Islanders reach crushing new low thanks to Connor McDavid
EDMONTON, Alberta — When you go up against the best, you have to be at your best. The Islanders were about two minutes away from scoring two desperately needed points when Connor McDavid tied the game late in the third period, and then winning it in the shootout as the Oilers won 2-1.
Edmonton ended Christopher Gibson’s shutout bid with just 1:50 to play in the third period when McDavid banked a shot off of Islanders defenseman Brandon Davidson and into the net for his career-high 31st goal of the season.
“He just takes over the game when he wants to,” said Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, who made 30 saves. “He has that ability on any given night. In a one-goal game, that is who you want on the ice. You know he is going to do something special at some point.
“He never ceases to amaze.”
McDavid was hooked on a breakaway three minutes into overtime and was awarded a penalty shot, but hit the post on the attempt.
The Islanders’ Jordan Eberle also came close in overtime, but Cam Talbot came across to make a pad save.
Thomas Hickey had the lone goal for the Islanders, who have lost eight straight — their longest skid in more than four seasons.
“It’s a tough way to lose a hockey game, because for the most part we are in control and we are playing good hockey,” Davidson said. “It would be nice to get on a roll, but it’s tough one tonight with that bounce.”
The game marked the return to Edmonton for Eberle, who was dealt by the Oilers for forward Ryan Strome on June 22, 2017.
There was no scoring in the first period, with the Islanders putting nine shots on Talbot and Edmonton sending seven on Gibson, who made just his second start of the season and was playing in the sixth game of his NHL career.
The game remained scoreless through 40 minutes, with Edmonton taking a 22-17 edge in shots.
The Islanders broke the scoreless deadlock 1:54 into the third period after the Oilers got sloppy in their own zone, allowing Hickey to get in tight and score, picking the top corner with a backhand shot for his fourth of the season.
The Islanders were missing several players, including Nikolay Kulemin (upper body), Shane Prince (upper body), Calvin de Haan (upper body) and Thomas Greiss (lower body).