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It was a wild way to end a crazy year.


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Jack Hughes scored his second goal of the game at 2:55 into overtime to give the New Jersey Devils a 6-5 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at the Prudential Center on a New Years Eve morning Friday.

Hughes landed a shot by Oilers goaltender Mike Smith in the three-on-three overtime session. The Devils tied the score 5-5 with 31.5 seconds left in the third period as Yegor Sharangovich reversed a Dougie Hamilton point shot.

Ryan McLeod, 22, facing his older brother Michael, 23, for the first time, collected two assists for the Oilers, while Connor McDavid and Kailer Yamamoto each scored two goals. The Oilers recovered from a deficit four times before taking the lead in the third period.

“It was back and forth all night and they managed to take the win,” McDavid said. “The retaliation is never the way we want to play, but it is better to retaliate than to turn around. I like the way we responded, but we have to find a way to make it a two-point game.


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Yamamoto gave the Oilers a 5-4 lead just over eight minutes after the start of the third period under strange circumstances as the goal came on a delayed penalty after Hamilton played the puck, but the game didn’t was not blown away.

Yamamoto was taken down while going to the net by Hamilton, who then swept the puck towards the blue line. He came to Duncan Keith at the point, who shot Leon Draisaitl, and he found Yamamoto at the edge of the net for a tap-in.

The Devils complained, saying Hamilton and Hughes – on the pass to Draisaitl – had touched the puck and the game should have been called off.

After nearly 10 minutes of review of the game, referees Dean Morton and François St. Laurent determined that the game was not reviewable at the start and the goal was maintained.


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“It was a good game, I think we played a lot better than in St. Louis (lost 4-2 Wednesday), so we have to take our hat off,” said Yamamoto. “It’s a very good team there, you have to give them a lot of credit, they also know how to score goals.”

Yamamoto’s goal appeared to be the game-winner for the Oilers, but Sharangovich tied it, sending him to overtime, where the teams traded chances until Hughes won.

Hughes opened the scoring, in the third quarter of the game 98 seconds later, a single shot from the right face-off circle on the power play past Smith, who finished with 35 saves in his second return game. a lower body injury that kept him out of the roster for 26 games.

It was the ninth time in the last 10 games that the Oilers have conceded the first goal and the 18th time this year they have had to chase after a game.


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“It was a roller coaster game,” said Oilers head coach Dave Tippett. “I thought we started well and then ‘boom’ we take a penalty and it’s in our net. We get one right away and give it back again.

“Then comes in a so-called challenge that wasn’t a challenge; all four of the six goals scored against us were at one point deflected and rebounded in the right direction for them. It’s one of those games, a lot of bounces go the other way, we just have to stick with it.

“We’ve had guys who have played really well, we’ve had guys who have put in really good efforts and we have to stick with that and go there tomorrow the same way.”

McDavid equalized just over a minute later, taking a McLeod pass off the side of the net and knocking the puck past Mackenzie Blackwood.


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The game wasn’t tied for long as 17 seconds later Nico Hischier gave the Devils the lead 2-1, knocking the puck back against Smith after the rebound hit him off the side of the net on a shot from Jesper Boqvist.

The three goals from the top three picks overall marked the fourth time in NHL history that each of the first three goals has been scored by former No.1 picks.

The Oilers tied the game at 2-2, six minutes into the first period as Yamamoto fired a shot from Slater Koekkoek. The Devils, however, managed to take the lead in the first intermission as Dawson Mercer managed to return a Smith shot past Smith.

McDavid tied the game at 3-3, eight minutes into the second period, taking a long breakaway pass from Keith and pulling it past Blackwood.


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“Our attitude during the game and on the bench was great, there was no surrender, we just wanted to keep pushing,” said Tippett. “We thought we played really well, we just couldn’t get past that. Sometimes, even if you try to keep the puck out of your net, it finds a way in and it is today.

Janne Kuokkanen put the Devils back on track five minutes into the third, taking a pass from Andreas Johnsson and entering a shot in the top corner over Smith’s glove.

Devin Shore tied 4-4 taking a pass from McLeod ahead and passing Blackwood.

The Oilers continue their journey with another morning meeting (noon, MT, Sportsnet) at the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury, leaving the Oilers with 10 forwards as they went with 11 and seven defensemen in the game.

“It was halfway through the third period, he told (Head Athletic Therapist) TD (Forss) that he had a problem and didn’t come back,” said Tippett.

Notes… The NHL announced on Friday that eight more games in Canada will be postponed due to provincial crowd restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19, four of which involve the Oilers. The Oilers’ home games against the New York Islanders on January 8, the Minnesota Wild on January 12 and the Vegas Golden Knights on January 14 have been postponed, as has their road game against the Winnipeg Jets on the 16th. January.


On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest



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