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Connor McDavid with six assists in Edmonton Oilers win over Detroit

Connor McDavid had six assists as the Edmonton Oilers pulled away in the third period for an 8-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night at Rogers Place.

“He was one of the few guys who was skating for a whole 60 minutes and the plays that he made tonight were pretty phenomenal,” Oilers Head Coach Kris Knoblauch said. “If he’s not on top of his game, we’re probably not winning that one.”

The Oilers opened the scoring after an extended session of forechecking 8:48 into the game. Leon Draisaitl beat Ville Husso with a long wrist shot for his 25th of the season. Cody Ceci picked up an assist for this 200th career point. Husso, who was playing his first game since December 18, left the game with a lower-body injury and was replaced by Alex Lyon.

Just 2:17 later, Ceci’s point shot banked in off a Detroit defender, giving Ceci his first goal since October 15, 2022.

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“It’s nice whenever you can help out,” Ceci said. “It’s not a huge part of my game, but whenever I can chip in offensively it’s nice for the team.”

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The Wings replied on a power play one timer by Alex DeBrincat.

The teams traded goals 57 seconds apart midway through the second. Evan Bouchard was left alone in front and zinged his 12th past Lyon. Joe Veleno chipped in a power play goal to pull Detroit back within one. The Wings kept pressing and tied it up on a goal by Patrick Kane with 5:30 left in the second.

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“We weren’t skating the first two periods,” Knoblauch said post-game. “We were just standing and watching. We had ill-advised pinching and forwards weren’t reloading. The amount of odd-man rushes we gave up was probably the whole month of January combined all in one period.”

Dylan Holloway restored the Oilers lead 44 seconds into the third, diving to whack in a rebound.

“I had to sell out for that one. I couldn’t risk it getting knocked away,” Holloway said.

“(Holloway)’s a bit like a bull in a china shop sometimes, but you’ve got to go to the net hard and he got rewarded there. That was a huge goal and it got us going,” McDavid said post-game.

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Less than four minutes later, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins cut into the middle and flicked his 13th to make it 5-3 Oilers. Zach Hyman tallied his 32nd on a rebound. Less than minute later, McDavid sped down the right side, did a full spin, then sent a backhand pass in front to Evander Kane for a 7-3 lead.

“He made a great play–a quick-up–and I had a lot of speed and just tried to make a play,” McDavid said. “I tried to cut inside and the d-man played it well. I bounced it back outside and threw it there and Kaner is a great goal-scorer–he’s always at the net.”

David Perron scored a deflection goal late in the third. Then McDavid earned his sixth assist, putting a pass in front that went in off Nugent-Hopkins.

Stuart Skinner earned the win with 34 saves.

The Oilers, 31-17-1, will visit the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 4:30 p.m., game at 6 p.m.).

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