Oil­ers fi­nally put it all to­gether

McDavid, RNH pot two each

Edmonton Journal - - SPORTS - ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI rty­chkowski@post­media.com Twit­ter: @Rob_Ty­chkowski

When is the NHL adding a 32nd team?

The Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers are hop­ing it’s sooner rather than later af­ter they used the ex­pan­sion Ve­gas Golden Knights to cure all that had been ail­ing them lately.

The team that can’t score goals and rarely wins at home did both Tues­day night, erupt­ing for their high­est goal to­tal of the sea­son in an 8-2 rout of the be­wil­dered Knights.

Ryan Nu­gent-Hop­kins and Con­nor McDavid scored twice, while Os­car Klef­bom, Patrick Ma­roon, Matt Ben­ning and Mark Letestu added sin­gles in the beat down.

How well did ev­ery­thing fall into place? Even the power play and penalty kill, which have been bad and worse this sea­son, played key roles as the Oil­ers tasted vic­tory at home for just the fourth time in 10 tries.

The win im­proves Ed­mon­ton to 7-9-2 and gives them nine points in their last seven games (4-2-1). They’re trend­ing up.

“I think we’ve been a lot more solid,” said winger Leon Drai­saitl. “De­fen­sively, we haven’t been giv­ing up as much. We’d been strug­gling to put up goals, but ev­ery team goes through some­thing like that.”

While the Knights are still in a Western Con­fer­ence play­off spot, they have been los­ing steam lately. They came into Ed­mon­ton with just two wins in their pre­vi­ous seven games (2-4-1) as they try to stay afloat with­out their top three net­min­ders (Mar­cAn­dre Fleury, Mal­colm Sub­ban and Os­car Dansk are all in­jured).

The Oil­ers wasted no time get­ting af­ter fourth-stringer Maxime La­gace, who spent most of his eighth ca­reer start un­der siege.

Ed­mon­ton scored three goals in the first pe­riod — Klef­bom short-handed, Nu­gent-Hop­kins on the power play and Ma­roon at even strength — to put this one in the bank by the first in­ter­mis­sion.

Ed­mon­ton ex­tended the lead to 4-0 on a Ben­ning de­flec­tion at 10:19 of the sec­ond pe­riod be­fore Pier­reE­douard Belle­mare broke Cam Tal­bot’s shutout a few min­utes later.

The Oil­ers piled on in the third, with McDavid, Nu­gen­tHop­kins and Letestu adding to the dam­age. Nu­gent-Hop­kins has 11 points in his last 10 games af­ter start­ing the sea­son with three points in his first eight.

Ve­gas played emer­gency call up Dy­lan Fer­gu­son of the Kam­loops Blaz­ers in net for the last nine min­utes af­ter Ed­mon­ton made it 7-2.

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