The Edmonton Oilers got two goals from players down the lineup, a sensational outing from goaltender Mike Smith, and in the end two huge points in Toronto on Monday night. The Oilers leave Toronto with three out of a possible four points, and now head to Montreal with a little confidence.
Josh Archibald opened the scoring on a breakaway goal in the first period, while Kyle Turris scored just his second goal as an Oiler when the puck hit off of his lower body and bounced in the net. Those goals, coupled with Mike Smith’s 28 regulation saves, were enough to get a point.
One big save from Smith and a beautiful pass from Connor McDavid to Darnell Nurse was enough to secure the second point.
“As a team we knew we were capable of getting in the win column tonight,” Nurse, who scored his 12th of the season in overtime, said postgame. “It was a big win for us and something to build off of going into this final stretch of the season.”
For Edmonton, the victory in Toronto snapped a losing streak of four games against the Leafs. The Oilers did manage a point in the fourth and final game of that streak, but the Leafs have largely owned the season series so far. From a confidence and momentum standpoint, Monday night’s win was vital.
Speaking of confidence, Kyle Turris has to be feeling good as he wakes up in Montreal this morning. Turris played on the wing on March 8th against the Ottawa Senators, and turned in one of his best performances of the season. The next day, he landed on the COVID-19 Protocol List. Monday night, after three weeks out of the lineup, Turris returned.
His reward after a tough stretch? His second goal as an Oiler. Adam Larsson’s point-shot hit the leg of Turris and bounced in 80 seconds into the third period to tie the game 2-2.
“I was happy for Turris, he’s gone through a lot,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said after the emotional victory. “If anybody deserved to have one go in off his ass, it’s him.”
Turris, meanwhile, wasn’t exactly antsy to talk about his goal. Rather, he wanted to discuss a stronger forty minutes that allowed his team to get two huge points.
“We definitely played a stronger second and a better third and Smitty made some big saves, especially the one in overtime on Matthews that allowed us to come back the other way,” Turris told reporters. “We’re coming together as a team. Down the stretch here in the last 20 games we want to be making strides in the right direction and getting hot at the right time going into the playoffs.”
All of a sudden, the Oilers have a five-game point streak. Their 4-0-1 record in that stretch also includes wins over the Jets (twice) and Leafs. Consider it getting hot at the right time.