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Oilers 5, Flyers 3 @NHLdotcom

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -Geoff Sanderson and Joni Pitkanen gave Edmonton the early edge in its offseason trade with Philadelphia.

Sanderson had two goals and Pitkanen added another as both scored in their first game against their former team, helping the Oilers beat the Flyers 5-3 on Saturday night.

Sanderson and Pitkanen joined the Oilers in a July 1 deal with the Flyers in exchange for Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul.

The 35-year-old Sanderson acknowledged he enjoyed scoring against his former team.

"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."

Oilers defenseman 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."

Pitkanen's goal was a little iffy. He was credited with the winner when Mike Knuble rushed back to help with a rebound and knocked the puck into his own net 1:10 into the third period.

Dustin Penner and Steve Staios also scored for Edmonton, which has opened the season with two wins.

Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said it was nice to see Penner, a controversial free agent signing 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," MacTavish said.

Jeff Carter, Daniel Briere and Simon Gagne had Philadelphia's goals.

"We ran into some collapses where guys looked like they weren't used to the system or used to each other," Briere said. "As much the forwards as the defenseman. 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 goalie Martin Biron with 16 shots while Philadelphia was only able to get four shots on Edmonton's Mathieu Garon.

Edmonton's hard work finally paid off 4 minutes into the second as Staios' shot bounced off a Flyers player in front and through Biron's legs to put the Oilers ahead 1-0.

The Flyers tied the game 5 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 3 minutes after that as Penner snapped a shot past Biron.

However, Briere tied it again less than 2 minutes after that as he skated past two defensemen and beat Garon with a nifty move for his third goal of the season.

Philadelphia took its first lead when Briere found Gagne in front of the net and he beat Garon stick-side with a quick shot.

Edmonton was able to even it up again 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 - his first as an Oiler and coming against his former team to tie the game 3-3.

Sanderson added an empty-netter to close out the contest.

Notes: 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 Philadelphia. ... The Oilers honored 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. ... New Oilers captain Ethan Moreau missed his second straight game with a foot injury. ... It is the only meeting between the two teams this year and the first time the Flyers have visited Edmonton in five years. ... Before the game, 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 season.

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