Connor McDavid’s OT winner sends Oilers past Capitals 4-3

Connor McDavid’s OT winner sends Oilers past Capitals 4-3

EDMONTON — Connor McDavid scored the overtime winner and added an assist as the Edmonton Oilers emerged with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

McDavid elected to shoot on a two-on-one and notched his 30th of the season 3:27 into overtime.

Brad Malone had a goal and an assist and Kailer Yamamoto and Cody Ceci also scored for the Oilers (31-23-4) who snapped a three-game losing skid.

T.J. Oshie had two goals and an assist and Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and a helper for the Capitals (31-18-10), who saw a three-game wining streak halted.

With a regional population of nearly 370,000 people of Ukrainian descent, it was not surprising to see dozens of fans in Edmonton adorned in the traditional blue and yellow of their homeland, a boisterous reaction to the Viter Ukrainian Choir and Folk Ensemble’s version of the Canadian anthem, and a pre-game 50/50 total of more than $1.3 million to raise funds for those affected by the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian star Alex Ovechkin was also booed whenever he touched the puck.

There was no scoring in the first period, with the Oilers pumping 20 shots on Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov and Washington directing nine shots on Edmonton starter Mikko Koskinen.

Washington broke the deadlock on a lucky break 2:17 into the second period as a puck bounced off of defender Evan Bouchard and Backstrom sent a spin-around backhand through Koskinen’s legs. It was the 39th time in the last 49 games that Edmonton has allowed the game’s first goal.

Edmonton pulled even on the power play with eight minutes left in the middle frame as Yamamoto directed in a McDavid pass from the side of the net.

After a Capitals goal was disallowed for being offside on a video review, the Oilers went up 2-1 with 1:46 remaining in the second period when Ceci crashed the net on a scramble and chipped the puck over Samsonov.

Washington knotted it back up six minutes into the third as Oshie beat Koskinen glove-side on the power play. Backstrom earned an assist for his 1,000th NHL point.

Edmonton regained the lead midway through the final frame as Zach Kassian sent a pass from behind the net to 32-year-old journeyman forward Malone who scored his first of the season. Malone’s assist on the previous goal was his first NHL points since Feb. 28, 2016 and it was his first goal since Dec. 3, 2015.

Washington pulled its goal and got a miracle goal with 1.8 seconds left as Oshie blasted a shot to the top corner to send the game to extra time.

The Capitals finish a three-game road trip in Vancouver on Friday, while the Oilers play the second game of a five game home-stand against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Notes: It was the second and final meeting between the two teams, with Edmonton winning the first contest 5-3 in Washington in early February. … Kassian made his return after a lengthy absence due to a fractured jaw. Remaining out of the Edmonton lineup were Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (upper body), Kris Russell (undisclosed), Jesse Puljujarvi (lower body), Tyson Barrie (upper body) and Mike Smith (illness). … Missing for the Capitals were Joe Snively (upper body) and Carl Hagelin (eye).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 9, 2022.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press