For Sam Gagner, it was only a matter of time.

The Edmonton Oilers centre wasn’t going to go to the whole year without scoring a goal. Now that he has it, Gagner can loosen up that vice grip on his stick.

“I felt like after that goal, I got a lot more chances and I was around the net a little more,” Gagner said following practice Saturday. “It gives you confidence, but I felt like I was getting chances before that as well. So I just want to keep going with the same game and making sure I’m bearing down on the chances I get and hopefully contribute going forward.”

Gagner scored his first of the season in the Oilers 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday. He was set up on a cross-ice feed by Nail Yakupov and wired a shot past Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas for the second goal of the contest.

Prior to that, Gagner had gone 10 games without a goal, having miss the first 14 games of the year with a broken jaw. He’s the last forward on the roster to get off the mark.

Seemingly now, everybody is scoring as the Oilers snapped out of a drought in a big way.

“It starts with being good defensively, the only reason we’re getting offensive chances is because we’re breaking the puck out of end and we’re playing hard in the D-zone,” Gagner said. “It’s a hard thing to do every night, but we have to make sure we’re trying to do that every night. When you can get the puck out of your end quicker, you can create chances for yourself and that’s really important.”

The Oilers have scored 15 goals in their last three games, helping them earn their first three-game win streak of the season.

The team has been especially dangerous on the rush, which is how Gagner collected his marker.