Oilers get late winner from Nail Yakupov

Taylor Hall (left), Martin Marincin (centre), Sam Gagner (89) and Nick Schultz (15) of the Oilers...

Taylor Hall (left), Martin Marincin (centre), Sam Gagner (89) and Nick Schultz (15) of the Oilers celebrate with Nail Yakupov (head peaking) after he scored with less than two minutes remaining in the third period against the Rangers in New York City on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:05 AM ET

NEW YORK - Nail Yakupov made a pretty strong case to stay on the Edmonton Oilers' top line.

The Russian winger, who has spent more time in the doghouse than Lassie this season, scored the game winner Thursday, lifting the Oilers to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers.

Yakupov netted the winner with 1:38 to go in the third period, one-timing a Sam Gagner pass over the shoulder of Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot.

It was a good play by our guys down low, they protected the puck, Yakupov said. Then all I had to do was find space in the middle because saw that we had two guys behind the net. All you have to do is find some space and theyll give you the puck and when you get the puck, you have to shoot it, so I did.

Taylor Hall started the play behind the net, fighting off Brad Richards and sliding the puck to Gagner in the corner. Gagner who had been the subject of rampant trade rumours during the day found Yakupov in the high slot.


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