Third time was the charm for Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers’ lethal power play.
McDavid’s league-leading 31st goal to extend his point streak to 16 games was the winner on Tuesday as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Calgary Flames 2-1.
Tied 1-1, Edmonton got its third man-advantage of the night at 7:15 of the third period when Andrew Mangiapane was whistled for holding when he reached around with his arm and grabbed Darnell Nurse from behind while trying to beat the defenceman to a puck in the corner.
Stymied on their first two man-advantages, it took just 13 seconds for Edmonton to convert with McDavid taking a pass from Leon Draisaitl from the middle of the slot, whipping a wrist shot past Markstrom’s glove.
“It was a nice play by Leo, as usual,” said McDavid. “Hyman keeps it alive and he puts it on my tape. Just tried to work across and get my shot off. I’d been pretty quiet all night so just tried to get a shot on net and it went in.”
McDavid’s 16-game point spree (15 goals, 17 assists) is the longest active streak in the NHL and one short of his career high.
“It’s my job to produce and I always try to get a touch on games,” McDavid said. “Just tried to get my little piece in there.”
Flames coach Darryl Sutter was not please with Mangiapane’s infraction.
“In a 1-1 game, you look up holding in the dictionary, that’s holding,” said Sutter.
At five-on-five, Calgary outshot Edmonton 43-16. But making the difference was the Oilers going 1-for-3 with the extra man while the Flames went 0-for-1.
“It sucks,” said Managiapane, who also took an offensive zone penalty in the second period. “You don’t want to put your team down a man so it’s tough, but it happens.”
Tyson Barrie with his 100th career goal also scored for Edmonton (19-15-2), which leap frogs Calgary to move back into the second wild-card spot in the NHL’s Western Conference.
Mikael Backlund scored the lone goal for Calgary (16-13-7), which had its four-game points streak snapped..
“To come in and beat a division rival in their rink, I thought it was to a man a really good effort,” said Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft.
“For us to find a way post-Christmas, three days off, and then to step into the lion’s den so to speak here and find a way to get your second win of the season in this building, I think it’s a good win for us, important for us.”
With the goalie pulled, Backlund had a chance to tie it in the waning seconds, but rung a shot off the goalpost.
“I was thanking the post after that one. I was doing the Fleury. I should’ve kissed the post after,” said Skinner, who made 46 stops to improve to 11-9-1 and continue his mastery of the Flames. In beating them twice this season to go along with a perfect relief appearance, Skinner has stopped 117 of 120 shots.
At the other end, Jacob Markstrom had 20 stops. He falls to 15-15-2.
“It’s a tough game after the break,” said Barrie. “Travel the day of and come into a tough building in a big game where we’re both battling for points. Stuey was great tonight.”
After a scoreless opening period, Calgary struck first when Backlund buried Blake Coleman’s rebound at 1:12.
The lead was short-lived with Barrie’s slap shot through a maze of sticks and bodies eluding a screened Markstrom to tie it at 4:58.
“We hit the posts, missed a couple of empty nets, hit the post with the goalie out,” Sutter said. “Missed it by that much.”
Lethal power play
Edmonton entered the night with the NHL’s No. 1 ranked power play at 32.3 per cent, which includes a scorching 18-for-43 (41.8 per cent) over the prior 12 games.
The NHL’s all-time best PP mark belongs to the Montreal Canadiens, who finished at 31.9 per cent in 1977-78. Calgary, entered the game as the league’s most penalized team having been short-handed 135 times.
Battle of Alberta over
Coming off their first post-season meeting since 1991, the Flames and Oilers only meet three times this season and the season series is now over with Edmonton taking two of the three games. They had split their two games in October, each winning in the other team’s building.
Oilers: Head to Seattle to take on the Kraken on Friday.
Flames: Are right back in action on Wednesday in Seattle.