EDMONTON — Leon Draisaitl had two goals and an assist to take over the NHL scoring lead one point ahead of teammate Connor McDavid as the Edmonton Oilers downed the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Wednesday.
Kailer Yamamoto, Devin Shore and Jesse Puljujarvi with an empty-net goal also scored for the Oilers (8-1-0) who have won three games in a row.
Edmonton starter Mikko Koskinen stopped 31 of 33 shots for the win.
Edmonton has won eight of their first nine games of a season just once before in 1985-86.
Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen replied for Nashville (5-5-0), which ended a four-game winning streak.
Conor Ingram stopped 24 of 29 shots in the Predators’ net.
Edmonton opened scoring seven minutes into the contest with its lethal power play. Draisaitl wired a one-timer top corner past Ingram.
Edmonton’s power play heading into the game was operating at 46.2 per cent.
The lead was short-lived. The Predators came roaring back just 11 seconds later with Duchene electing to shoot on a two-on-one and beating Koskinen.
The Oilers surged back in front 1:27 into the second period as a big bounce came out to Yamamoto, who scored his second goal in as many games after just one goal in his previous 36 regular-season outings.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up his league-leading 13th assist on the play.
Edmonton made it 3-1 four minutes into the third frame when McDavid dropped a puck back to Draisaitl for the German’s ninth of the season.
The hosts padded their lead 1:18 later as a Nashville giveaway led to Shore’s goal.
Nashville got one back with four minutes left on Johansen’s power-play goal, but Puljujarvi’s empty-netter put the win away for Edmonton.
Both teams return to action Friday, with the Predators playing the third game of a six-game road trip in Vancouver against the Canucks. The Oilers are at home to the New York Rangers.
Notes: Predators forward Filip Forsberg remained out after leaving Tuesday’s game against the Calgary Flames with an upper body injury. Goalie David Rittich (COVID-19 protocol) is on IR… Oilers goalie Mike Smith is still sidelined, but has been practising with the team this week and could be back as early as Friday… Edmonton matched a franchise record by scoring a power play in its first nine games, something accomplished twice before in 1979-80 and 1986-87.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2021.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press