The Carolina Hurricanes scored three goals in the first period and three more in the third on their way to a 6-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night at Rogers Place.
LISTEN BELOW: Oilers head coach Dave Tippett speaks after Edmonton’s 6-3 loss to Carolina
“It’s one of those games where puck luck’s not going your way,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said after the game.
Carolina’s Sebastian Aho opened the scoring 4:15 into the game, whacking in a puck that deflected to him at the side of the net.
The Oilers failed to convert on two power plays. Then, the Hurricanes’ Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Dzingel scored on the man-advantage in the final 2:02 of the first to make it 3-0 Carolina after one.
“Luckily we got two power play goals and then kind of a lucky one on [Dzingel], but they played well in the first and if we don’t come out 3-0 then it’s a different game I think,” Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook said.
LISTEN BELOW: Oilers’ centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins comments following Edmonton’s 6-3 loss to Carolina
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how or what went wrong,” Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said.
“They got three on their [power play] and we got one, and that ended up being the difference.”
Oilers forward Zack Kassian scored the only goal of the second, nudging a rebound behind Carolina goaltender James Reimer. It was Kassian’s 10th goal of the season.
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The Oilers had a two-man advantage for 1:22 early in the third. While on the advantage, Carolina’s Brett Pesce put his hand on the puck in the crease. Oilers captain Connor McDavid was awarded a penalty shot, but the puck rolled off his stick and he didn’t get a shot away.
Nugent-Hopkins got the Oilers one goal on the power play, tapping in a pass from Leon Draisaitl.
“We stuck to our game plan and played tight,” Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse said. “You just can’t open it up, and they did get a few bounces too, so we’ll find ways to win them.
“We know how to win them and we’ll get back to that.”
Kassian forced in his second goal of the game to even it 3-3 with 14:20 to go. However, Jordan Martinook restored the Hurricanes lead, then Aho tallied on the power play with 7:40 on the clock.
“it felt good, especially with the way the game was going,” Martinook said. “It turned the tide.”
LISTEN BELOW: Connor McDavid speaks following the Oilers’ 6-3 loss to the Hurricanes Tuesday
“I thought our work ethic was there,” McDavid said. “We battled back from a big hole and ultimately couldn’t close it.
“We need to find a way to start better but I thought overall, the middle part of our game was pretty good.”
“We chased the game, get it back to 3-3 and then fail to clear a puck in our zone, take another penalty and it goes off a guy’s skate and in,” Tippett said.
Dougie Hamilton added one more, fooling Edmonton netminder Mikko Koskinen with a shot from centre ice.
“We were kind of in trouble there,” Aho said. “They pushed really hard and obviously [Reimer] made really good saves and the big five-on-three kill, those guys out there were doing a good job there, and [Martinook’s] was a huge goal for us…a home town hero, I guess.”
Kassian finished with two goals and 14 penalty minutes. The Hurricanes scored twice with him in the box.
McDavid had three assists.
“To have long success in this league, you need to be able to make the most of your home games and we haven’t been able to do that to this point,” Nurse said with the team going 3-5-3 in their last 11 home games.
“We play a lot more coming down the stretch before Christmas break, so we’ve got to make the most of them.”
The Oilers [18-11-4] went 1-2-1 on the four game home stand and will visit Minnesota on Thursday.
–With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott and Scott Johnston