Nugent-Hopkins leads Oilers to 3-1 win over Blues
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his 200th career goal to break a tie in the third period, Stuart Skinner stopped 35 shots, and the Edmonton Oilers beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 Wednesday night.
“To be honest, I didn’t know it was 200,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “We just stuck with it the entire game. It was a hard-fought game the whole way through.”
Zach Hyman had a goal and an assist and Jesse Puljujarvi also scored to help the Oilers win their first road game after starting the season with a six-game homestand.
“I think we should be happy,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “We had a few little breakdowns. We had Stu when we needed him and the D-men made some big plays. The first one was a good one.”
Ryan O’Reilly scored for St. Louis and Jordan Binnington finished with 25 saves.
“You know, (we) played a pretty solid game,” Binnington said. “Unfortunate outcome, you know. Ultimately, we want wins. We’re hoping for wins. I think we’re gonna stay calm and keep building.”
Other than the O’Reilly goal, Skinner was outstanding.
“We got a great goaltending performance from Stuart Skinner,” Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said. “This was in a tough building. Nobody expects game like that more than Stuart Skinner himself. He has the confidence of the coaching staff. I started him because I thought he’d help us win the game.”
Nugent-Hopkins scored with 6:16 remaining with his fourth of the season to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead. Binnington made a big save on a shot by Hyman, but Nugent-Hopkins crashed the net and scored.
Blues coach Craig Berube was not happy with how Edmonton scored the game-winning goal.
“That goal we gave up, the go-ahead goal, that shouldn’t happen,” Berube said. “We’ve got numbers in there. We’ve got to win that. That play shouldn’t happen.”
Hyman added an empty-netter with 27 seconds remaining to seal the win.
The game was an early-season rematch after the Blues held the Oilers to a season-low 23 shots-on-goal en route to a 2-0 shutout victory last Saturday.
Puljujarvi got the Oilers on the scoreboard first at 6:07 of the opening period as he tipped Darnell Nurse’s shot from center point past Binnington.
The Blues tied it with a power-play goal with 5 seconds left in the second period. O’Reilly batted in a rebound off Skinner’s leg for his first of the season.
St. Louis outshot the Oilers 20-6 in the second period.
“It was a lot of fun. I was trying to enjoy myself out there,” Skinner said. “The guys made some amazing blocks for me. It was awesome. I was trying to find my groove as quickly as I could.”
The Blues have signed C Tyler Pitlick to a one-year, one-way contract. Pitlick, 30, came to the Blues organization on a professional tryout ahead of 2022 training camp. Originally drafted by Edmonton in the second round (No. 31 overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound forward is a veteran of eight NHL seasons, including stints with Edmonton, Dallas, Philadelphia, Arizona, Calgary, and Montreal. … The Blues wore CVPA stickers on their helmets to support the students and teachers/staff and Central Visual & Performing Arts where a student and a teacher were killed Monday. … St. Louis is only team Connor McDavid does not average a point per game against with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 20 games.
Oilers: C Dylan Holloway (upper-body injury) is listed as day to day.
Blues: LW Pavel Buchnevich (lower-body injury) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. LW Brandon Saad (upper-body injury) remains out.
Oilers: At Chicago on Thursday night.
Blues: At Nashville on Thursday night.
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