RALEIGH — The Carolina Hurricanes didn’t have to contend with Connor McDavid for the Edmonton’s only visit to Raleigh this season, but who knew they’d need to contain Josh Archibald?
The Oilers journeyman scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime, to give Edmonton a 4-3 win over the Hurricanes in front of a sellout crowd of 18,680 Sunday at PNC Arena.
“He has a nice goal in the game so I gave him a chance in overtime,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said.
It turned out to be a chance worth taking.
After Sebastian Aho was denied a hat trick goal in overtime by Edmonton goalie Mike Smith (27 saves), Archibald capitalized on the Oilers’ only shot in the extra session and just their fourth since the start of the third period. The 27-year-old — in his first season in Edmonton after stops in Pittsburgh and Arizona — darted in on James Reimer (20 saves) and scored the winner with 1:03 left in overtime.
“They had one chance in OT and they scored,” said Aho, who had the tying goal with just over five minutes left in regulation, his second of the game and 33rd of the season in a three-point effort.
Aho and linemates Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov went head-to-head most of the night with the Oilers’ top line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Kailer Yamomoto and Leon Draisaitl — the NHL’s top scorer — and Carolina’s SAT line was on the ice for all three of the Hurricanes’ goals.
The first came just seconds into the game.
After the Oilers iced the puck on the opening shift, the Hurricanes scored on the ensuing faceoff when Trevor van Riemsdyk’s point shot went through a maze of players and got past Smith for his first goal of the season just 12 seconds into the game.
The Oilers — and their loaded top line — quickly tied the game.
Just as a high sticking penalty to Svechnikov ended, Draisaitl collected a loose puck to the left of James Reimer and deposited it in the net at 6:28 of the first.
Carolina got the lead back at 5:19 of the second period when Jaccob Slavin sprung Aho on a breakaway and the Hurricanes’ top scorer notched his 32nd of the year for a 2-1 lead.
It looked like Carolina was on its way — until Edmonton struck twice in under 30 seconds late in the second.
First, with Erik Haula in the penalty box, Yamamoto’s shot from the slot hit the far post and bounced off the back of Reimer and in to tie the game at 14:33 of the middle frame.
Then a van Riemsdyk clearing attempt was held in by Edmonton and Archibald got in alone on Reimer to score his first of the night at 15:01 for a 3-2 Oilers lead.
“The game was 2-1, it was going along OK, wasn’t great, but we were in good shape,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “And then kind of a couple iffy calls and I think the game just flipped.”
Carolina got two power plays in the third but couldn’t convert on either, but then the top line again came through to tie it.
With 5:02 left in regulation, Svechnikov drove to the net and centered a pass through Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse’s legs and right onto Aho’s tape. Aho didn’t miss, burying his 33rd goal to tie the game.
“Really nice. Just a great pass,” Aho said.
Draisaitl, who also finished with three points to give him 95 on the season, and the Oilers got the last laugh, however, with Archibald netting his ninth of the season shortly after Aho was stopped at the other end.
“I had a great chance. I just couldn’t put it in,” Aho said. “So yeah, it sucks. I just have to put that in.”
Notes: Aho, playing in his 300th NHL game, extended his point streak to nine games and had at least three points for the fifth time this season. … Svechnikov extended his point streak to seven games. … Defenseman Oscar Klefbom played 30:57 for the Oilers, the third time this season he logged more than 30 minutes. Only Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot (eight times) has done it more this season.