It wasn’t just the usual suspects that helped the Edmonton Oilers break out of a funk on Saturday night.
Leon Draisaitl, Josh Archibald and Connor McDavid each had a goal and an assist as the Oilers snapped a two-game losing skid with a big 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.
Riley Sheahan also scored for the Oilers (20-15-4) who have just two wins in their last eight games.
“That’s how you win in this league,” Draisaitl said of big contributions by guys like Archibald and Sheahan. “You need your top players to produce, but you need those guys to chip in once in a while too. Huge goals — they played well again tonight.”
Archibald said it was nice to be able to make a difference at a time when the Oilers really needed it, snapping a four-game losing skid on home ice.
“It felt really good. Shea and I have been clicking a little bit as a line. To be able to put a couple on the board felt really good,” he said. “We’ve been playing well lately, but the small things have been hurting us. To have a comeback game like we did tonight and have a full 60 was a good feeling.”
Jeff Petry, Phillip Danault and Max Domi replied for the Canadiens (17-13-6) who had a two-game winning streak ended.
“We beat ourselves,” said Montreal head coach Claude Julien. “There were some really bad penalties in the offensive zone at bad times and some real bad decisions. Two two-on-one goals and I didn’t think we were sharp tonight, simple as that. We battled back and you’re seeing a team that never gave up, but at the end we only have ourselves to look at, we beat ourselves.”
The Oilers blazed to an early lead with a goal 90 seconds into the first period as McDavid fed the puck across to Draisaitl on a two-on-one, and he beat Montreal goalie Carey Price for his 22nd goal of the season, but just his first even-strength tally in 17 games.
Edmonton added to its lead 12 minutes into the opening frame as Archibald redirected a shot-pass from Ethan Bear into the net for his second goal of the season.
Montreal responded a couple minutes later with a shorthanded goal as Petry wired a shot that went off the glove of Oilers starter Mikko Koskinen and in.
The Canadiens tied the game on the power play when Danault tipped in a Petry point shot just eight-and-a-half minutes into the second period.
Edmonton surged back ahead with a power-play goal at 15:40 of the second period. McDavid entered the zone at full speed and undressed Price with a move to record his 21st goal of the campaign.
Montreal knotted the game back up just a minute into the third period when Domi danced around Oilers defender Darnell Nurse and beat Koskinen glove side.
Edmonton regained the lead again just over six minutes later on a two-on-one as Archibald got the puck through to Sheahan, who made the most of it to score his third of the year, enabling his team to run out the clock from there.
Both teams have one more game on Monday before the holiday break as the Canadiens are in Winnipeg to take on the Jets and the Oilers head to Vancouver to face the Canucks.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2019.