McDavid scores twice as Oilers hand Panthers fourth straight loss

Hockey

EDMONTON—Connor McDavid had two goals and an assist in regulation and another goal in the shootout as the Edmonton Oilers battled back for a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored in the shootout while Darnell Nurse had the other in regulation for the Oilers (21-20-3), who have won three of their last five games on the heels of a six-game losing streak.

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid celebrates a goal agains the Florida Panthers during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Thursday.
Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid celebrates a goal agains the Florida Panthers during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Thursday.  (JASON FRANSON / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Frank Vatrano, Denis Malgin and Henrik Borgstrom responded for the Panthers (17-17-8), who have lost four games in a row.

Florida started the scoring just before the midway mark of the first period when Vatrano scored his 12th on a shot that Oilers goalie Cam Talbot got a piece of before it trickled in.

Edmonton got that goal back just 26 seconds later when Alex Chiasson dropped the puck back to a trailing Nurse and he blasted a shot past Panthers starter James Reimer. McDavid picked up his 40th assist of the season on the play.

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The Panthers regained the lead four-and-a-half minutes into the second period when the Oilers got caught running around and Malgin scored on a big rebound.

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After failing to get a shot on a two-man advantage, the Oilers tied it up with 22 seconds left in the middle frame when McDavid had an empty cage to shoot it into at the side of the net, scoring his 25th goal of the season.

Florida got a lucky bounce to go up 3-2 with six minutes to play when Borgstrom put a puck on net that bounced off of a pair of Oilers defenders — Caleb Jones and then Adam Larsson — before caroming into the Edmonton net.

The Oilers tied the game up with Talbot pulled and just eight seconds left as McDavid tucked it through Reimer’s legs to send the game to extra time. McDavid also added an insurance goal in the shootout.

The Panthers play the third game of a five-game road trip in Calgary on Friday, while the Oilers remain home to welcome the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

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