The Oilers were just one win away from tying the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the longest winning streak in league history.
The Golden Knights scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal just 1:24 into the third period when Chandler Stephenson found the back of the net. Following a forced turnover in the neutral zone, Jonathan Marchessault was able to scoop the puck up behind the net and found Stephenson for a scorching one-timer from the face-off circle that made its way past Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner.
At the 19:27 mark of the final period, Golden Knights winger William Karlsson, who was playing for the first time since the Winter Classic, deposited an empty-netter to put the game away.
“I liked a lot of the parts of our game,” Oilers star Connor McDavid said following the game. “I thought it was a similar type game that we’ve played throughout the streak. We just didn’t find a way to get a win. Their goalie played well, and made some big saves.”
Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill continued to have a sensational season as he turned aside 30 shots in the victory. Hill currently leads the NHL in goals-against-average (1.94) and save percentage (.936).
“Unfortunately, we came up a little bit short,” Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch added. “I think a big turning point in the game was the late goal [Vegas] scored in the first period. And then for us, it was just missed opportunities. I think the chances were there.”
McDavid opened the scoring in the first period when he converted a two-on-zero opportunity on a pass from teammate Leon Draisaitl. That came on the heels of McDavid dominating All-Star weekend as he won the Skills Competition on Friday.
The Oilers have had their fair share of ups and downs throughout the 2023-24 season. Edmonton started off the campaign 3-9-1 and the franchise decided to fire head coach Jay Woodcroft on Nov. 12. The Oilers have an NHL-leading 26-7-0 record since Knoblauch took over behind the bench.
Before their 16-game winning streak, the team had just a 13-15-1 record. Edmonton hadn’t dropped a game since Dec. 19 when they fell 3-1 in a regulation loss to the New York Islanders. Since then, the team has produced a 29-16-1 record (59 points) and now sits in third place in the Pacific Division.