to do in different positions, but as we bring people in from other clubs that have had success there’s a little more of a calmness to our group. The panic point is a lot further down the road then it used to be and the players continue to march on.”
The Oilers, now 8-3-1 on the season, visit Detroit on Sunday. Catch the action on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 1:30 pm and the game starting at 3:00 pm. (jrw/td)