EDMONTON - You can give the early edge in the summer swap between Edmonton and Philadelphia to the Oilers.
Geoff Sanderson scored twice and Joni Pitkanen added another as both scored in their first game against their former club, helping the Oilers win their second in a row by defeating the Flyers 5-3 on Saturday night.
Sanderson and Pitkanen joined the Oilers in a Canada Day deal with the Flyers in exchange for Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul.
Mind you Pitkanen's goal was a little iffy. Credited with the winner, the Oilers received a gift goal just 1:10 into the third as Mike Knuble rushed back to help with a rebound and managed to knock it into his own net.
Sanderson's goals were more legitimate and the 35-year-old veteran admits it felt awfully good to get them against Philadelphia
"I'm not going to lie to you, it's sweet," he said. "I'm embarrassed with the way things happened there last year. This was a nice way to start things off here in Edmonton."
Oiler defenceman Sheldon Souray was happy to see both former Flyers come up big against their old club.
"Geoff really played well and so did Joni," he said. "Especially Joni being a young guy coming from another organization and only being in his second game here. He really put a good game in.
"And Sandy, more than getting the two goals, he was really a force on the walls tonight. He did all the little things it takes to win."
Dustin Penner and Steve Staios also scored for Edmonton while Jeff Carter, Daniel Briere and Simon Gagne replied for Philadelphia.
Oiler coach Craig MacTavish said it was nice to see Penner, a controversial free agent signing who jumped ship from Anaheim, get his first of the season.
"It's important when you come to a new team under some fanfare to have some success early and I was happy for that," he said.
"It's good to get the monkey off your back," added Penner. "Hopefully it continues."
The Flyers dropped to 1-1.
"We ran into some collapses where guys looked like they weren't used to the system or used to each other," said Briere. "As much the forwards as the defenceman. The frustrating part is that we were able to bounce back in the game and then blew it in the third period. We had our chances but it was a little disappointing."
The Oilers had the bulk of the good chances in the scoreless first period, peppering Flyers starter Martin Biron with 16 shots. Philadelphia was only able to get four shots on Mathieu Garon in the Edmonton net.
However, the floodgates opened up in the second. Edmonton's hard work finally paid off four minutes into the second as Staios' shot bounced off a Flyer in front and through Biron's legs to put the Oilers ahead 1-0.
The Flyers were able to tie it up five minutes later as Lupul's shot bounced off of Garon, and Carter was there to bat the puck out of mid-air and in.
The Oilers edged back ahead again three minutes after as Penner scored his first in an Edmonton jersey, snapping a shot past Biron after Ales Hemsky thread the needle with a pass off the face-off.
But less than two minutes after that it was knotted up again as Briere skated through a pair of Edmonton defencemen and undressed Garon with a nifty move for his third of the season.
Philadelphia then took their first lead of the contest as Briere found Gagne in front of the net and he beat Garon stick-side with a quick shot.
But Edmonton was able to even it up going into the third, scoring with just 4.8 seconds left in the second when Marty Reasoner's no-look pass through the crease was tipped in by Sanderson to tie the game 3-3 after 40 minutes.
Sanderson also added an empty-netter to close out the contest.
The Oilers travel to Detroit to face the Wings on Monday while the Flyers next hit the ice on Wednesday in Vancouver.
Notes: The Oilers and Flyers are the two teams that likely made the most radical overhauls in the off-season and a major part of both squads re-tooling came in a trade between them this summer. Former Oilers captain Jason Smith and forward Joffrey Lupul were making their first appearance in Edmonton as Flyers while the players that went the other way, Pitkanen and Sanderson, both suited up for the first time against Philadelphiaa The Oilers honoured Smith, their captain for the past five years, with a video presentation before the game. The longest serving captain in Oilers history, Smith was given a standing ovation from the capacity crowda New Oilers captain Ethan Moreau missed his second straight game with a foot injurya It is the only meeting between the two teams this year and the first time the Flyers have visited Edmonton in five yearsa Prior to heading to Vancouver for their next game the Flyers will stop to do some team-building in Whistler, B.ca. Before the game on Saturday the Oilers announced General Manager Kevin Lowe has agreed to a four-year contract extension that will see him guide the team through the 2011-12 NHL season.