The Edmonton Oilers hit the road and found themselves in Toronto on Wednesday night, hoping to snap out of an early season funk.
With the Oilers and Maple Leafs tied at 1-1 in the third period, Leon Draisaitl potted the go-ahead and game-winning goal in a 3-1 decision to the Oilers.
“I thought we were very solid for 60 minutes, all four lines, the defensemen, obviously our goalie was huge for us tonight. That was a huge win and more the way we want to play,” Draisaitl said. “Against that team, you don’t want to get into a run-and-gun. They’re too dangerous and have too much skill. I thought we did a really good job of staying tight and sticking together.”
Mikko Koskinen made 25 saves to get the win as Oilers improved to 2-3-0.
“Koskinen was solid, really solid. What you want from your goalie is to give your team a chance to win, and that’s exactly what he did,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “He made a couple good saves late there for us after I think he’d want that one he let in back.”
Auston Matthews scored the Leafs’ lone goal in the loss.
“I think both teams just watched the prescout and were trying to key in on the top guys,” Matthews said. “There was not much going on. We really didn’t do a great job through the neutral zone and we couldn’t get much going and there wasn’t a whole lot of offense in this game. That was not really expected, but we definitely have to do a better job of creating offense.”
Kailer Yamamoto also scored for Edmonton.
“We looked like we’d been kind of pressing on our power play a bit, but you get that one big goal at the right time, it gives everybody a boost,” Tippett said.
Josh Archibald added an empty-net with 66 seconds left on the clock to ise the win.
“You could tell our group had a lot more energy. The last game against [the Montreal Canadiens] (a 3-1 loss Monday), there was some fatigue in our game and it led to some mistakes,” Tippett said. “Tonight, there was an excitement playing on the road, it was our first road game since last March. Pretty solid all the way through the game.”
Frederik Andersen made 19 saves in the loss.
“I thought he worked, did a pretty good job, but I thought all our guys were disconnected today,” Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Anything where we had success like Auston on his goal was very individual. He created the takeaway, he attacked the net, but we didn’t do much with any kind of connection (throughout the game). That made it difficult because they defended well.”