Leon Draisaitl scored twice and Connor McDavid recorded his 500th career point as the Edmonton Oilers held off the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 Wednesday night at Rogers Place.
“It was a choppy, mixed-up game. We’ll just take the two points and move on,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said after the game.
It didn’t take long for McDavid to hit the milestone. He assisted on Jesse Puljujarvi’s goal 3:45 into the game.
“There are a lot of players that get to 500, but to do it as fast as he’s done it and in the company he’s done it with is pretty remarkable,” Tippett said. “It just shows what a talent he is.”
“To feel some of the reaction from my teammates and friends and family, it’s always special. I really appreciate the support,” McDavid said.
“We talk enough about his on-ice performances and the way he plays, but I think what we’re all most impressed by is the way he handles himself off the ice,” Draisaitl said of the Oilers’ captain. “He’s such a humble kid — just someone you can learn a lot from.
“We’re very lucky, very fortunate to have a guy like that as our leader.”
Draisaitl struck 21 seconds later and the Oilers had two goals on two shots.
“I thought we did a good job holding them at arm’s length,” McDavid said. “It was a good start. It’s always nice to get two early and play with the lead.”
The Jets scored on their third power play of the period when Mark Scheifele beat Oilers goaltender Mike Smith in the final minute.
“I think a lot of guys couldn’t really find a rhythm because of the penalties,” Draisaitl said. “The penalties were all at weird times, kind of stacked behind each other, so I think it was a hard game for a lot of guys to get into.”
Draisaitl scored the only goal of the second period on a power play, lifting a shot over Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck after a scramble in front.
Edmonton Oilers lose wild one to Winnipeg
With the teams playing four-on-four early in the third, Winnipeg defenceman Neal Pionk blasted a puck past Smith to pull the Jets within one.
Smith held the fort the rest of the way, making 33 saves to run his record to 3-0.
“I think the team’s confident in whoever’s in net,” Smith said.
“I was fortunate to get back in there after the outing last time and get a big win for this group.”
Tippett picked up his 600th win as a head coach in the NHL on Wednesday night.
The Oilers (10-8) will play in Calgary on Friday.
–With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott
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