National Hockey League
- Madison Square Garden PUCK DROP -
Edmonton Oilers
ML: EDM +149
NY Rangers Rangers
ML: NYR -165
Goalie Performance
Cam Talbot
#33 G Cam Talbot
Henrik Lundqvist
#30 G Henrik Lundqvist
0.867 SV% 26 SV
0.875 SV% 21 SV
Scoring Leaders
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
#93 C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Goals Assists 1 0
Patrick Maroon
#19 LW Patrick Maroon Goals Assists 1 0
Adam Larsson
#6 D Adam Larsson Goals Assists 1 0
Kevin Hayes
#13 RW Kevin Hayes Goals Assists 1 2
Michael Grabner
#40 RW Michael Grabner Goals Assists 1 1
J.T. Miller
#10 LW J.T. Miller Goals Assists 1 1

By Dave Lozo, The Sports Xchange

NEW YORK -- Another New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden, another offensive barrage from the home team.

Rick Nash broke a 3-3 tie with 1:21 remaining in the third period as the Rangers defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 on Thursday night for their sixth victory in seven games.

The Rangers' 45 goals this season are the most in the NHL and they have scored at least five goals in their past four home games, all wins.

They're not beating up on the NHL's weaklings, either -- their last three wins have come against the Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues and now the Oilers, who entered Thursday with the best record in the Western Conference.

Edmonton provided a stiff test and held three separate leads before allowing Jesper Fast to tie the score at 3 with 10:29 remaining -- 42 seconds after Adam Larsson put the Oilers ahead 3-2 -- then succumbing to Nash's goal and an empty-net goal from J.T. Miller with 1:04 to play.

Whether it's a walkover or they're faced with adversity, the Rangers (8-3-0) have found ways to fill the net an average of 4.10 times per game.

"It was a great test for us," said Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 21 shots. "They came out really hard. The first 10 minutes of the first period, I thought they were the better team. In the second half of the first, we kind of got ourselves back in the game. It was a huge comeback by us. Just to find a way here to win this one is big."

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gave the Oilers their first lead at 6:36 of the first period, finishing what appeared to be a kick pass from Connor McDavid on a power play to make it 1-0. But as was the pattern all night, Kevin Hayes responded less than two minutes later with a back door goal off a sensational pass from Michael Grabner to tie the score at 1.

In the second period, the Oilers' Patrick Maroon and Grabner exchanged goals about five minutes apart. Then in the third period, it was Larsson and Fast scoring in quick succession. The Oilers (7-3-1) appeared to be on the heels after that, and the Rangers capitalized before the game could get to overtime.

"Obviously, we are never certain about anything," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said of getting to overtime. "We've got to play all 60 minutes and we made mistakes a couple of times around our net, letting them get loose and having second and third opportunities. That probably cost us the night, so it's a lesson learned."

"I thought once we got that third one, we were going to take over there and close it out," said Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot, who allowed four goals on 30 shots. "They're a resilient team and we knew that. We gave them too many opportunities in front of the net and they made us pay."

The only downside of the game for the Rangers was coach Alain Vigneault deciding to shorten his bench with about seven minutes to play in the second period. The Rangers have done most of their damage this season as a four-line team, but Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey, three big offensive producers, saw their ice time sliced.

The decision worked and Vigneault said was something he may have to do again at times during the season.

"I felt the nine forwards that I used had a little bit more as far as jump and execution," he said. "I really thought for us it wasn't our best game but I thought it was a character win."

Despite deviating from the usual script of dividing ice time fairly evenly across four lines, the Rangers again had balanced production. Hayes led the way with three points and seven forwards in all got on the score sheet. That's not bad for a team that didn't have its "best game," according to the coach.

"We know we are a good team," Nash said. "The last few games, we played some really good teams. It shows a lot when you go down three times and you come back every time."

NOTES: Oilers C Connor McDavid missed both games against the Rangers last season due to his collarbone injury. ... Oilers G Cam Talbot has started every game this season. Talbot, who was with the Rangers for two seasons before joining the Oilers in 2014, did not play in either game against his former team last season. ... Oilers LW Anton Slepyshev and D Eric Gryba were scratched. ... Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist has started nine of 11 games this season. ... Rangers D Adam Clendening and C Oscar Lindberg were scratched.
Top Game Performances
Edmonton   NY Rangers
Adam Larsson 1 Points Kevin Hayes 3
Adam Larsson 1 Goals Kevin Hayes 1
Jordan Eberle 1 Assists Kevin Hayes 2
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Cam Talbot .867 Save Percentage Henrik Lundqvist .875
Cam Talbot 26 Saves Henrik Lundqvist 21
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Edmonton 24 3 1-4 3-3 6 32
NY Rangers 31 5 0-3 3-4 8 35
Upcoming Games
  • NY Rangers will play their next game on the road against Boston. The Rangers have a W/L % of .571 after a win and 1.000 after a loss.
  • Edmonton will play their next game on the road against NY Islanders. The Oilers have a W/L % of .714 after a win and .500 after a loss.