RALEIGH, N.C. — Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers just kept throwing the puck on net over and over. It was a sound strategy, considering just about every shot they took seemed to be going in.
Draisaitl had a goal and three assists and the Oilers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 7-3 on Tuesday night.
Drake Caggiula, Matt Benning and Ryan Strome scored in a span of 4:24 in the first period after Carolina jumped to a 1-0 lead, and Edmonton led the rest of the way. Pontus Aberg, Yohann Auvitu and Jesse Puljujarvi also scored as the Oilers got six goals on their first 22 shots. Cam Talbot made 30 saves for Edmonton.
"We started well and that gave us confidence," Draisaitl said. "We kept going after them. Kept shooting the puck, kept getting the puck back. That was our game plan."
Brock McGinn, Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost six of eight. Scott Darling allowed three goals on his first nine shots and six on 22 but was left in the game. He finished with 23 saves.
As the final buzzer sounded, the Hurricanes were booed off the ice by the sparse group of fans still in the stands.
"We have to come to work," Carolina forward Jordan Staal said. "We play in the NHL. We have this privilege to be here. We can't lay eggs like that. We can't just not work. It looks like that when we don't and it's no fun to play. It's no fun to let each other down like that. "
The scoring began early in a wild, five-goal first period, including a few unusual tallies.
McGinn opened the scoring with a no-look, through-the-legs backhand pass that was accidentally pushed in by Auvitu.
Caggiula tied it 23 seconds after McGinn scored, and Benning gave the Oilers the lead with an extraordinary goal two minutes later. After his initial shot went off Darling's leg pad and up onto the glass behind the net, Benning waited for the puck to come down, swung his stick like a baseball bat, and hit the puck off Darling's back and into the net.
"I just kind of tried to wait until the puck came down so I didn't get high sticking and then just tried to throw it at him," Benning said. "It's just kind of reactionary."
Strome finished the burst with another atypical goal. Darling stopped Strome's stuff attempt, but the puck wiggled free, and
Aho kept the Hurricanes within one with a power-play goal late in the first, but the Oilers scored three times again in the second period to turn it into a rout.
Just 1:32 into the period, Faulk inexplicably backhanded a no-look pass from the corner to the front of his own net. Draisatl took the free puck and sent a pass to Aberg, who buried it along the inside post for his first goal as an Oilier since being acquired at the trade deadline.
"We weren't playing good from the start right through the end," Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal said. "It wasn't a good effort from anybody."
Auvitu got in on the scoring midway through the second when he finished a 3-on-2 rush with a wrist shot past Darling's glove, and Draisatl joined the party with a one-timer from the right faceoff circle, his 23rd this season. Puljujarvi provided the finishing touch when he gathered his own rebound and pushed a backhander through Darling's legs.
Carolina is still technically alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but its hopes are dwindling. The Hurricanes are nine points back with nine games to play.
Draisaitl surpassed 200 career points. ... Aberg also had two assists for his first career three-point game. .Aho and Teravainen extended their point streaks to six games. ... Oilers F Connor McDavid played in his 200th NHL game. ... Hurricanes D Noah Hanifin missed his second straight game with a concussion. ... Oilers D Andrej Sekera and F Zack Kassian both missed the game with undisclosed injuries.
Oilers: At the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
Hurricanes: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.
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The Associated Press