Connor McDavid scored one goal and three assists as the Edmonton Oilers scored a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night at Rogers Place.
Zach Hyman scored on the first shot of the Oilers game 6:52 in the first, pushing the puck past the blocker of Penguins goalkeeper Tristan Jarry.
“We should get some of our players to stop looking at the iPad and start looking at Zach Hyman,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said after the game.
“He plays the game honestly. Play hard. You talk about putting your nose on the record and competing for single records, (Hyman) is the epitome of that. “
Pittsburgh forward Jake Guentzel scored a goal behind Edmonton goalkeeper Mikko Koskinen to equalize, but the Oilers regained the lead at two-on-one. McDavid set up Hyman for his 11th goal of the season.
“We held on for the first 40 minutes,” McDavid said.
“Mikko did a good job as usual and I thought our young defender did a good job stepping in and trying to keep the game simple.”
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Teddy Blueger pulled the pens even exactly one minute after the second.
Hyman had a hat trick opportunity on a meager breakaway, but Jarry thwarted it.
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Early in the third, Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto scored his fifth goal of the season by deflecting a shot from Tyson Barrie.
“We were better in the third. We flipped the record too much in the first couple (of periods), ”Tippett said.
“We didn’t have any rhythm in our game, we just hit it like it was a tennis ball. Still, we turned it around a few times, but at least we worked to get it back in the third. “
Five minutes after Yamamoto’s goal, with the teams playing four on four, Oilers defender Evan Bouchard took advantage of a McDavid pass to make it 4-2.
Hyman took advantage of a McDavid pass with 8:35 left, but his first career hat-trick was disallowed when the Penguins successfully challenged offside.
“I think eventually (the hat-trick) will happen, and I’m happy to score when I can and help the team win,” Hyman said.
McDavid sealed the victory with an empty net.
Defender Markus Niemelainen made his NHL debut and played 10:19 for the Oilers.
“They hit me pretty hard in the first period so that woke me up,” Niemelainen said of his first game.
“It’s been great to see the young d-men come in and play well,” McDavid said.
“It’s obviously a long year and there will be injuries and there will be things that will happen where that depth is needed, and I think the guys have done a great job stepping in and picking up where we left off.”
Koskinen made 32 saves to improve to 12-2.
Before the game, Oilers defender Kris Russell received a commemorative belt buckle. He became the NHL’s all-time leader in blocked shots on Saturday against Las Vegas.
The Oilers (16-5) will play in Seattle on Friday.
With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED
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