EDMONTON, ALBERTA – Todd McLellan can’t help but sit back sometimes and watch Connor McDavid work.
McDavid had two goals and three assists, Jordan Eberle scored three times and added an assist, and McLellan’s Edmonton Oilers powered past the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 on Thursday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
“His performance did all the speaking,” McLellan said of 19-year-old rookie McDavid. “You turn into a fan as a coach and as players and just admire what he and his linemates did.”
Eberle had an empty-net goal with 54 seconds left in the game to complete his first NHL hat trick. Benoit Pouliot notched his fourth assist of the night on the goal.
“We needed this,” McDavid said. “There was a lot of pressure on us coming in, playing against a team that was desperate and missing a lot of guys. They played a great game in terms of structure and not giving up too much. But it was a big night for us to start off the homestand.”
Along with a four-assist performance from Pouliot, the Oilers’ line combined for 13 points.
“I think the more we play together, the better we will be,” Eberle said. “Tonight was obviously our best, we put up goals and whatnot. But it was the little plays that I really liked. Coming out of our end, cycling, I thought we did a better job of that. Chemistry is not something you get right away, you’ve got to grow it a bit.”
Josh Leivo and Jake Gardiner scored for the Maple Leafs, who have lost three in a row.
Capitals 4, Wild 3
In St. Paul, Minnesota, Alex Ovechkin scored three times in the second period for his 14th career hat trick, and Washington beat the Wild.
Ovechkin, who leads the league with 34 goals, has 13 in his past 13 games. Nicklas Backstrom had three assists and Jason Chimera added an empty-netter for the Capitals, who improved to a league-best 20-5-2 on the road.
Stars 4, Blackhawks 2
In Chicago, Patrick Eaves scored three of Dallas’ four goals in the first period as the Stars avenged an earlier loss at home.
Eaves’ second career hat trick helped Dallas to its fifth win in six games and moved the Stars within one of the Blackhawks for the most points in the Western Conference. Dallas’ lone loss during the strong stretch was a 5-1 rout for visiting Chicago on Saturday.
Islanders 5, Kings 2
In New York, John Tavares had a goal and an assist, Thomas Greiss stopped 28 shots and the Islanders scored three times in the first 14 minutes.
Johnny Boychuk, Casey Cizikas and Anders Lee all scored in the first period and Travis Hamonic added an empty-netter in the third to help New York win its third straight overall and third in a row at home. The Islanders improved to 15-4-2 against Western Conference teams.
Flyers 5, Sabres 1
In Philadelphia, R.J. Umberger snapped a 50-game scoreless drought and Wayne Simmonds got his 20th goal of the season to help the Flyers beat Buffalo.
Blue Jackets 4, Ducks 3 (SO)
In Columbus, Alexander Wennberg and Cam Atkinson each scored in the shootout and Joonas Korpisalo stopped shots by Corey Perry and Jakob Silfverberg to give the Blue Jackets a victory over Anaheim.
Avalanche 4, Senators 3
In Ottawa, Jarome Iginla had two goals and an assist, Blake Comeau had a goal and an assist and Colorado beat the Senators to end a four-game losing streak.
Bruins 6, Jets 2
In Winnipeg, Patrice Bergeron scored twice, Brett Connolly had three assists and Boston beat the Jets.
Flames 6, Sharks 5 (SO)
In San Jose, Juri Hudler scored the winning goal in the shootout to lead Calgary past the Sharks.