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5 things learned from Oct. 6 preseason games

Connor McDavid scores twice for Oilers, Shea Weber has goal in Montreal debut

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Now that the 15-day, 106-game preseason schedule has begun, it's time to take a closer look at the players, teams and stories that are making headlines in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season on Wednesday.

Here are five things we learned from the preseason games Thursday:

Captain Connor: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored a shorthanded goal, a power-play goal and took three shots on goal during his preseason debut, a 5-2 victory against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Place.

Video: WPG@EDM: McDavid shows off his moves and scores

McDavid played 17:05, including significant time on the power play (1:27) and the penalty kill (2:44). It was McDavid's first game since he was named the 15th captain in Oilers history on Wednesday.

Coach Todd McLellan said McDavid will be given more responsibility in penalty-killing situations this season. McDavid averaged 46 seconds of ice time on the penalty kill in 2015-16.

"I bet you Connor would be the first to tell you that if he's out there he wants to play the right way and your captain needs to do that," McLellan told the Oilers website. "Am I pulling him aside and saying 'don't ever get in the shooting lane?' No. He's going to have to play and play hard in every situation. That's what you do when you lead and everyone else has to follow."

McDavid welcomes the challenge associated with killing more penalties. The Oilers were 2-for-3 on the power play and killed all six power-play chances by the Jets.

"One hundred percent, I enjoy it and it's something I have to work on as well," McDavid said. "I was caught in a few awkward positions, but it's something I want to do more of."

Video: TOR@MTL: Matthews beats Price with PPG

Matthews scores, Maple Leafs lose: Auston Matthews scored his first goal of the preseason for the Toronto Maple Leafs but all the rookie center cared to discuss after the game was the 6-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

"We showed how young we are," Matthews said, according to the Toronto Sun. "It's pretty embarrassing."

Matthews finished with a minus-3 rating and two shots on goal in 16:08, including 4:21 on the power play. His goal came on a first-period power play when he beat Canadiens goaltender Carey Price with a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot.

"Obviously [Price is] one of the best goaltenders in the world, but it pretty much means nothing when you lose 6-1," Matthews said.

Video: CGY@VAN: Eriksson pounces on odd deflection to score

Impressive debut: Vancouver Canucks right wing Loui Eriksson, signed to a six-year contract on July 1, scored two goals in his preseason debut, a 4-0 win against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena.

Eriksson had three shots on goal in 18:57 of ice time on a line with center Henrik Sedin and left wing Daniel Sedin. The trio also played together for Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

"I think our line has been playing well together and for sure we can do better, and that's the good thing," Eriksson told the Canucks website. "We still get a few practices before the regular season starts and we're all ready for that."

Eriksson, 30, appeared in 82 regular-season games in 2015-16 for the Boston Bruins, scoring 30 goals and 63 points. The 6-2, 183-pound forward has played 10 NHL seasons split between Boston and Dallas, scoring 212 goals and 504 points in 725 career games.

"It was nice to be playing with the new team and getting the win," Eriksson told the Canucks website."

Video: TOR@MTL: Weber finds back of the net from blue line

Weber makes impact: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber scored a goal in his first preseason game, a 6-1 win against the Maple Leafs at Bell Centre.

Weber took seven shots, delivered two hits, blocked three shots and finished with a plus-2 rating in 25:24.

"It was a lot of fun and was exciting," Weber told the Canadiens website. "There was a lot of energy in the building. It was a great result. It's something we can build on going forward. "It's always good to win and finish things off the right way in the preseason and get ready for next week against Buffalo."

The Canadiens acquired Weber for defenseman P.K. Subban in a trade with the Nashville Predators on June 29. Weber, 30, who served as captain for the Predators for the past six seasons, has 166 goals and 443 points in 763 career games. He had 20 goals, including 14 power-play goals, and 51 points in 78 games in 2015-16.

Video: PHI@NYR: Konecny's short-side wrister beats Lundqvist

Konecny connects: Philadelphia Flyers rookie forward Travis Konecny continued his impressive training camp with a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Konecny, hoping to earn a spot on the 23-man opening-night roster, leads the Flyers with six points in the preseason. He has played on all four lines as the coaching staff determines the best fit. The 19-year-old had four shots on goal in 14:28 of ice time against the Rangers.

Konecny began the game on a line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Dale Weise, according to He finished with Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek.

"He did OK for a couple periods [on the third line]," coach Dave Hakstol said. "He has a mentality and an ability to read a play and make some things happen. We talked to him earlier in the week. I haven't done too much talking to him."

Konecny said he has gained more confidence with each practice and game situations.

"I feel like I'm playing really good hockey," Konecny said. "I'm not trying to do too much. I have a skill side to me that I haven't shown and have to make more conservative plays and the confidence and creativity will come along with that."

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