Oilers’ Biggest Stats From 7-2 Road Win Against Penguins

They allowed goals 65 seconds into the game and with 108 seconds left in the game. But in between, the Edmonton Oilers scored seven consecutive times on the way to an impressive 7-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday (Feb. 23).

Connor McDavid scored twice and added two assists for the Oilers, who also got goals from Leon Draisaitl, Warren Foegele, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Devin Shore, and Kailer Yamamoto. It was the sixth time in 2022-23 that the Oilers have scored at least seven goals and tied for Edmonton’s second-highest scoring game of the season.

Edmonton’s Stuart Skinner turned aside 22 of 24 shots in the win, but the netminder’s solid effort was almost an afterthought on a night that his Oilers teammates were filing the net. Almost. Here’s a look at the significance of Skinner’s performance, plus the biggest offensive stats following Edmonton’s big win in the Steel City.

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Skinner Getting Back to Form

Skinner had just one win in the first seven-plus weeks of 2023, going 1-2-3 with a 3.58 goals-against average (GAA) and .896 save percentage (SV%) between Jan. 1 and Feb. 20.

While Skinner had been named an All-Star, it was veteran Jack Campbell that was the Oilers’ netminder playing at an All-Star calibre throughout January and into February, winning nine consecutive starts and seemingly taking over the starter’s job.

Stuart Skinner Edmonton Oilers
Stuart Skinner, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But Campbell has struggled in his last three outings, winning none of them while posting a 4.33 GAA and .864 SV%, opening the door for Skinner. The 24-year-old Edmonton native has stepped up his play this week, beginning with a 24-save effort in a 4-2 home victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday (Feb. 21), and now has won consecutive starts for the first time since Dec. 27 and 30.

Related: Oilers’ Yamamoto Can Be a Difference Maker Down the Stretch

Campbell and Skinner continue to be a fascinating tandem: at no point this season have they both been on top of their games simultaneously, just as there has not been a stretch that both are struggling. As such, the Oilers have been able to get consistent goaltending between Campbell and Skinner, even as the goalies’ have struggled to find consistency on individual bases.

Barrie and Nurse Rank With All-Time Greats

Tyson Barrie has never been known as a shutdown defender, and Darnell Nurse is perpetually criticized for his defensive play, but on Thursday the two defensemen each achieved an offensive milestone that put them in the exclusive company of Oilers legends.

With two assists against the Penguins, Barrie now has 41 points in 2022-23, his third consecutive season with at least 40 points since initially signing with the Oilers in the 2020 offseason. The only other defensemen to total 40 or more points in at least three straight seasons with the Oilers are Hall-of-Famers Paul Coffey and Kevin Lowe, and five-time Stanley Cup champion Charlie Huddy.

Meanwhile, Nurse picked up an assist to give him 30 points in 2022-23. The 28-year-old joins Coffey as the only blueliners to have at least five straight seasons of 30 or more points with the Oilers. Nurse hasn’t finished a season with fewer than 33 points since 2016-17.

Nugent-Hopkins Getting Better With Age

In his 12th NHL season, and now just weeks away from turning 30, Nugent-Hopkins continues to reach new heights. The forward’s goal on Thursday was his 28th of the season, tying his career high from 2018-19. That’s just two days after he recorded his 70th point of 2022-23, an assist against Philadelphia, to set a new career high for points.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Last Sunday (Feb. 19) in Edmonton’s 6-5 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena, Nugent-Hopkins registered an assist to set a new career high, surpassing his previous best of 41 in 2018-19. He’s now up to 43 assists this season.

Draisaitl on a Roll Scoring Goals

Draisaitl scored Edmonton’s second goal Thursday, on the power-play late in the first period, giving the German forward a goal in six straight games. Before this streak, he had scored in a personal-best five straight games on seven separate occasions.

The Oilers record for consecutive games with a goal is 12, shared by Wayne Gretzky and Dave Lumley. McDavid scored in seven straight contests earlier this season, which stands as Edmonton’s longest goal-scoring streak since 1988-89.

McDavid Goes for Four

McDavid’s largest single-game point output in nearly two months was his ninth time totaling at least four points in a game in 2022-23.

That’s the most four-point games in one season by any NHL player since 1995-96, when Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux had 16, his Penguins teammate Jaromir Jagr had nine and Peter Forsberg of the Avs also had nine.

The last time an Oilers player had nine games of four or more points in a season was 35 years ago, 1987-88, when Gretzky did it 12 times. Jari Kurri is the only other player in Edmonton’s franchise history to have at least nine four-point games in one campaign.

Oh, and McDavid also set a new career high with his first of two goals on Thursday. He’s now got 46 tallies in 2022-23, besting the 44 he scored last season. Just another night at the office for the Oilers’ captain.

His next night at the office will actually be a day at the office. The Oilers are off to Ohio where they will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets in a matinee, starting at 10:30 a.m. MST on Saturday.