Eric Staal scores in OT to lead Montreal Canadiens past Edmonton Oilers

Apr 5, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Eric Staal (21) reacts with teammates including defenseman Jeff Petry (26) and forward Tyler Toffoli (73) and forward Nick Suzuki (14) after scoring the winning goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the overtime period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Staal scored the overtime winner in his Montreal debut to give the host Canadiens a clutch 3-2 comeback victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

Staal, who was acquired by trade from the Buffalo Sabres, made his mark at 4:02 of the extra frame when he ripped a wrist shot from the right circle for his fourth goal of the season.

Josh Anderson and Tomas Tatar netted third-period goals for Montreal to erase a 2-0 deficit, while goaltender Carey Price stopped 21 shots. Montreal has won four of five meetings with the Oilers this season

Montreal, which won for just the second time this season when trailing after two periods, is on a 5-1-2 run.

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Devin Shore and Darnell Nurse replied for the Oilers, who received a 29-save performance from goaltender Mike Smith.

Despite the Canadiens controlling play from the drop of the puck — shots were 7-1 for Montreal at the seven-minute mark — Shore opened the scoring with 20.2 seconds remaining in the opening period. Jujhar Khaira held off a check while he scooted behind the net and sent a pass across the crease that Shore converted for his third goal of the season.

Nurse then doubled the Edmonton lead with 10.2 seconds remaining in the second period. With only a few seconds remaining on a power play, Nurse gained the puck and blasted a point shot for his career-high 13th goal of the season.

However, Josh Anderson’s goal 105 seconds into the third period gave the Canadiens a much-needed jolt and cued the comeback. Anderson was parked at the doorstep and from there redirected Corey Perry’s pass into the net for his 14th goal of the season and third in two games.

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Then, Tatar’s tally at the 5:23 mark of the third period tied the clash. Paul Byron intercepted a Nurse clearing attempt, fed a pass to Tatar, and he buried a wrist shot to earn his eighth goal of the campaign.

The Canadiens paid for the win as forward Brendan Gallagher left late in the first period after a slap shot from teammate Alexander Romanov hit his hand. In 34 games this season, Gallagher has 14 goals and nine assists.

–Field Level Media