Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl exploded for four goals Monday, hoisting his team to a dominant 8-3 victory over the Nashville Predators.
Draisaitl leads the NHL in goal-scoring and asserted himself on a night when his Oilers were relentless against the Predators.
“I don’t need to beat around the bush,” Draisaitl said. “When you score four goals, you feel good. You feel good about yourself, you feel good about your linemates. Obviously, they made some great plays to me tonight and made it pretty easy for me.”
The Oilers collected five goals in the third period, pushing a 3-3 tie into a rout after two frames.
It was the first time in Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne’s career that he allowed eight goals against.
The scoring opened in the first period with goals by Josh Archibald and Draisaitl for the Oilers. The 2-0 lead was snapped in the second when Nashville got on the board with two goals, one from Roman Josi and one from Calle Jarnkrok. Kailer Yamamoto pulled the Oilers back ahead before Nick Bonino tied it 3-3 to close out the second.
And then it all went down.
Connor McDavid opened the third with his 32nd goal of the season from Archibald and Darnell Nurse. Then goals three goals from Draisaitl and one from Zack Kassian sealed the deal – and then some.
To summarize the insanity, Edmonton scored those five goals in a span of 5:13.
And with the rout, the Oilers subsequently rewrote the narrative against Nashville. Historically, the Preds had held something over Edmonton. But this season, the Oilers are 3-0 in the season series and slammed the door decisively Monday.
They outshot the Predators 35-30, plus they carried the measure of physical play and went one-for-one on the power play. Nashville had the edge in faceoffs and went oh-for-two on the power play.
Draisaitl should well hit the 50-goal mark again this season. There are 14 games to go and he’s on a tear.
Edmonton improved to 35-23-8 with the victory, which still has them second in the Pacific Division. That’s two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights, who they’ll host in six days.
The Dallas Stars up next for a Tuesday matchup, the second of three games on this road swing. If they can carry Monday’s momentum through, it could be another big night for Draisaitl and Co. as the rubber hits the road.
Photo credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-Usa Right now Sports