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Oilers get back on winning track by downing Senators
Ottawa, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a pair of goals to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators in a Saturday matinee.
Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves and Jordan Eberle also lit the lamp for the Oilers, who overcame the loss of forward Taylor Hall to a second-period left-knee injury to halt a five-game losing skid (0-4-1).
"We're all really happy we got those two points. It was nice that we could get a couple for him early so we set ourselves up well," said Nugent-Hopkins of a first-period burst which allowed Dubnyk room to operate.
Chris Neil provided the sole offense and Robin Lehner came up with just 18 stops for the Senators, who had won their previous two games.
Already up by two goals, Edmonton was given a full two-minute 5-on-3 advantage less than four minutes into the third period after Ottawa's Milan Michalek and Jared Cowen were sent off for concurrent minors, but the hosts were able to prevent further damage.
The Senators were then ruled to have halved their deficit with 5:48 left in regulation.
Neil charged the net and the airborne puck made contact with the shaft of his stick at the junction of the crossbar and left post. The disc slid into the net after Dubnyk fell backwards, and a brief review confirmed the original call.
Lehner was called to the bench for an extra attacker as the clock wound down towards one minute to play, and Nugent-Hopkins deposited the insurance tally with 35 seconds left.
"I don't think we had enough traffic at their net, we didn't get to their net probably as much as we needed to," noted Senators head coach Paul MacLean. "If we could have got a little more traffic it probably would have helped us a lot, but they did a good job of boxing us out."
The visitors picked up two scores in the first period. Eberle opened the scoring with 2:15 played by slipping one by Lehner off a 2-on-1 break, then Nugent-Hopkins ripped one home from between the circles at 10:29.
Edmonton improved to 8-4-2 with two ties in Ottawa since 1992, having won the last three meetings in Canada's capital ... Nugent-Hopkins added an assist on Eberle's goal, giving him his first three-point performance of the year and first since a four-point evening at Calgary on April 3.
10/19 17:58:46 ET