Skinner’s 40 saves help Oilers defeat Panthers 4-2
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Defenseman Tyson Barrie scored twice and goalie Stuart Skinner made 40 saves as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Saturday afternoon.
Barrie’s second of the game came four seconds into a power play at 6:53 of the third period to give Edmonton the lead for good.
Edmonton also got goals from Warren Foegele and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins while Sam Bennett scored twice for the Panthers.
The Oilers head home with a split of their four-game road trip after coming to South Florida with losses in four of their previous five games.
Florida had won its past two.
“It’s big for our team,’’ said Barrie, whose team was coming off a 7-2 loss at Carolina on Thursday. “We’ve kind of been up and down, up and down. We want to find some consistency in our game. So, you know, after a game in Carolina, where we maybe feel like we didn’t have our best It was nice to come back and have a good performance.”
Edmonton spoiled the return of Aaron Ekblad and Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida lineup.
Ekblad had been on long-term injured reserve after being hurt on Oct. 17 in Boston; Tkachuk was suspended two games for a high-stick on Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick on Nov. 5.
After a scoreless first period, Barrie snapped Spencer Knight’s shutout streak at 93:04 as his shot from just inside the blue line sailed through traffic and beat the Florida goalie.
Knight was coming off a 40-save shutout win against Carolina on Wednesday night.
“I thought it was a goaltender’s duel early in the game,’’ Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said. “Stuart held the fort for us.”
Florida tied the score at 2:42 of the third when Bennett jumped on a big rebound from a long Gustav Forsling shot, his one-timer beating Skinner high.
On Edmonton’s fifth power play chance of the night, Barrie scored on a slap shot from 45 feet out.
“We probably dominated the first, played a solid second and they got a couple in the third,’’ Bennett said. “For the most part, we did a good job against one of the best power plays in the league. It was not an easy task. But we did a good job of limiting their chances.”
The Oilers then made it 3-1 when Foegele scored after Florida captain Aleksander Barkov turned the puck over in the offensive zone at 15:07.
Bennett scored 51 seconds later to pull the Panthers back within a goal, but Nugent-Hopkin’s empty netter with 1:26 remaining iced the victory.
“They came out flying,’’ Skinner said. “I mean, they’re a great team. They had some pushes throughout the game. I thought we did a great job defensively. I thought we did a good job getting the pucks out, some big block shots. But the first 10 minutes … we kind of got going and then after that, we were solid.’’
INJURED KANE REJOINS TEAM
Injured Edmonton forward Evander Kane drove from Tampa to South Florida to rejoin his team after having major surgery on his injured left wrist.
Kane was hurt in the second period of Edmonton’s game in Tampa on Tuesday when he was cut by the skate blade of Pat Maroon. Kane underwent emergency surgery in Tampa that night.
He has been placed on long-term injured reserve and will miss at least three months.
Oilers: Host Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
Panthers: Host Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.
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