EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The New Jersey Devils snapped out of their slump and put a dent in the Edmonton Oilers’ playoff push.
Kenny Agostino, Damon Severson and Kevin Rooney each had a goal and an assist as the Devils beat the Oilers 6-3 Wednesday night to snap a season-high seven-game losing streak.
New Jersey, coming off a 9-4 loss at Calgary the previous night when it gave up six goals in the third period, took control with three goals in the second period against Edmonton.
“We knew that last night’s third period was unacceptable and when you have good leadership and good character, that’s a big part of that response,” Devils coach John Hynessaid. “We had a pretty stern meeting this morning and the guys were pretty receptive to what we needed to do better and tonight was better execution of what we needed to do to have success.”
Travis Zajac, John Quenneville and Blake Coleman also scored for the Devils, and Cory Schneider stopped 36 shots.
“I think it’s been well documented how we’ve struggled on the road this and in back-to-backs, so to get a win … it was good for us,” Schneider said. “We felt pretty bad about the game last night. Every one of us knew that third period was unacceptable.”
Sam Gagner, Alex Chiasson and Matt Benning had goals for the Oilers, who have lost two of their last three games. Mikko Koskinen gave up four goals on 18 shots before he was replaced midway through the third. Anthony Stolarz came on and finished with 15 saves on 17 shots.
Edmonton is now six points back of the Western Conference’s second wild card. currently held by Arizona. Minnesota (74 points), Colorado (72), and Chicago (71) sit between the Coyotes (75) and the Oilers (69).
“We took them lightly, took the game for granted. I don’t think we came to work,” said Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who had two assists to reach 100 points for the third straight season. “Obviously it is disappointing that we missed a huge opportunity tonight. It’s frustrating.”
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Zajac showed some deft hands in front as he tied the score 2-2 with 19 seconds left in the first period.
The Devils then scored the first three goals of the second to take control of the game.
Severson scored on a power play to give New Jersey the lead for good at 6:23, and Quenneville made it a two-goal advantage on a screened shot with 7:11 remaining in the period. That chased Koskinen.
Rooney beat Stolarz with a wrist shot to make it 5-2 with 3:28 remaining in the middle period.
Benning got the Oilers back within two with 41 seconds to go in the second. Connor McDavid got his 100th point of the season with an assist on the play.
Coleman’s short-handed goal with 7:54 remaining in the third made it 6-3.
“We didn’t respect the opponent enough. I don’t think, and it led to some careless defensive play and we got burned because of it,” Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock said.
New Jersey got the scoring started 7:34 into the game when Agostino’s rebound bounced up in the air before landing behind Koskinen and trickling into the net.
Gagner tipped Benning’s shot past Schneider 2:03 later to tie the score.
The Oilers went ahead on the power play with 5:38 left in the first when Chiasson redirected a McDavid’s feed into the net on the doorstep for his career-high 20th of the season. McDavid extended his point streak to 10 games with that assist.
NOTES: The Devils won the team’s first meeting to start the season as part of the NHL Global Series in Sweden.
Devils: At Vancouver on Friday night for the fifth of a six-game trip.
Oilers At Arizona on Friday night to open a three-game trip.
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