Mark Letestu’s shorthanded goal at 6:47 of the third period stood up as the game winner as the Edmonton Oilers downed the Calgary Flames 5-3 Friday night.
The Oilers open the season 2-0 for the first time since 2010.
The game didn’t start well for the Oilers. The Flames had a 24-12 edge in shots after the first period and were up 2-1. Connor McDavid cashed in on a breakaway for Edmonton’s goal.
Head Coach Todd McLellan says they didn’t want to see too much more of their first period performance.
“Playing on the road in another team’s home opener, you know they’re going to come and come hard. Thought we were slow and a little hesitant. Over and above that we were able to bend and not break, which is a good sign for our team. We were able to apply some of the things we worked on in practice and you could see it help us in the game situation both penalty kill and powerplay. I thought our speed and pace picked up as the game went on and we were more effective.”
The Oilers responded by holding Calgary to just three shots in the second period. Jordan Eberle struck on the power play to make it 2-2 after two.
Leon Draisaitl tapped in a power play goal early in the third, then Letestu beat Brian Elliott on a breakaway. Draisaitl says 2-0 feels good.
“It’s big for us to get the two wins here to start it off. It should get everyone a little bit of confidence and we’re going back home with two good games.”
Jyrki Jokipakka pulled the Flames within one with 7:44 left. Draisaitl iced it with a late empty netter to finish with two goals and an assist.
McDavid racked up a goal and two assists, giving him six points in two games. Milan Lucic added two assists.
The Oilers will host Buffalo Sunday. (jrw/mw)