NHL Hockey

Oilers gunning for past-season berth in matchup vs. Senators

It appears neither the Ottawa Senators nor the Edmonton Oilers are going to put an end to Canada's 25-season drought without a Stanley Cup this spring.

The Senators (25-43-6), who play Saturday afternoon at Edmonton, have a league-worst 56 points and have already been eliminated from postseason contention. The Oilers (33-34-7), despite a 4-1 victory Thursday against visiting Columbus, are five points back with eight games left in the race for the Western Conference's second and final wild-card berth, with four teams between them and the last spot.

"These are the biggest games of the year and all the excitement is here," Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen, who stopped 19 of 20 shots, told NHL.com. "As long as we have a (mathematical) chance, we're going to fight until the end."

Thursday's contest opened a five-game homestand for the Oilers.

"I know everybody around here talks about next year but that's not the focus in that locker room," Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Somebody is going to get in (the playoffs). We just got to keep playing and winning hockey games. If we play the way we played tonight, we're going to win a lot of games."

The Oilers scored three third-period goals to beat the Blue Jackets after entering the final period tied at 1-1.

Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist in the final period to give him 107 points this season (37 goals, 70 assists), one shy of his career-high set last year.

Two Oilers reached milestones, with Leon Draisaitl assisting on three goals to reach 300 career points and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his career-high 25th goal of the season.

"It's nice to hit a personal high but at the same time, it's a lot sweeter with the win," Nugent-Hopkins told NHL.com.

The Senators are 0-2 on their three-game, western Canada trip after a 7-4 loss Wednesday in Vancouver and a 5-1 defeat Thursday in Calgary.

Dylan DeMelo scored the game's opening goal against the Flames, but Ottawa dropped to 3-12-1 in its past 16 games.

"At the end of the day it's everybody on the ice," goaltender Craig Anderson, who dropped to 0-13-1 in his past 14 decisions, told NHL.com. "It's veterans, it's rookies, everyone has to be a little bit better. You're in the National Hockey League. Whether you're a young guy or an old guy, it doesn't matter. You're in the National Hockey League. You're here for a reason. You're a good hockey player. You have to take care of the puck. That's what it comes down to.

"We come out of the gate pretty well and we're able to get the lead. We were just unable to sustain that. A couple times, just maybe unaware of how quick they were or how good their sticks were. They take the puck from us and come down and score. It's just one of those things where we've got to be a little bit harder on the puck, and when we have that lead, make sure we play a little tougher."

Added Senators rookie forward Brady Tkachuk: "It's a long year. We've all learned a lot. This last stretch is all about sticking together and working as hard as we can to win as many games as we can."

Ottawa forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau served a one-game suspension Thursday for boarding Vancouver's Ashton Sautner the previous night.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 22, 2019

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Teams Score Time
Appalachian State 34 F
North Carolina 31
Ball State 16 12:21 4th
NC State 27
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Carolina 2 F
Washington 3
Teams Score Time
Boston College 30 F
Rutgers 16
California 28 F
Ole Miss 20
Elon 7 F
Wake Forest 49
LSU 66 F
Vanderbilt 38
Michigan 14 F
Wisconsin 35
Southern Mississippi 7 F
Alabama 49
Tennessee 3 F
Florida 34
Western Michigan 33 F
Syracuse 52
Appalachian State 34 F
North Carolina 31
Auburn 28 F
Texas A&M 20
Louisville 24 F
Florida State 35
Miami (OH) 5 F
Ohio State 76
SMU 41 F
TCU 38
UCF 34 F
Pittsburgh 35
Washington 45 F
BYU 19
Central Michigan 12 F
Miami 17
Ball State 16 12:21 4th
NC State 27
Old Dominion 17 12:27 4th
Virginia 14
Oregon 21 05:52 4th
Stanford 6
Charlotte 3 06:15 3rd
Clemson 45
Oklahoma State 20 10:44 3rd
Texas 21
Notre Dame 10 00:00 Half
Georgia 7
Colorado   10:00pm
Arizona State  
UCLA   10:30pm
Washington State  
Teams Score Time
Philadelphia 6 8th
Cleveland 4
American League
Toronto 2 F
New York 7
Boston 3 10th
Tampa Bay 3
Chicago 5 F
Detroit 3
Seattle 3 7th
Baltimore 4
Kansas City 5 9th
Minnesota 5
Los Angeles 6 7th
Houston 4
Texas 0 2nd
Oakland 7
National League
St. Louis 9 F
Chicago 8
New York 2 F
Cincinnati 3
Washington 4 9th
Miami 4
Pittsburgh 1 7th
Milwaukee 8
San Francisco 1 8th
Atlanta 8
Arizona 1 4th
San Diego 0
Colorado 1 2nd
Los Angeles 0
Teams Score Time
Atlanta   Sun 1:00pm
Baltimore   Sun 1:00pm
Kansas City  
Cincinnati   Sun 1:00pm
Denver   Sun 1:00pm
Green Bay  
Detroit   Sun 1:00pm
Miami   Sun 1:00pm
New York   Sun 1:00pm
New England  
Oakland   Sun 1:00pm
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
New York   Sun 4:05pm
Tampa Bay  
Houston   Sun 4:25pm
Los Angeles  
New Orleans   Sun 4:25pm
Pittsburgh   Sun 4:25pm
San Francisco  
Los Angeles   Sun 8:20pm
Chicago   Mon 8:15pm
Teams Score Time
Pittsburgh 1 F
Columbus 3
Colorado 3 F
Minnesota 4
Carolina 2 F
Washington 3
New York 3 F
New Jersey 4
New York 1 F
Philadelphia 4
Toronto 3 F
Buffalo 5
Montreal 4 12:58 3rd
Ottawa 0
Florida 2 07:33 2nd
Dallas 0
Tampa Bay 2 00:00 2nd
Nashville 2
Vegas 2 00:00 2nd
San Jose 1
Boston 1 09:26 2nd
Chicago 1
Anaheim 0 00:00 1st
Arizona 1
Vancouver 1 10:25 1st
Los Angeles 1
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 2 Brad Keselowski 1
2 18 Kyle Busch 4
3 19 Martin Truex Jr 8
4 11 Denny Hamlin 6
5 6 Ryan Newman 19
6 9 Chase Elliott 3
7 20 Erik Jones 16
8 4 Kevin Harvick 2
9 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 18
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 20 Christopher Bell 4
2 22 Austin Cindric 1
3 00 Cole Custer 12
4 7 Justin Allgaier 2
5 98 Chase Briscoe 5
6 18 Harrison Burton 6
7 9 Noah Gragson 8
8 8 Zane Smith 15
9 1 Michael Annett 10
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9