Takeaways: Nurse shines for Oilers in win over Golden Knights

This was going to go one of two ways.

The Edmonton Oilers were going to start their midseason break early, with all the holidays booked and plans made, and mail one in at Las Vegas. Or preferably, they’d celebrate the 21st birthday of their captain, Connor McDavid, with the kind of effort that would allow them to spend a few days at the beach feeling good about themselves.

Thankfully for the several hundred Oilers fans who trooped to Sin City for their club’s first-ever game in Nevada, the Oilers chose the latter, battling hard to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in overtime.

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Well, here are our takeaways on Edmonton’s trip to the strip, a rare bright night in a season of disappointment.

Darnell Nurse. Who knew?

You can count on two fingers the number of Oilers having a better season this year than last: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who left with an apparent shoulder injury in the second period, and Nurse, who has taken a huge step in his development this season.

Nurse, 22, scored on two hearty blasts in a 4-2 win at Arizona Thursday, then rushed the puck to set up Pat Maroon’s game-opening goal in Vegas. As an encore, he stepped up to take a pass from Drake Caggiula in overtime, and walked in to beat Marc-Andre Fleury for the game-winner.

He has four goals and five points in his last four games, and you can just see him maturing as a defenceman, as rushes that used to end in confusion now have purpose.

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sports news


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