Ken Hitchcock’s debut behind the bench with the Edmonton Oilers was a winning one as they edged the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in overtime.
The win gave Hitchcock his 824th career victory, putting him 66 behind Joel Quenneville for second all-time in NHL history.
It was an impressive win for the Oilers who were playing for a coach who was hired 12 hours earlier. They went into SAP Center and didn’t allow the game to get away from them, overcoming three deficits en route to the two points.
Connor McDavid, who finished with three points, recorded his 100th career goal to open the scoring for the Oilers in the first period.
The score was even at two and was looking to stay that way heading into the final period, but Logan Couture took Adam Larsson to Dangleville with 56 seconds left to give the Sharks their third lead of the game.
But again the Oilers responded as Drake Caggiula’s seventh of the year would force overtime. It was there that McDavid, who played 23:57 and was double shifted at times, continued to be a force and helped set up Leon Draisaitl’s winner.
Edmonton now has two full days off before their next game at the Anaheim Ducks. That’s plenty of time to get familiar with what Hitchcock will demand out of them as they look to salvage their season. It’s a long road to where they want to get to, but Wednesday’s win was a good start.