EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists, and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Dallas Stars 5-2 Wednesday night for their third straight win.
”I think guys are confident right now,” McDavid said as Edmonton closed in on a playoff spot with five games to play. ”Up and down the lineup, guys feel good about their own game and feel good about our team game. There are a lot of good things happening right now and we have to keep at it.”
Evander Kane, Derek Ryan, Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujarvi also scored for the Oilers, who are 11-0-1 in their last 12 home games. Evan Bouchard had two assists and Mike Smith stopped 34 shots.
”We’re building and improving, and improving is fun,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. ”Our team is trending in the right direction, but as I’ve said the last couple of days, I don’t think we’ve played to our full potential yet.”
Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz each had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who have lost three of their last four. Scott Wedgewood finished with 45 saves.
”It’s playoffs, they have already started for us, so it’s obviously disappointing because every game is huge for us,” Dallas forward Radek Faksa said. ”We have to be tighter defensively and do what we have to, to keep the puck out of our net.”
The Oilers got off to a quick start with a goal just 3:12 into the opening frame as McDavid sped up the ice before sending a backhand pass from behind the goal line to Kane, who sent his 17th of the season past Wedgewood.
Edmonton extended its lead 3:05 later as Ryan McLeod’s shot caromed off the bar to Ryan, who scored his first goal in 21 games.
Dallas got on the scoreboard with 8:21 left in the opening period as a hard shot from Robertson hit the crossbar and went in for his 37th of the season.
The Stars pulled even at 5:06 of the second period as Hintz was able to poke in a puck that had been lying in the crease for his 35th.
Edmonton pulled back in front with seven minutes left in the second period when Hyman directed a rebound backhand in for his career-best 25th.
The Oilers made it 4-2 with two minutes to play in the period as a shot by Bouchard ticked off of Puljujarvi on the way into the net, just his second goal in the last 16 games.
McDavid scored into an empty net to close out the game. It was his 43rd of the season.
NOTES: It was the third and final meeting between the two teams, with the Stars winning the first two contests, both played in Dallas. … At 37, Dallas F Joe Pavelski is the oldest player to be leading his team in scoring. … Stars D Esa Lindell returned to the lineup after missing the last game with an illness. The Stars were still without Vladislav Namestnikov (lower body). … Edmonton had its entire regular lineup available.
Stars: At Calgary on Thursday night.
Oilers: Host Colorado on Friday night.
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