OTTAWA — Devin Shore scored the winner and Mike Smith made 39 saves as the Edmonton Oilers completed a nine-game season sweep of the Ottawa Senators with a 3-1 victory Thursday.
Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi, into an empty net, had the other goals for Edmonton (25-14-2).
The Oilers have points in nine of their last 10 games, and moved back within five points of the Toronto Maple Leafs for first in the Canadian-based North Division.
Connor Brown tied a franchise record by scoring in a sixth straight game for Ottawa (13-24-4). Anton Forsberg stopped 20 shots for the Senators, who have lost three straight and four of their last five in regulation.
Ottawa managed to keep Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl mostly in check after the pair combined for eight points in the Oilers’ 4-2 victory in the nation’s capital Wednesday. Edmonton’s superstars entered with a total of 41 points in their team’s eight previous games — all regulation victories — against the Senators this season.
It was the supporting cast, however, that took centre stage on this night at Canadian Tire Centre.
Shore snapped a 1-1 tie at 12:58 of the third period when he was left all alone in front to tip a Caleb Jones point shot past Forsberg his fourth goal of the season.
Ottawa pressed to get back even as the clock wound down with an extra attacker, with Brady Tkachuk getting the best chance before Jesse Puljujarvi hit the empty net as Smith improved to 14-3-2 this season.
After the Senators carried the majority of the play through two periods with a 26-13 advantage on the shot clock, the Oilers came out a lot harder to start the third. McDavid had a couple of chances seven minutes in, but Forsberg was there to shut the door on the NHL scoring leader.
Nick Paul then had two opportunities on Smith with under eight minutes to go off the rush before Shore gave Edmonton the lead for good.
The Oilers broke a 0-0 tie exactly 11 minutes into the second on their first power play of the evening. McDavid funnelled a pass towards Forsberg’s goal where Yamamoto poked the loose puck home for his eighth as Edmonton improved to 10 for 27 on the man advantage against Ottawa this season.
Brown had a chance on a 2-on-1 later in the period before Senators rookie Tim Stutzle, who has just one goal in his last 22 games, forced Smith into a nice stop.
But Ottawa would finally find the equalizer with 1:57 left in the second when Brown’s shot beat the Edmonton goaltender through the five-hole for his 12th. The winger’s six-game goal streak equalled the franchise mark shared by teammate Drake Batherson (2020-21), Jason Spezza (2009-10), Dany Heatley (2006-07), Daniel Alfredsson (2006-07) and Bob Kudelski (1993-94).
Ottawa, which had been outscored 38-17 through the first eight meetings with Edmonton, held McDavid and Draisaitl without a shot in Thursday’s opening period thanks to some strong play in the neutral zone.
Edmonton’s first good chance came on a Gaetan Haas breakaway off a Stutzle turnover, but Forsberg was there to bail out the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NHL draft.
Brown then had a good chance in tight only to see his shot bounce off Smith’s post and stay out.
McDavid, who came in with 20 points against Ottawa this season, registered the first shot of the night for either himself or Draisaitl about 90 seconds into the second. Smith then denied Stutzle with the glove and Forsberg — the fourth Senators goalie to play against the Oilers in 2021 — made a nice pad stop of Puljujarvi before Yamamoto and Brown traded goals.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2021.
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The Canadian Press