The Edmonton Oilers went from hitting rock bottom to making another team feel just as bad in fairly rapid fashion.
Taylor Hall had a goal and two assists as Edmonton snapped a season-high six-game losing skid, exploding for a 6-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night.
Jordan Eberle, David Perron, Sam Gagner, Nail Yakupov and Jeff Petry also scored for the Oilers (12-24-3), who were lambasted by their coach and fans after a 6-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, the third time in five games they were shut out.
“Overall, it was a way better game than we had against St. Louis,” Hall said. “We had a way better start and we seemed to carry that over into the rest of the game.
“That’s been our Kryptonite. It seems to be when we get a good start and they get a goal or they tie it up and we kind of get off the rails, but that wasn’t the case tonight, we just kept it going.”
Perron said a convincing win was just what the Oilers needed after they were outscored 24-6 during their losing streak.
“Certainly it’s one that we needed after last game,” he said. “We feel what the fans are going through right now and we need them to be behind us and we have to play that way every night.”
Yakupov said he hopes that the team has learned its lesson and can be stronger coming back from the holiday break.
“It’s a huge win for us,” he said. “I think everyone is excited in the locker-room and in Edmonton. It’s a pretty good feeling before Christmas. And after Christmas we’re going to show more and more wins. We have to show better hockey than we’ve shown in the past.”
Mark Stuart and Andrew Ladd responded for the Jets (16-18-5), who have lost two in a row and have gone 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.
“It’s the same old crap game after game,” Ladd said. “Frustrating doesn’t begin to describe it. We know what it is, we talk about it all the time. We do the same things over and over.
“We need to figure out a way to play consistently, whatever that takes. I’m sure that the coaches will spend this time trying to figure that out and as players we have to refresh and make sure we are coming back pissed off and ready to go.”
Jets head coach Claude Noel was just as frustrated as his players.
“We didn’t play very intelligent,” he said. “We didn’t play the right way. We knew this game could get out of hand if we played the way we played. We got pretty much what we deserved playing that way.
“This leaves you in a sour position. We will reflect over the break and go from there. There are certain ways you have to play to win games. We know that, but we just aren’t willing to play like that game in and game out.”
Winnipeg had a chance to start the scoring seven minutes into the first period as Evander Kane had a partial break after jumping out of the penalty box, but was stopped by Oilers starter Ilya Bryzgalov.
Edmonton got on the board a minute and a half later on another power-play opportunity as Ales Hemsky made a long pass through traffic that Eberle deflected past Jets goalie Ondrej Pavalec.
Winnipeg tied the game up 11 minutes into the opening frame as Stuart sent a low wrist shot through Bryzgalov’s legs from near the face-off dot.
The Oilers regained the lead with four minutes remaining when Eberle sent a puck from behind the goal-line to a hard-charging Gagner in front of the net.
The Jets made it 2-2 nine minutes into the second period on the power play as Dustin Byfuglien duffed on his point shot and broke his stick, but it got close enough to the net for Ladd to deflect past the Oilers goalie.
Edmonton retook the lead with just over three minutes left in the second period on an innocent looking play as Hall sent a seeing-eye-dog pass to the front of the net that Perron batted in on the backhand for his team-leading 15th goal of the season.
The Oilers went up 4-2 four-and-a-half minutes into the third as Nail Yakupov got a pass through to a pinching Petry and he beat Pavelec for his first goal in 27 games.
Edmonton got an insurance goal on the power play with 11 minutes left as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made a nice play to swat a clearing attempt out of the air and feed it to Hall at the side of the net for his 14th goal of the year.
The Oilers equalled the total of six goals they had scored during their entire losing streak with four minutes left in the third as the Oilers broke out on a two-on-one with Hall unselfishly setting Yakupov up for just the sixth goal of the season for the 2012 first overall draft pick.
A melee ensued after that goal and the Oilers ended up with a five-on-three advantage for the remainder of the game, but couldn’t add to their goal total.
“We were embarrassing ourselves out there,” said Stuart of his team’s sour mood late in the game. “God, I’d hope you would show some emotion out there at that time or you have some real issues.
“Write whatever you want and don’t take it easy on us because we don’t deserve it.”
Notes: It was the second of three games between the two teams. The Jets beat the Oilers 5-4 on Oct. 1 during Edmonton’s home-opener at Rexall Placea The Jets were without forwards Matt Halischuk (forearm) and Jim Slater (sports hernia) and defenceman Paul Postma (blood clot)a Out for the Oilers were defenceman Philip Larsen (illness) and forwards Mark Arcobello (rib) and Ryan Jones, who was knocked unconscious during the morning skate on Saturday after colliding with captain Andrew Ference.