Oilers battle to win over Blues

For the first time in a long time, the power play was an actually an advantage for the Edmonton Oilers. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Mark Letestu each scored a pair of goals as the Oilers scored four power play goals and snapped a two-game losing skid, holding on for a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

EDMONTON — For the first time in a long time, the power play was an actually an advantage for the Edmonton Oilers.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Mark Letestu each scored a pair of goals as the Oilers scored four power play goals and snapped a two-game losing skid, holding on for a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl also scored for the Oilers (28-38-7), who have won six of their last 10 games.

The Oilers’ power play had scored just once in their last 32 attempts coming into the game, and Nugent-Hopkins said is was nice to see it finally click.

“It was really nice to break out in a big way like we did tonight,” he said. “We had five, but four counted. It’s something we’ve been harping on, it hasn’t been good enough lately and tonight we broke out. We won some battles, took some shots and it paid off.”

Connor McDavid picked up a pair of assists with the man advantage.

“The power play was as good as we’ve seen it this season,” he said. “We’ve been getting our chances, but it was good to see some finally go in.”

David Backes scored twice, and Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund also replied for the Blues (41-22-9), who have lost two straight on the heels of a six-game win streak.

“Their power play was struggling and we let them breathe a little bit and they got to display all their skill with five that they put in, one that was disallowed. That’s not us,” Backes said. “Today we took penalties that were less than disciplined and they made us pay time and time again.”

Edmonton took the lead eight minutes into the first with what was at the time a rare power play goal. Patrick Maroon chipped a rebound out in front to Nugent-Hopkins, who sent his ninth of the season past Blues starter Jake Allen.

The Oilers went up 2-0 with six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the opening frame as a big rebound came out to Hall, who beat a diving Allen.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Backes beat Oilers goalie Cam Talbot with a shot to the top corner just 45 seconds later.

The Blues tied the game six minutes into the second period as Schwartz tipped a Joel Edmundson shot into the net.

Edmonton got another power play goal a couple minutes later as Letestu scored on his own rebound.

The Oilers had what looked to be another power play goal by Draisaitl called back on a coach’s challenge for being offside, but McDavid fed him again to get the goal back later in the man advantage.

The Oilers got a fourth power play goal to make it 5-2 with two minutes left in the second period as Nugent-Hopkins beat Allen with a quick wrist shot for his second of the game.

St. Louis got a power-play goal early in the third as Berglund fought off a defender to bang in a rebound in tight.

The Blues battled back to 5-4 six minutes into the third as Backes blew a cannon of a shot past Talbot.

Letestu scored into an empty net to cap the scoring.

The Oilers next play host to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.

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