Owen Nolan has an uphill task as he tries to earn a spot with the defending President's Trophy winners. Thursday night's performance can't hurt.
Nolan, a 39-year-old who played in Switzerland last season, had a power-play goal as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 at Rexall Place.
Nolan finished off a three-way passing play by beating Devan Dubnyk 12:42 into the game.
"I'm still getting back to the timing and the pace here but I definitely feel that I can keep up," said the 39-year-old, who had 26 points in 24 games with Zurich last winter after spending the previous two seasons with the Minnesota Wild. "I have to earn it. I know there are spots, but they are not just going to give me one. I'm trying to work hard and show what I've got."
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault was pleased with what he saw from Nolan.
"The first thing you see is the professionalism he brings every day to the rink," he said. "He knows the game and goes out there and is quick to help out the younger guys. It's just a matter of whether or not he can keep up with the pace. The hands are still there. It's the beginning of camp, but I am very happy with what I have seen so far. There are some spots available right now."
Mike Duco's shorthanded goal at 19:07 of the second period made it 2-0 and proved to be the winner when Jordan Eberle scored a power-play goal 17 seconds later. It was the only goal for the Oilers, who iced a lineup that was about two-thirds of what figures to be their regular-season lineup. The Canucks' lineup was mostly minor-leaguers and veterans on tryout contracts.
"We weren't very inspired in the first half of the game," Oilers coach Tom Renney said. "That was a tough lineup to coach against. But I thought we found our legs a little bit better in the second half of the second and were pretty good in the third. Playing how I think we have to, to have some success."
Duco's goal came when he knocked his own rebound through Yann Danis' legs on a 2-on-1 break. No. 1 draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins set up the Oilers' goal when he chipped the puck to Eberle, who beat Manny Legace with a backhander.
"It's not rocket science when it comes to scoring," Renney said. "You have to get to the hard places, and we didn't do that enough."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report