The Edmonton Oilers' young stars playing in Oklahoma City during the NHL lockout fueled an improbable, late-game rally Tuesday afternoon, but the Barons still left the Cox Convention Center with a loss.
The Barons trailed Toronto by four goals after one period. OKC was still down three with just over three minutes left. A frantic Barons rally tied the game with 21 seconds left in regulation, but the Marlies won 6-5 in overtime.
“That's one of the craziest games I've ever played in,” said Barons forward Jordan Eberle. “It was pretty obvious the start (was bad). ... But after that first period, it seemed like we found our game. It goes to show our character. But at the end of the day we lost, and it was due to the poor start.”
Considering the Barons trailed 4-0 after one period and were down 5-2 with just over three minutes left, one standings point was a consolation prize in front of 4,826 fans on Kids Field Trip Day.
“I thought we did a great job of sticking with it,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “We obviously need that kind of effort throughout the whole game. If we had played that way the whole game, we'd have won for sure.”
The Oilers' young stars accounted for four of OKC's five goals. Nugent-Hopkins scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season and had an assist. Eberle contributed four assists. Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist. Defenseman Jordan Schultz had two assists.
Nugent-Hopkins' first goal came with 3:16 to play after officials reviewed the tape. Teemu Hartikainen's tip-in off Eberle's shot with 2:03 left set the stage for a dramatic finish.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Nugent-Hopkins scored with 21.9 seconds left in regulation to tie it 5-5 after OKC pulled goaltender Yann Danis.