EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Dallas Eakins wasn’t happy after the first 40 minutes, and he let his Edmonton Oilers know it.
Seems they got the message. Loud and clear.
Taylor Hall scored the overtime winner as the Oilers rebounded from a listless start for a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
“I had a very one-sided conversation with them,” Eakins said of the Oilers, who trailed 2-0 after two periods. “I’d rather we didn’t wait until the last four minutes of the second period to get going. We have been preaching the way to play and it wasn’t until near the end of the second that we understood what we needed to do and we carried it on to the third.”
Sam Gagner stole the puck in the neutral zone and danced around defenseman Brian Strait before sending it on net, where Hall was able to slip it past Evgeni Nabokov 2:29 into the overtime session.
“We weren’t happy with the way we played the first two periods and we talked a lot about it in between the second and the third,” Gagner said. “We started doing the things that make you successful in the third. We were getting pucks deep and forechecking and it was a big reason we were able to come away with the win.”
Ryan Smyth and Philip Larsen also scored for the Oilers (22-34-8), who have won two games in a row and are 7-2-2 in their last 11 games.
Frans Nielsen and Anders Lee had goals for the Islanders (24-32-9), who have lost 10 of their last 13. The Islanders have also dropped 10 games in which they led heading into the third period.
“I wish I had an answer for that,” New York forward Michael Grabner said. “We have to try and bear down. We had some chances on some 2-on-1s that we didn’t take advantage of. We have to try and make it 3-0, and 4-0 and not just sit back.
“It’s been happening too much lately.”
Islanders coach Jack Capuano said his team simply can’t afford to let up late in a game.
“We made mistakes, we talk about this all the time,” he said. “You have to teach and you have to learn from it. At some point, they’re going to have to realize those little things, the moment you stop moving your feet or get out of position it’s going to cost you.”
New York started the scoring with a short-handed goal midway through the first period. Gagner coughed up the puck in the Islanders zone, allowing a 2-on-1 that saw Nielsen elect to shoot the puck himself, beating Oilers starting goalie Ben Scrivens top corner for his 19th goal of the season.
It was the 11th short-handed goal Edmonton has allowed.
New York made it 2-0 with a 1 1/2 minutes left in the opening period as Lee was able to tip a shot by Strait through Scrivens’ legs. It was the Islanders rookie’s fourth goal in just five career NHL games.
The Islanders outshot Edmonton 13-4 in the first period, and the Oilers continued to have trouble getting quality scoring chances on Nabokov in the scoreless second period.
Edmonton got on the scoreboard on the power play when Jordan Eberle made a nice feed to a hard-charging Smyth, and he shoveled the puck past Nabokov. With the goal, he tied Glenn Anderson for the most power-play goals in Oilers franchise history with 126, one up on Wayne Gretzky who was at the game in advance of a team-sponsored breakfast Friday morning.
“It’s an honor even to be mentioned with guys like Gretzky and Anderson,” Smyth said. “I played a lot longer than those guys, but they set the bar high and you want to try and match it. The way it all worked out, it was an emotional ride not knowing if I was staying or going at the trade deadline. To be here and to tie this record is awesome.”
Edmonton tied the game with just 3:07 left as Larsen picked the puck off the boards and went hard to the net before shooting the puck off the side of the post and in for his second of the season.
Scrivens made a huge breakaway save on Grabner to send the game to overtime.
NOTES: It was the second and final meeting of the season between the teams. The Oilers lost 3-2 in New York in their first matchup on Oct. 17, however the Islanders have lost three straight in Edmonton, where they have not won since March 2003. ... Both teams looked a little different after Wednesday’s trade deadline as the Oilers dealt F Ales Hemsky and D Nick Schultz, while the Islanders traded away F Tomas Vanek. ... With Schultz dealt to Columbus and Corey Potter picked up on waivers by Boston, D Philip Larsen was called back up after being placed on the waiver wire a day earlier. ... Recently acquired G Viktor Fasht arrived in Edmonton after being traded to the Oilers from Anaheim on Tuesday, but served as the backup to Scrivens. ... Oilers D Jeff Petry left after the first period with a back problem.