EDMONTON — The opportunity was there and the Edmonton Oilers took advantage.
Leon Draisaitl scored 35 seconds into overtime and had a pair of assists as the Oilers beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Monday. The win, coupled with losses by Minnesota, Arizona and Colorado, moved Edmonton five points back of a wild-card playoff spot.
"Every point right now is huge for us," Draisaitl said. "We know the position we are in and we are trying to climb back into it. It was a huge win for us."
Connor McDavid and Matt Benning also scored for the Oilers (31-31-7), who won their fifth game in their last six outings.
"They scored the tying goal, but we stuck with it and created momentum shift after shift," said Edmonton forward Zack Kassian. "We ended up having the dynamic duo (Draisaitl and McDavid) connecting in overtime. That's a huge two points for us."
The Oilers have gone 7-2-2 in their last 11 games.
"Five points back with a game in hand. That's more than doable if we continue at this pace," said Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock.
Brendan Lemieux and Brett Howden replied for the Rangers (28-28-13), who have lost seven of their last eight.
"There are a lot of points that we've been missing out on," Lemieux said. "It sucks but that's the way the game goes. Hopefully next year it goes different for us. You never know, with 13 games left, but the writing is kind of on the wall and we just have to create good habits and stick to it until we find out what happens one way or the other."
McDavid put away his 34th goal of the season, 6:08 into the first period, shortly after the Oilers went on a power play. Draisaitl picked up an assist to extend his point streak to 14 games, the longest active run in the NHL.
Two minutes later, the Oilers had a goal by Benning called back on accidental contact with the goalie by Kassian, however a review proved that it was actually the stick of defender Frederik Claesson that clipped Georgiev and it was ruled a good goal.
New York got on the board with eight-and-a-half minutes remaining in the second period when Lemieux beat Oilers starter Mikko Koskinen with a deceptive wrist shot.
A bad bounce in front of the net set up Howden for his first goal in 36 games to tie it 2-2 1:33 into the third period.
Both teams return to action on Wednesday, as the Rangers play the second game of a four-game trip in Vancouver and the Oilers play host to the New Jersey Devils.
Notes: It was the second and final meeting between two teams this season. Edmonton defeated New York 2-1 in October to record the club's first victory of the season… Draisaitl came into the game with a 21.6 shot percentage… Oilers forward Milan Lucic missed his second game in a row with an injury, the only games he has ever missed in his time with Edmonton… Rangers forward Ryan Strome played in Edmonton for the first time since he was traded for forward Ryan Spooner on Nov. 16. Strome came into the game with 12 points in his past 14 games. Spooner ended up being sent to Vancouver for Sam Gagner… Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom left the game after taking a shot to the groin and didn't return.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press