Nilsson makes 42 saves, Oilers beat Stars 2-1 in OT
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers may finally have their go-to goalie.
Anders Nilsson made 42 saves and Jordan Eberle scored 45 seconds into overtime to lift the last-place Edmonton Oilers over the league-leading Dallas Stars 2-1 on Friday night.
“If Anders wasn’t the first, second and third star, he should have been,” Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said. “It was a hell of a performance. He stole the game.”
The 25-year-old Swede has started eight of Edmonton’s last nine games over Cam Talbot. Last time out, he made 38 saves and was perfect during a shootout in a 3-2 win over Boston. He’s 7-7-1 this season with a .921 save percentage.
“These are a big confidence boost for us to win these last two games,” Nilsson said. “Two very tight games and to win both of them, one in overtime and one in a shootout is huge for us. It shows we have good character and a good team.”
The league-leading Stars lost for the second time in three games and fell to 11-2-2 on the road this season.
Edmonton’s Taylor Hall scored with 5:11 left in the first period, but Mattias Janmark tied it late in the second.
Nilsson made a huge glove save on Tyler Seguin 48 seconds in and denied Jamie Benn on a breakaway a couple minutes later. Dallas outshot Edmonton 15-4 in the third period, but Nilsson was perfect to force overtime.
“We had some really good scoring chances and we should have scored early in the game, but we had to grind it and got a point,” Janmark said. “We’ll take that, but we wanted to get two.”
Eberle’s goal was set up by Leon Draisaitl. The forward stole the puck twice before passing to Eberle, who used a screen to send it past Antti Niemi.
“It’s huge getting these consecutive wins,” Eberle said. “We just want to keep rolling. We played a good game against Boston and got the points. We didn’t play our best tonight, but we found a way to win.”
Hall scored by stealing the puck from Patrik Nemeth and then picking the top corner behind Niemie for his 10th goal this season.
Janmark tied it with 1:37 left in the second period when he was allowed to take a couple whacks at a rebound before slipping it past Nilsson.
NOTES: It was the second of three meetings between the two teams this season. The Stars won the first contest 4-2 on Oct. 13 on home ice in a game that saw Dallas forward Jason Spezza record a hat trick despite Nilsson making 48 saves. ... Remaining out with injuries for the Oilers were Connor McDavid (fractured clavicle), Rob Klinkhammer (leg), Nail Yakupov (ankle sprain), Benoit Pouliot (lower body) and Brandon Davidson (wrist). ... The only injured player on the Stars is Jason Demers (upper body). ... The Oilers continue their homestand with a game against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday. The Stars play Tuesday night at home against the Carolina Hurricanes.