Nugent-Hopkins' goal gives Oilers 1st win
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) The Edmonton Oilers are no longer the only team in the Western Conference without a win.
Taylor Hall scored a penalty-shot goal and added an assist, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins netted the winner in the final minutes to lift Edmonton to a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night, giving the Oilers their first win of the season.
Justin Schultz also scored for the Oilers (1-4-1), who had matched the team's worst start.
Edmonton allowed the Lightning to tie the game with six minutes remaining, but remained composed and captured the win.
''I thought tonight we really battled hard,'' Nugent-Hopkins said. ''They tied it late and we had a really good pushback, so it was really good to see.
''We all stayed pretty positive on the bench when they tied it. We know what we can do. We know that we could beat this team if we played our best. We stuck to it, and it worked out for us.''
Ben Scrivens made 22 saves for the Oilers.
''Tonight was one game, another step in the right direction, but those winning habits don't come overnight,'' he said. ''It takes a lot of repetition for them to be second nature, and we have a long way to go, but this was a good step.''
Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle were often pitted against the Steven Stamkos line and were pleased to be able to hold one of the NHL's best forwards off the score sheet.
''Stamkos is a world class player,'' Hall said. ''Guys like that, Nuge, myself and Ebs, we really take pride in going up against stars like that and trying to play well against them.
''Tonight was a good show of that, so hopefully we can keep going head to head against these great players and doing well.''
Brian Boyle and Brett Connolly scored for the Lightning (3-2-1).
Boyle gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the second period, but Edmonton took the lead before the frame was over.
Nugent-Hopkins made it 3-2 with 3:52 left in the game.
''We have to be better,'' Lightning goalie Ben Bishop said. ''We can't come out and play like this on the road and expect to win. We had too many breakdowns all over the ice. We showed some fight in the third, but it still wasn't even close enough to win in this league.''
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said it was hard to tell which team had struggled all season.
''I'd say we looked like a winless club tonight,'' he said. ''In the third I thought we played desperate. If we had played that way in the first two periods, who knows how the game turns out.
''In the end, we were playing a desperate team. They have had some breaks go against them this year, and tonight they all went for them.''
The Oilers nearly took a 1-0 lead seven minutes in when Jeff Petry's point blast eluded Bishop but hit the post.
Tampa Bay then almost scored four minutes later when it appeared that Connolly had scored on Scrivens. However, the goal was waved off because Boyle interfered with Scrivens in front.
The Lightning did go ahead 1-0 on a fluke goal 1:22 into the second when Boyle hooked a shot out front from behind the goal line that hit Schultz's knee and rolled in past a surprised Scrivens.
Schultz tied it three minutes later, taking a give-and-go from the point, swooping in and beating Bishop on the backhand.
Edmonton made it 2-1 lead with five minutes left in the second after Hall was taken down by Matthew Carle during a breakaway.
Hall was awarded a penalty shot and scored between Bishop's legs for his fourth goal.
Tampa Bay tied it 2-2 with six minutes left in the third period as Tyler Johnson found Connolly in the slot for a shot past Scrivens.
However, Edmonton went ahead for good when Jordan Eberle picked off a pass in the Tampa Bay zone and fed the puck to Nugent-Hopkins, who beat a screened Bishop with a perfect shot to the top corner.
''I think if I can, that's one of my favorite spots to shoot, especially quickly, because the goalie can't set too much,'' Nugent-Hopkins said. ''Ebs made a really good play to knock the puck out of the air, and he fed me in a high-scoring area.''
NOTES: It was the first of two games between the teams this season. They split a two-game set last season The Lightning have not won in Edmonton since March 7, 2007. ... The game marked the NHL debut of 2013 No. 3 pick Jonathan Drouin. The 19-year-old Drouin was a surprise starter after Alex Killorn sustained an injury in the morning skate. Drouin had three points in two games during a conditioning stint with the Syracuse of the AHL before being called up to the Lightning on Sunday. ... Tampa Bay was without D Victor Hedman, who will have surgery on his fractured finger Tuesday and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Mark Barberio made his season debut as Hedman's replacement.