Leon Draisaitl scored twice and Connor McDavid registered a pair of assists as the visiting Edmonton Oilers collected a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.
McDavid continues to lead the NHL in scoring with 93 points (31 goals, 62 assists) and Draisaitl sits second in the race with 75 (26 goals, 49 assists). Darnell Nurse had a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s win, and Evan Bouchard rounded out the scoring for the Oilers (32-17-2).
Brock Boeser put away the long goal for the Canucks (19-25-3), who saw their losing skid stretch to six games. Mike Smith stopped 28 shots for Edmonton and Thatcher Demko had 23 saves for Vancouver.
It was the second night in a row the Oilers topped the Canucks, coming after Edmonton clinched a playoff spot with a 5-3 victory on Monday.
The Oilers sit second in the all-Canadian North Division, six points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Canucks remain at the bottom of the standings with nine games left in their season.
Edmonton had a 3-1 lead coming into the third on Tuesday and Nurse added to the cushion after the Canucks turned the puck over in Oilers territory.
Josh Archibald found Nurse in front of the Vancouver net and snapped a pass to his tape. The Oilers defenceman fired a shot past Demko to seal the score at 14:53.
Vancouver outshot Edmonton 17-6 across the third but couldn’t beat Smith.
The Canucks held the Oilers off the scoresheet through a period and a half Tuesday until Draisaitl and McDavid sparked a wave of three straight goals midway through the second.
Draisaitl’s first of the night came off a turnover by Vancouver’s J.T. Miller deep in the Canucks end. McDavid picked off his errant pass and sent it out to Draisaitl, who rifled a snap shot over Demko’s shoulder 14:29 into the middle frame to knot the score at 1-1. Miller smashed his stick and loudly uttered a four-letter expletive in response.
A cascade of penalties then set the Oilers up for a pair of power-play strikes. Edmonton was first to the box when William Lagesson was called for interference. Just 10 seconds into the man advantage, Vancouver’s Tanner Pearson joined him for hooking.
Twenty-one seconds into the ensuing 4-on-4, Miller was called for a high stick that left the Oilers with a power play.
Draisaitl was quick to capitalize, using a net-front screen by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and blasting a shot past Demko from the top of the left face-off circle at 17:25.
Draisaitl’s 26th goal of the season gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead.
Edmonton still had time on the Miller penalty and with less than a minute to go in the period, Bouchard beat Demko with a long shot to make it 3-1. It was his second goal of the season.
Edmonton was 2 for 3 with the man advantage while Vancouver failed to score on four power plays.
Boeser gave the home side an early edge on Tuesday, scoring just 34 seconds into the game.
Canucks rookie Nils Hoglander powered into the Oilers zone and threw a pass over Nurse, who was sprawled across the top of the crease, trying to break up a play.
Boeser jumped on the puck and popped it in past Smith at the side of the net.
It was his 19th goal of the season and the 200th point (94 goals, 106 assist) of his NHL career.
The Oilers hold a 5-2 edge in the 10-game season series between the two sides. The contest will continue Thursday when the Canucks visit Edmonton.
NOTES: Vancouver defenceman Jack Rathbone made his NHL debut. The Canucks selected him 95th overall in the 2017 draft. He has two goals and seven assists in eight games this season with Vancouver’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Utica Comets. … Canucks left-winger Tanner Pearson played his 500th NHL game.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press