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GAME STORY: Jets 5, Oilers 3

Kailer Yamamoto scores twice as the Oilers lose 5-3 against the Jets in Winnipeg

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

WINNIPEG, MB - The Oilers dropped their first of the pre-season, losing 5-3 to the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place on Sunday.

Kailer Yamamoto scored twice, Ethan Bear notched his second of the pre-season and Mikko Koskinen stopped 16 of 21 shots.

Jujhar Khaira had a team-high six shots on goal in the losing effort.

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Edmonton hosts Vancouver on Tuesday at Rogers Place. The game can be seen on Sportsnet One and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. MDT.

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"Any time you lose, you're not happy," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan post-game. "But there was a lot of good things we did tonight and things we can correct and build off of."

The Oilers travelled to Winnipeg looking to drop the Jets twice in one week after grounding the club 7-3 on Thursday.

With impending roster decisions hinging on the performance of some of his players on Sunday, McLellan was looking for leaders in Winnipeg, as the Orange & Blue were up against many of the Jets' lineup regulars including Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien and Connor Hellebuyck.

It was none other than the rookies who led the way offensively, with Yamamoto and Bear continuing their strong pre-season by scoring in the first period.

Down 1-0 from a power play marker courtesy of Scheifele, Yamamoto deflected a piece of Matt Benning's point shot for the equalizer at 7:33.

McLellan was asked whether the undersized winger - who now has six pre-season points - has separated himself from the bunch looking to crack the Oiers regular season lineup.

"Since we've started together, he's been tremendous," said McLellan. "It's interesting when you listen to the new coaching staff come in and their comments. There is no liability in his game, is some of the language they're using."

Bear gained the Oilers the lead on the power play at 13:02, unloading a one-timer from the blueline that fooled Hellebuyck's glove-hand side. The goal was Bear's second of the exhibition campaign.

Winnipeg managed to light the lamp twice in the second period, getting goals from Skyler McKenzie and Scheifele again.

The Jets reached cruising altitude in the Oilers zone, generating extended pressure but not getting many chances at the net. That changed when the puck kicked out to Joe Morrow at the point and his slap shot was tipped by McKenzie at 7:42 to beat Koskinen.

Video: Scheifele, McKenzie power Jets past Oilers, 5-3

McLellan commented on Koskinen's second outing in Oilers silks following the match.

"I thought he was fine," said McLellan. "Much better than in Calgary. He looked much more comfortable and way more under control."

Then with the Oilers on the power play, Scheifele scored his second off a pass from Wheeler after the two created a turnover and subsequent shorthanded 2-on-1.

Edmonton led the shot count 29-9 by the end of the second period but were down 3-2.

Winnipeg managed to add some insurance to their lead in the third period, with Wheeler getting on the board and McKenzie tucking his second of the evening.

Video: POST-GAME RAW | Kailer Yamamoto

The Jets captain walked in from the right wall and wired the puck over Koskinen's shoulder to make it a 4-2 game at 7:24 on a 5-on-3. 

"We haven't worked on or even talked about 5-on-3 yet," said McLellan.

McKenzie extended the lead to 5-2 at 10:23, slamming C.J. Suess' cross-crease pass into a wide open cage.

"We were getting a little too loose coming out of our own zone," said Darnell Nurse, who played 22:50 and assisted on Yamamoto's second of the game with 39 ticks on the clock remaining. "We probably could have done that better."

Edmonton will host the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place on Tuesday.

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