Monday was a perfect night to be an Edmonton Oilers fan.
The team won, while captain Connor McDavid had another multi-point game and a provincial rival was eliminated from Stanley Cup playoff contention.
McDavid scored the overtime winner as the Oilers edged out the Montréal Canadiens 4-3 at the Bell Centre.
With the game going to overtime, the Canadiens clinched the final playoff spot in the NHL’s North Division — and in the process, eliminated the Calgary Flames.
“All in all, we put in a fairly solid road game,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said after the game.
Halfway through the first, Habs forward Jake Evans roofed a shot to give the Canadiens the lead halfway through the first. But James Neal replied for the Oilers 20 seconds later. Ryan McLeod earned an assist on the play for his first NHL point.
“I’ve battled all year to be in this spot,” Neal said.
“I feel confident going into the playoffs right now.”
A few minutes later Ryan Nugent-Hopkins bagged his 15th of the season, staking Edmonton to a 2-1 lead after one period.
Montreal forward Paul Bryon swatted a backhand past Edmonton goaltender Mikko Koskinen six minutes into the second.
The Oilers regained the lead when McDavid set up Dominik Kahun for a tap-in, putting the Oilers up 3-2 after 40.
Habs forward Artturi Lehkonen beat Koskinen twice in the third period. The first one was called back when video review showed the Canadiens were offside, but the second one tied the game 3-3 with 6:56 to go.
In overtime, Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl stole the puck deep in his own end. He passed it ahead to McDavid who went in alone on Montreal netminder Jake Allen. McDavid flipped it in on the forehand for his 33rd of the year.
“You could definitely get a sense of their desperation,” said McDavid, who now has 102 points on the season now.
“It’s a good test for us.”
Koskinen made 25 saves to improve to 13-12.
The Oilers (34-18-2) play in Montreal again on Monday.
–With files from 630 CHED’s David Boles
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