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game recap

Palmieri, Zajac spark Devils to win against Oilers at Global Series

Forwards each score twice; McDavid has two assists for Edmonton

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac each scored two goals for the New Jersey Devils in a 5-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers at the 2018 NHL Global Series at Scandinavium on Saturday.


[WATCH: All Oilers vs. Devils highlights]


Stefan Noesen scored, Miles Wood had two assists, and Keith Kinkaid made 17 saves for New Jersey in its season opener. 

"We were on them the whole game and that's the way we have to play," Kinkaid said. "We had to take it to them and not sit back at any point because we'd get exposed. It was a great team win."

Milan Lucic and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist, Connor McDavid had two assists, and Cam Talbot made 22 saves for Edmonton in its season opener.

Video: EDM@NJD: McDavid speeds in, finds Lucic for PPG

Palmieri scored his second of the game with a wrist shot from the right circle on the power play at 2:02 of the second period to give the Devils a 2-1 lead. Zajac scored 1:09 later to make it 3-1 on a one-timer from the slot after taking a backhand pass from Wood.

Video: EDM@NJD: Palmieri wires home his second of the game

Zajac made it 4-1 on a backhand 5:27 into the third period. Draisaitl made it 4-2 at 11:32 on a 3-on-2, and Noesen scored an empty-net goal to make it 5-2 at 18:31.

The line of Wood, Zajac and right wing John Quenneville combined for four points (two goals, two assists) and was plus-6.

Video: EDM@NJD: Wood steals puck, Zajac finishes in front

"We were able to play the last two preseason games together and that helped us gain that chemistry," Zajac said. "Those guys are young and hungry. [Quenneville] wants to be here the whole year so he's going to be giving it every night. [Wood] is a good player, and teams are starting to take notice of his speed so he's continuing to push himself."

Palmieri gave the Devils a 1-0 lead 58 seconds into the first period on the first shot of the game, beating Talbot over the right shoulder from the left circle. Lucic tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal on a one-timer off a pass from McDavid at 4:01.

"It wasn't a good start," Lucici said. "I felt in the second period we were on our heels a lot and weren't moving our feet. We were kind of standing and watching, trying to make plays standing still. Sometimes it's good having a hard realization that this is now regular-season hockey."

New Jersey held Edmonton to 12 shots on goal over the final two periods.

"Limiting their time in the offensive zone and coming through the neutral zone by giving them the least amount of space we can was important," Palmieri said. "We did a good job of limiting time and space. We were smart and made them play as much as we could 200 feet from our net."

Devils coach John Hynes said they appreciated the experience of playing in Bern, Switzerland, and Sweden during the European trip.

"It was a unique opportunity for all of us to be in the NHL and be able to come to Europe and visit two beautiful cities, and the experience was excellent," Hynes said. "It was also nice that we were able to find a way to win the game."


They said it

"The preseason is completely different than the real season, we all know that. We have to be better than we were [Saturday]. Our puck movement, support and ability to play fast and clean was not very good." -- Oilers coach Todd McLellan

"It's a young man's game, but it's a player's league and you can't really win with just young guys. You need to have strong veteran guys, and [Zajac] is another guy. We're lucky to have guys like Andy Greene, Brian Boyle, Travis Zajac, Ben Lovejoy and Drew Stafford because they've been around the game a long time, practice the right way and do the right things. The younger guys help with energy, but we're fortunate that we have veterans like that who are true professionals but also create the right environment for our team." -- Devils coach John Hynes


Need to know

It was the 11th NHL game played in Sweden during the regular season, the first in Gothenburg. The attendance was 12,044. … The Oilers activated defenseman Kris Russell off injured reserve and assigned defenseman Ethan Bear to Bakersfield of the American Hockey League. ... Taylor Hall led the Devils with four shots on goal in 18:56.


What's next

Oilers: At the Boston Bruins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, NESN, SNOL, NHL.TV)

Devils: Host the Washington Capitals on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Video: Palmieri, Zajac lead Devils to 5-2 Global Series win

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