OILERS WERE SLICK, FLYERS’ SKID REACHES 3!

By Julie Glass

This was only the Flyers’ fifth game of this young season.

But it’s not a stretch to say they were desperate in the third period last night in Edmonton:

They took a franchise-record 25 shots on goal!

That’s because Connor McDavid had a goal and four assists, Leon Draisaitl added two goals and one assist, and the Oilers ran away with a 6-3 victory over the Flyerrs.

It was McDavid’s third career five-point game. Mikko Koskinen made 49 saves for Edmonton (6-1-0) in his third win of the season.

“I thought he was good all night long, especially in the second. He really held us in it,” McDavid said.

“I like how we bent but we didn’t break in the second. We held strong and we found a way to get a couple to get ourselves the lead.”

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ethan Bear and former Flyer Brandon Manning each scored their first goal of 2019-20.

Jakub Voracek scored twice for the Flers (2-2-1) and assisted on Oskar Lindblom’s goal.

It was a tough night for Flyers goalie Carter Hart, who allowed four goals on 14 shots during his first NHL start in his hometown. He was pulled in the second period after Nugent-Hopkins’ power-play goal and replaced by Brian Elliott.

“Sure, there’s guys with a lot of skill like McDavid and Draisaitl, but at the end of the day you’ve got to stop the puck,” Hart said.

“I didn’t do my job and it cost us. You’ve got to come up with a couple of saves to keep your team in the game and I didn’t do that.”

The loss extended the Flyers’ skid to three games and marked the end of a road trip that included three games in five days.

Edmonton got off to a quick start as Draisaitl scored his fifth of the season 1:13 in, beating Hart with a hard snap shot over the blocker.

The Flyers tied it with the man advantage when Voracek buried the puck off a big rebound from Claude Giroux’s shot. But the Oilers responded just more than seven minutes later as Bear jumped into the rush and took a feed from James Neal, beating Hart with a wrist shot to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead.

The Flyers pressed hard for an equalizer in the second period, but Koskinen came up with a plethora of big saves. His two biggest stops came on Sean Couturier’s one-timer from the slot and a stick save against a wide-open Shayne Gostisbehere in front.

“He was the first, second and third star. He was the only reason we won,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “It wasn’t a 6-3 game or a 6-1 game. The score was that, but it wasn’t that kind of game.”

Koskinen’s strong play sparked the Oilers late in the second. After being dominated for most of the period, Edmonton broke loose with three goals in less than four minutes to take complete control — and it was the NHL’s top two scorers leading the way.

First, McDavid outmuscled Flyers defenseman Justin Braun off the puck to make it 3-1 at the 12:34 mark.

“That’s when the game turned for us a little bit,” Tippett said.

It didn’t stop there.

Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl scored power-play goals 1:54 apart to give Edmonton a 5-1 cushion late in the period.

“That third goal was the difference maker,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said.

“We spent close to 45 seconds completely in their end against their top line, and they flip the puck out and they were able to put it in the back of the net.”

McDavid added his fifth point of the game in the third with a nice drop pass to Manning, who fired a one-timer past Elliott.

Lindblom tipped in a drive from Voracek for his third goal of the season with 4:40 remaining. Voracek added his second power-play goal of the game with 2:18 to go.

“After the first two shifts of the game we were outplayed by a wide margin until we got it turned around. Connor got that goal and we got a couple of power-play goals and we pushed on,” Tippett said.

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