EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Connor McDavid had two goals and an assist, backup Calvin Pickard made 27 saves for his fifth career shutout and the Edmonton Oilers won their 15th straight game with a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
Zach Hyman also scored and Leon Draisaitl had three assists for the Oilers, who are just the fifth team in NHL history to win 15 or more consecutive games. The 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins hold the NHL record with 17 wins in a row.
The Oilers are 23-3-0 in their last 26 games and have gone a franchise-record 13 consecutive games allowing two or fewer goals.
“Overall, I thought we played a pretty solid 60 (minutes),” Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “We kept it simple. We understood it wasn’t going to be an easy one and that we wouldn’t be trading chances. They don’t really give up many odd-man rushes, so it is going to come with a lot of shots from the point and rebounds and building off of that.
"I thought we did a good job staying around and staying confident in our ability to be there and to come out with the two points.”
“I made some saves, but I thought we cleared out a lot of rebounds and blocked a lot of shots," Pickard said. "So it’s definitely a team shutout, for sure.”
Petr Mrazek stopped 31 shots for the Blackhawks, who have lost 19 consecutive road games (0-18-1). Chicago has dropped its last three overall.
“Obviously, we couldn’t get it done. Close isn’t good enough,” Blackhawks forward Mackenzie Entwistle said. “They’re a great team and have a lot of highly offensive guys who can put the puck in the net. It’s frustrating, but we stuck in there, we hung in there, we were in it until the end of the game, which was a good thing.
"But no goals is not good enough.”
Edmonton opened the scoring on the power play 1:37 into the second period when Draisaitl made a touch pass to McDavid, who scored on the backhand with Mrazek well out of position. The goal extended McDavid’s home scoring streak to 17 games.
Chicago had a prime opportunity to score with 1:36 remaining in the second when Entwistle was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down by Oilers defenseman Vincent Desharnais. Entwistle attempted to send his shot through Pickard’s legs, but the Oilers goalie stopped him.
Edmonton took a two-goal edge in the third when McDavid made a nice backhand pass across to a hard-charging Hyman, who directed his 29th of the season past Mrazek.
The Oilers put the game away with a late empty-net goal by McDavid.
NOTES: Columbus won 16 in a row during the 2016-17 season. The New York Islanders (1981-82) and Penguins (2012-13) won 15 straight. ... Oilers forward Sam Gagner was a part of the Blue Jackets team that won 16 straight, making him the only player in NHL history to be a part of two such lengthy runs of consecutive victories.
Blackhawks: At Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Oilers: Host the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl