The Edmonton Oilers suffered their second straight defeat, falling 5-3 on the road against the Florida Panthers Monday night.
The Oilers took the lead when Connor McDavid took a pass from Leon Draisaitl and banged a one-timer from a sharp angle past Sergei Bobrovsky. Evander Kane registered his eighth of the season three minutes later to make it 2-0 Edmonton. The Panthers tied it thanks to a power play goal by Carter Verhaeghe and a long wrister from Niko Mikkola.
McDavid was taken down on a breakaway five minutes into the third to earn a penalty shot. He flicked a shot past Bobrovsky’s blocker for his third career penalty shot goal. Only 1:08 later, Mikkola found some room down the left side after Philip Broberg stumbled over a broken stick. Mikkola’s pass went in off a sliding Darnell Nurse to make it 3-3. Kevin Stenlund finished off a goal mouth scramble to give the Panthers the lead with 6:18 left in the second.
“The penalties kind of took away our momentum”, head coach Kris Knoblauch said in his assessment after the game. “There were times when we looked like the better team and they looked better at other times.”
Pickard held the Oilers within a goal when he stopped Evan Rodrigues on a breakaway halfway through the third. Sam Bennett would seal the game with an empty netter.
“The effort has been great”, Knoblauch said. “But when you’re frustrated you often aren’t thinking clearly, and often you forget an assignment, or you work too hard. We just have to string 60 minutes together.”
The Oilers went 0/3 on the power play after going 0/5 Saturday against Tampa Bay.
“I don’t think the resiliency is gone. You’re seeing lots of fight”, McDavid said. “I thought tonight was an emotional game. We’re in the business of winning and we got to find a way to win.”
Both Bobrovsky and Pickard finished with 28 saves.
“We got to learn from this. Go forward, watch video but then we got to get focused on next game”, Evan Bouchard said.
The Oilers will visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday (Face-off Show at 3:30 p.m. Game at 5 p.m.)
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