EDMONTON — It was the type of win that the Edmonton Oilers needed.
Evan Bouchard scored his first NHL goal and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist as the Oilers earned a big 4-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals on Thursday.
"It’s definitely a confidence boost," Nugent-Hopkins said.
"Just the way we played tonight, it didn’t matter who we played, we played a solid 60 minutes and didn’t give up too many Grade-A opportunities or give up the puck too much. And when we had our chances, we capitalized. To keep a team like that to one goal is a good sign for our club."
Alex Chiasson and Connor McDavid also scored for the Oilers (4-3-1), who snapped a two-game losing skid. Cam Talbot made 31 saves in the victory.
Andre Burakovsky replied for the Capitals (4-3-2), who have lost two of their last three.
"I really felt like against a dangerous transition team we really fuelled their offence by the way we handled the puck," said Capitals coach Todd Reirden. "Our puck management was poor and a lot of turnovers got us into trouble and kind of tilted the ice in their favour for really no reason."
Edmonton got on the board first with a power-play goal with 3:32 left in the opening period when Bouchard scored on a shot from the point with Capitals goalie Braden Holtby screened on the play.
The rookie became the youngest defenceman in Oilers history to score a goal after turning 19 on Oct. 20.
"I didn’t actually see it go in. I just saw the guys celebrating," Bouchard said.
The Oilers added to their lead midway through the second on a short-handed tally when Nugent-Hopkins picked off a pass, undressed Niklas Backstrom and beat Holtby for his third of the season.
Washington got that goal back a couple of minutes later as Nic Dowd found Burakovsky alone at the side of the net and he put his first of the season past Talbot.
Edmonton made it 3-1 midway through the third when Chiasson picked the top corner on a long-range bomb, his third goal in the last two games.
"I wasn’t playing at the start of the year, but I learned last year that you have to keep on working on your game," said Chiasson, who played for Washington last year and was awarded his Stanley Cup ring by the Capitals earlier in the day.
"I may not be the fastest guy, but I believe in my abilities and I believe in my shot. I just have to find the right places at the right time. It was nice to get one against my old team."
McDavid added an empty-netter to put the game away.
Notes: Both teams return to action on Saturday as the Capitals head to Calgary to face the Flames and the Oilers are in Nashvilleâ€¦ It was the first of two meetings between the two teams this season. Their second game against each other will be Nov. 5 in Washington.