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McDavid, Oilers defeat Devils for fourth straight victory

NEWARK, N.J. — Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist to help the Edmonton Oilers win their fourth straight game to start the season, 4-3 against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday.  McDavid scored a power-play goal at 18:54 of the third period when he poked in a loose puck that…

NEWARK, N.J.Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist to help the Edmonton Oilers win their fourth straight game to start the season, 4-3 against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday.  

McDavid scored a power-play goal at 18:54 of the third period when he poked in a loose puck that trickled behind goalie Mackenzie Blackwood for a 3-3 tie. 

Leon Draisaitl scored the only goal of the shootout in the third round. 

[WATCH: All Oilers vs. Devils highlights]

“Winning makes everything easier and better,” Draisaitl said. “We’re playing the right way and working hard for our wins. It’s great to see different guys contribute and make a difference every night.”

Draisaitl and James Neal scored, and Mikko Koskinen made 28 saves for Edmonton (4-0-0). 

Koskinen made saves against Nikita Gusev, Jack Hughes and Taylor Hall in the shootout.

The Oilers are off to their best start since 2008-09, when they also began the season with four straight wins. They became the third team in NHL history to win the first four games of a season after trailing in each (1988-89 Los Angeles Kings, 2005-06 Nashville Predators).

Video: EDM@NJD: Draisaitl snaps home shootout winner

“We have a lot of character in the room,” Neal said. “We’re getting timely goals and getting those chances and working. It wasn’t our best game, but you have to win in all different ways. We’ll look at what we did wrong and continue to get better.”

Draisaitl said, “We’re not going to stop until it’s over and I’m happy to be part of this group. We’re building our game in the right direction.”

McDavid, who scored his first goal in his eighth game against New Jersey, extended his point streak to four games (three goals, seven assists). His 10 points are tied with Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets for most in the NHL.

Kyle Palmieri, Damon Severson and Gusev scored, and Blackwood made 19 saves for the Devils (0-2-2), who have lost four straight games to begin a season for the first time since 2015-16 (0-3-1).

Video: EDM@NJD: Gusev one-times home Bratt’s nice feed

“I thought we dictated play; it was a far cry from [the 4-0 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday],” Hall said. “We really held them in check. There were a lot of really good things to pull from that game, but we didn’t get the win. We’re going to have to keep playing like that.”

Severson scored at 15:35 of the third period to give the Devils a 3-2 lead.

Gusev gave the Devils a 2-1 lead when he scored off a slap shot from the top of the right face-off circle 14:12 into the second period. Neal scored a power-play goal at 19:32 of the second for a 2-2 tie.

Neal, who scored four goals in a 5-2 win against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday, leads the NHL with seven this season. He scored seven in 63 games last season with the Calgary Flames.

Neal, acquired in a trade from the Flames on July 19, said a change in scenery has made a big difference in his confidence.

“It’s playing with some great players and having fun playing the game,” he said. “I think everyone that’s come in here kind of just took a step back and everyone has a lot to prove. We’re sticking together, becoming a team really quickly, and having a lot of fun doing it. We want to be a Stanley Cup Playoff team and have the guys to do it. We’re continuing to get better.”

Palmieri gave the Devils a 1-0 lead when he scored unassisted off a 2-on-1 with Hall 6:14 into the first period. Draisaitl tied it 1-1 on a snap shot from the left circle at 9:17 of the first. 

Video: EDM@NJD: Palmieri roofs shot on two-on-one

They said it

“If you would have said you’d be 4-0 after four, I’m good with that, but it’s a process. We’ve got to continue to get better. Tonight, our special teams were really strong and won us the game.” — Oilers coach Dave Tippett 

“If you look at the way we competed and the way we played, 5-on-5, we played a lot to our identity. I think everybody on the team showed up on a gut-check game. If you look at that, that’s certainly something to build on.” — Devils coach John Hynes

Need to know

Tippett moved past Marc Crawford into 21st place in NHL history with 557 wins as a coach. … Draisaitl extended his point streak to four games (two goals, six assists). … The Oilers were 2-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. … Palmieri played in his 500th NHL game. … The Devils are 0-for-11 on the power play and 6-for-13 on the penalty kill this season. … Devils rookie forward Jack Hughes had a season-high four shots on goal in 17:36 of ice time.

What’s next

Oilers: At the New York Rangers on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; SN, MSG, NHL.TV)

Devils: At the Boston Bruins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NESN, MSG, NHL.TV)

Video: Draisaitl leads Oilers past Devils in shootout

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