EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists, Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist, and Edmonton beat the New York Islanders 4-1 on Monday night in Kris Knoblauch’s debut as Oilers coach.
Zach Hyman and Evander Kane also scored for Edmonton and Stuart Skinner stopped 32 shots. The Oilers got their first home victory of the season and got their second straight win overall after losing four in a row.
It was Knoblauch’s first game since taking over for the fired Jay Woodcroft on Sunday following the Oilers’ 3-9-1 start.
McDavid, who was coached by Knoblauch in juniors, was happy to see him have early success.
“It’s obviously exciting for him. First win in the NHL, it’s been a long road for him. It is well deserved,” McDavid said. “He came in and was his calm self and didn’t give us too much. It was kind of like ‘guys go out and play.’”
Knoblauch was pretty pleased with his first day on the job.
“It feels amazing to get that first win, being a head coach was a highlight, just being here and obviously it gets much better when you win,” he said. “I liked how our team played, it wasn’t a perfect game, certainly we weren’t the better team in the first half of the game. I liked how we stayed patient, we stayed the course and we didn’t do any unnecessary risks.”
Mathew Barzal scored for the Islanders and Ilya Sorokin finished with 28 saves. New York has lost five in a row, including four straight in regulation.
“When you’re facing it and you’re feeling it and things are going the wrong way, it seems to pile on a little bit,” Islanders forward Anders Lee said. “So, we’ve got to stick together, take tomorrow, find a way, and come back against Vancouver. That’s all we can do. It’s frustrating, it’s not fun right now.”
Knoblauch’s debut did not start smoothly as the Oilers coughed up a puck in their own end just 40 seconds into the game, allowing Bo Horvat to send it across to Barzal for a one-timer that beat Skinner glove-side.
Edmonton tied it with 5:43 to play in the opening period as Draisaitl skated around Islanders defenseman Sebastian Aho and took an off-balance shot that beat Sorokin for his sixth goal of the season.
The Oilers then took the lead with two power-play goals coming less than two minutes apart midway through the third period.
First, McDavid sent the puck from behind the net to Hyman in the crease and he chipped home his eighth of the season and fourth in the last two games at 7:35.
Draisaitl then made a long stretch pass to McDavid whose shot hit Sorokin but then trickled into the net at 9:33, ending his eight-game goal-scoring drought.
The Islanders took a chance with 2 1/2 minutes to play and pulled their goalie while on a power play, but Draisaitl intercepted a pass and sent Kane in on a short-handed breakaway to put his fourth into the empty net.
The Islanders were without defenseman Adam Pelech (lower body).