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Oilers 4, Panthers 1

The SportsXchange

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers extended their longest win streak of the season to three games Thursday with a 4-1 decision over the visiting Florida Panthers.

The Panthers were on a roll of their own, having won three of their four previous games, but fell behind early, 1-0 in the first and 3-0 by the midway mark of the second, and couldn't come back.

For the Oilers, it was just their third win in 10 home games, improving their overall record to 7-15-2.

Florida dropped to 6-13-4.

The Oilers capitalized on an early power play and made it 1-0 on center Jordan Eberle's seventh of the season just 56 seconds after the opening faceoff. It was Edmonton's 12th unanswered goal dating back to the third period against Calgary two games ago. They scored straight goals in the third period of that one and beat Columbus 7-0 at home Tuesday.

They made it 13 and 14 straight in the second period when center Sam Gagner converted a brilliant pass from right winger Nail Yakupov and left winger David Perron scored his sixth goal in seven games to make it 3-0 Edmonton.

Goalie Devan Dubnyk finally gave up a goal, his first in almost six full periods, when right winger Scottie Upshall put Florida on the board at 16:34 to make it 3-1 at the second intermission.

Florida increased the pressure in the third period, and had a couple of power plays, but Edmonton closed the deal with more calm than they've shown in quite some time.

Eberle put it away with an empty netter.

The Oilers have three days off before they try to make it four wins in a row when the Chicago Blackhawks visit on Tuesday.

NOTES: The Oilers scored a 4-3 decision over Florida in the teams' previous meeting two weeks ago, but none of Edmonton's goal-scorers from that overtime win (RW Mark Arcobello, healthy scratch; D Taylor Fedun, minors; and D Philip Larsen, injured) was in the lineup Thursday for the rematch. ... Oilers coach Dallas Eakins appeared in 41 games with the Panthers during his playing days. ... Florida heads to Calgary on Friday for the last game of its five-game Western road trip. ... Panthers G Tim Thomas made his seventh consecutive start since he returned to action from a groin injury. ... Friday will be the 10th anniversary of Edmonton's Heritage Classic. The NHL's first outdoor game drew 51,167 fans to Commonwealth Stadium. ... Edmonton C Sam Gagner's second-period goal ended his streak of 10 games without a goal since he returned from a broken jaw.
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