Staal scores in OT to defeat Oilers in Canadiens debut

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MONTREALEric Staal scored at 4:02 of overtime in his Montreal Canadiens debut for a 3-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers at Bell Centre on Monday.

Staal took a pass from Tyler Toffoli and scored on a wrist shot past Mike Smith from the right face-off circle. 

The center was acquired by the Canadiens in a trade from the Buffalo Sabres for a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft on March 26. He arrived in Montreal on March 27 and began a mandatory seven-day quarantine. The center skated Sunday for the first time since the trade. 

Carey Price made 21 saves, and Josh Anderson and Tomas Tatar scored early in the third period to tie it 2-2 for Montreal (17-9-9), which is 5-1-2 in its past eight games.

Smith made 29 saves, and Devin Shore and Darnell Nurse scored for Edmonton (23-14-2), which is 2-2 in overtime. The Oilers are 5-1-2 in their past eight games.

Staal had gone 23 games without a goal since he scored for the Sabres in a 3-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 30.

It was Montreal’s first overtime goal of the season. The Canadiens had lost six games in overtime, and lost the first three of their four games decided by shootout.

Anderson drew Montreal within 2-1 at 1:45 of the third when he deflected Corey Perry‘s pass for his 14th goal at 1:45 of the third.

Tatar tied it 2-2 with a wrist shot past Smith’s glove from the right faceoff circle at 5:23.

Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher left the game after he was struck by Alexander Romanov‘s shot in the first.

Nurse, who leads NHL defensemen with 13 goals, put Edmonton up 2-0 on the power play with 11 seconds remaining in the second.

Smith made 14 saves in the first and Shore scored on Edmonton’s fifth shot to make it 1-0 with 21 seconds remaining. He was left unchecked on the right side and scored into an open right side after Jujhar Khaira carried the puck behind the net before setting him up with a backhand pass across the crease.
 

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