ST. LOUIS -- Anytime Connor McDavid has the puck on his stick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins knows something good is likely about to happen.
Nugent-Hopkins had that feeling in overtime Monday night, and he was right.
McDavid, who leads the NHL in scoring, made the pass to Nugent-Hopkins for the game-winning goal 2:55 into overtime, giving the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues.
"If you give Connor the puck and good opportunities, he's going to make a play for sure," Nugent-Hopkins said,
The pass finished off an odd-man rush after St. Louis center Robby Fabbri and it was McDavid's 40th point of the season. McDavid has been in a mild recently without a goal in five games and two points in that span.
"I don't even know who went down to block it, but I was kind of looking around him and it went in like a five-hole," St. Louis goaltender Carter Hutton I wasn't expecting it. I didn't pick it up. It's a tough one to take."
He maintained his two-point lead in the scoring race over Vladimir Tarasenko, who scored his 16th goal of the season for the Blues in the first period.
Tarasenko's goal came just 33 seconds after the Oilers had tied the game 1-1, and backup goalie Carter Hutton was able to protect the lead through the second period but was not as fortunate in the third, when St. Louis-native Patrick Maroon scored off a deflection to tie the game 2-2 at 5:47 of the third period.
It was the third time in their last four games the Blues had a lead going into the third period but lost the game. They lost in regulation to Nashville and Chicago, but at least earned one point against the Oilers.
"With a lead going into the third you would hope we would have come out better but I thought they kind of tilted the ice a bit," Hutton said.
Hutton, making his first start since Dec. 3 on his 31st birthday, really did not have much chance on either the tying or winning goals.
Maroon, playing his fourth career game in St. Louis, was able to get his stick on the puck to re-direct a shot by Brandon Davidson. It was his ninth goal of the season.
"That was good especially playing in front of a team that I grew up watching," Maroon said. "We had season tickets and you always get up for those games no matter what. It's fun to play your hometown team. To get a goal is an extra bonus for me and especially in front of my son and my family."
Said Hutton: It's a pretty big play by a big man there in front. I was just playing the shot. It's a play we can't give up. You've got to have a D-man have a stick on it. For me you try to get over but if I play that and the initial shot goes in I look bad."
For the Oilers, it was their sixth game in their last nine that was decided in either overtime or a shootout.
"It was a real good comeback on our behalf," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said. "I thought we got a little more physical and made them play in their end and it paid off. We had to use all whatever it was, 62, 63 minutes but that's how it is in the league now.
It was the kind of game Blues coach Ken Hitchcock expected.
"They're a big team. They're big, they're fast, they're physical," Hitchcock said. "You've got to have a fight in you and I thought we had some guys that really brought it today. I thought we had some really good performances, but if you're going to beat a team like Edmonton you're going to have to have everyone on board and we didn't.
The first Oilers? goal was scored by Tyler Pitlick, off a faceoff, at 11:44?of the first period to tie the game at 1-1 following an early goal by Kyle Brodziak after an Edmonton turnover.
Pitlick later had to leave the game after he was checked into the boards by the Blues' Jori Lehtera with just over four minutes left in the second period. He had to be helped off the ice and McLellan did not give an estimate on how long he will be out.
"We'll miss him because he's been a big piece," McLellan said. "He's got to be re-evalutaed but right now it doesn't look too good."
NOTES: D Eric Gryba was in the Oilers' lineup for the first time since Nov. 17. He missed 15 games with an undisclosed injury. ... After being a healthy scratch on Saturday night, LW Benoit Pouliot was also back for the Oilers, taking the place of LW Taylor Beck. ... RW Nail Yakupov remained in the lineup for the Blues in place of RW Dmitrij Jaskin, who was a healthy scratch for the fourth consecutive game. ... Monday night's game began a stretch of three games in four nights for the Blues, who play in Dallas on Tuesday night and Tampa on Thursday. ... It was the opener of a three-game trip for the Oilers, who play Wednesday night in Arizona.