Benoit Pouliot had a pair of goals and Jordan Eberle had a goal and two assists as the Edmonton Oilers came away with a 4-1 victory over the Maple Leafs on Monday in a game featuring a pair of struggling squads.
"The system that we are playing, we are creating a lot more opportunities and we are in games," said Eberle, who has 11 points in his last five games. "The results haven't always been what we want them to be, but we are definitely playing better."
Anton Lander also scored for the Oilers (19-39-12), who snapped a seven-game losing skid.
Pouliot said it was nice to see the Oilers get out of the gate with four first-period goals, even if they couldn't sustain that pace.
"It's good to be on the other side of a game like that," he said. "The confidence of the guys was so high after we got off to the start we did. It was just a little unfortunate that we didn't do the same things for the last 40 minutes.
"We knew Toronto was having struggles like we have had. They beat us pretty bad in their building and we didn't want the same thing to happen here."
James van Riemsdyk replied for the Maple Leafs (27-38-6), who have lost three in a row and six of their last seven. Toronto has just one win in its last 21 road games.
"Obviously that was a brutal start and you're not going to win any games in this league falling down 4-0," said Leafs forward Phil Kessel. "It's tough. We're still working, we're still trying, it's just a tough time for us. We have good players in here, we still have really good players, we're just not getting it done."
The Oilers started the scoring just 53 seconds into the first period on the game's first shot as a blast from Pouliot deflected off the stick of Eric Brewer and past Toronto starter Jonathan Bernier.
Edmonton made it 2-0 seven minutes into the first as Justin Schultz made a nice power-play pass to Eberle in front, and he picked the top corner for his 19th of the season.
Pouliot struck again just 52 seconds later, putting home his second of the contest. James Reimer came in to replace Bernier in the Leafs' net after he allowed three goals on four shots.
The Oilers went up 4-0 with another power-play goal 11 minutes into the opening period as Eberle found Lander open at the side of the net and he lifted it past Reimer.
Van Riemsdyk deflected a Dion Phaneuf point shot past Edmonton goalie Ben Scrivens on the power play with 6:30 left to play in the first.
Despite the flurry of goals in the first period, there was no scoring for the remainder of the game.
The Oilers play the second game of a six-game homestand on Wednesday against Columbus. The Leafs return home to face San Jose on Thursday.
Notes: Toronto came into the game with a six-game winning streak against the Oilers… Since the All-Star break, the Oilers have had the top power play in the NHL. The Leafs have had the worst… Edmonton was without Tyler Pitlick (lacerated spleen), Taylor Hall (leg), Nikita Nikitin (shoulder), Viktor Fasth (knee) and Iiro Pakarinen (knee), although Hall skated with the team on Monday. Toronto was missing Stephane Robidas (shoulder), Roman Polak (hernia) and Nathan Horton (concussion).Suggest a correction