Josh Currie scores first NHL goal, Oilers hold on to beat Ducks

Sam Gagner’s third goal of the season helped the Edmonton Oilers hang on to defeat the Anaheim Ducks.

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers proved they hadn’t given up on the season yet on Saturday night, and they did it without their top player.

Sam Gagner scored the game winner as the Oilers held on for a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, despite having captain Connor McDavid on the shelf serving a suspension.

"Connor is irreplaceable, obviously," Gagner said. "It’s a cliche, but guys need to step up in that situation and I thought we had a lot of guys play really well tonight. I thought we kept a lot of their chances to the outside and made them earn a lot of what they got. That is a good sign for us and hopefully we can build off of it."

Josh Currie also scored for the Oilers (26-29-6), who won their second game in a row.

Carter Rowney responded for the Ducks (24-29-9), who have lost two straight.

"I thought it was a hard-fought game and we had some quality shifts," said Ducks forward Corey Perry.

"I think the way we’ve been playing that last four, five, six games is a way that this team can play. We’re showing great strides."

Despite a sluggish start, the Oilers were first on the scoreboard with four minutes to play in the first period when a rebound squirted past Ducks goalie Kevin Boyle to Currie, who scored his first career NHL goal in his third-ever game.

"It’s super exciting," said the 26-year-old Prince Edward Island native. "Words can’t even describe how I am feeling right now. It is obviously even better to get the win. I wouldn’t have wanted to get it with a different group of guys. It is awesome.

"I am sure I had a lot of family and friends watching back home. It was definitely exciting and a moment I won’t forget, that’s for sure."

Edmonton made it 2-0 on a delayed penalty 57 seconds into the second period when Gagner redirected a Leon Draisaitl feed into the net for his second goal in four games since returning to his original NHL team in a trade with Vancouver.

The Ducks pulled back within a goal 12 minutes into the middle frame when Rowney was able to send a shot off of the pad of Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen and into the net.

Anaheim looked to have tied the game with the extra attacker and 45 seconds left in the third on a goal by Perry, but it was called off to incidental contact with the goalie by Adam Henrique.

"It’s frustrating," said Perry, who might get a call from the league for a late elbow on Darnell Nurse. "This team has had trouble scoring lately and to have one taken away in that fashion, it’s definitely mindboggling and it makes you shake your head."

Koskinen made 13 saves in the third period and 33 overall. Boyle finished with 21 stops.

Both teams are back in action on Monday as the Ducks head to Vancouver to face the Canucks and the Oilers begin a five-game road trip in Nashville.

Notes: It was the third of four meetings between the two teams this season, with each team taking one of the previous games… McDavid was serving the first of a two-game suspension for a hit to the head of New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy on Thursday… With veteran Ryan Getzlaf out of the lineup with an upper-body injury, rookie Sam Steel came into the lineup at forward for the Ducks… Boyle was making just his third NHL start in the Anaheim net… Ducks defenceman Cam Fowler played in his 600th NHL game.


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