EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers’ dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl continued their scorching start to the season Wednesday, combining for eight points in a 6-3 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.
McDavid registered five points (one goal, four assists) for the third time in his career, while Draisaitl added two goals and two assists in the win. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ethan Bear and former Flyer Brandon Manning all scored their first goals of the year in the effort.
Netminder Mikko Koskinen had 49 saves for Edmonton (6-1-0), registering his third win of the season.
Jakub Voracek scored twice for Philadelphia (2-2-1) and added an assist on Oskar Lindblom’s goal.
It was a tough night for Flyers goalie and Sherwood Park, Alta. product Carter Hart, who allowed four goals on 14 shots. He was pulled in the second period after Nugent-Hopkins’ power play marker and replaced by Brian Elliott.
The loss extends Philly’s losing streak to three games and marks the end of a road trip that saw the team play a trio of games in five days.
The Oilers got off to a quick start as Draisaitl scored his fifth of the season just 1:13 into the contest, beating Hart with a hard snap shot over the blocker.
The Flyers tied the game with the man advantage when Voracek buried the puck off a big rebound from a Claude Giroux shot.
But the Oilers responded with the go-ahead marker just over seven minutes later as Bear jumped into the rush and took a James Neal feed, beating Hart with a wrist shot and putting away his first goal of season to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead.
The Flyers pressed hard for the equalizer in the second period, but Koskinen came up with a plethora of big saves to keep it a one-goal game. His two biggest stops came off a Sean Couturier one-timer from the slot and a stick save off a wide-open Shayne Gostisbehere down in front.
The goalie’s strong play sparked the Oilers in the second frame. After being dominated in the first half of the period, Edmonton erupted with three goals in less than four minutes to break the game wide open, and it was their dynamic duo leading the way.
McDavid out-muscled Flyers d-man Justin Braun and gave the Oilers a 3-1 lead at the 12:34 mark, then Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl added power-play markers just 1:54 apart to give Edmonton a commanding 5-1 lead late in the period.
The Oilers had the game on cruise control in the third period until McDavid added his fifth point of the game with a nice drop pass to Manning, who blasted a one-timer past Elliott.
Lindblom then tipped in a blast from Voracek for his third goal of the season with 4:40 remaining in the game. Voracek added his second power-play marker of the contest with 2:18 remaining.
Edmonton’s special teams have been a big key to their hot start this season. They were two-for-two with the man advantage on Wednesday, and now are 10-for-22 in seven games this year.
NOTES: The Oilers paid tribute to former coach Ted Green, who passed away on Oct. 8 at the age of 79. …McDavid’s previous five-point games came against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 2, 2016 and against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 5, 2018. … Manning dressed for his first game of the season after being a healthy scratch for the Oilers first six contests. …Oscar Klefbom’s assist on McDavid’s second period goal was the 100th of his NHL career.
Jason Hills, The Canadian Press