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GAME STORY: Oilers 5, Canucks 3

Kailer Yamamoto and Iiro Pakarinen each scored twice as the Oilers downed the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 to remain undefeated in pre-season play

by Chris Wescott / EdmontonOilers.com Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - Rookie Kailer Yamamoto continued his pre-season scoring ways as Edmonton defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 to move to 4-0-0 in pre-season play.

Video: OILERS TODAY | vs. Canucks Post-Game

Yamamoto, 18, was taken 22nd overall in the 2017 NHL Draft following a 99-point season in the Western Hockey League for Spokane. Following his two-goal performance against the Canucks, the winger now has five points (4-1-5) in three games this pre-season, which leads the team. 

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The Oilers host the Winnipeg Jets Saturday, at 7:08 PM MDT. The game can be seen on Oilers TV (regionally) or televised across North America on NHL Centre Ice and online at NHL.TV. It can also be heard on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.

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"I expected to come in (this camp) and work as hard as I can and just be the player I am, not try and do too much and just stick to what I can do," said Yamamoto.

"Not surprised because we knew we had a very intelligent, highly skilled player coming in," Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan said of his young weapon. "The adaptation part goes with the smart part. He knows how to use his size and his ability to play with his size quite well.

"I think the more structured it gets, the better he plays. He can kind of anticipate where players are and he plays better with higher end players. As camp dwindles, we expect him to even get better. Now, the competition is going to get a little bit better too. We'll see how it goes but he continues to push for a spot."

The visitors would strike first with Mark Fayne in the box for cross-checking. Vancouver capitalized on the ensuing power play to take the 1-0 lead. Michael Carcone, assisted by Evan McEneny and Jalen Chatfield, fired a shot past Laurent Brossoit for his first of the pre-season.

Leon Draisaitl showed off his high-end skill with just 35.1 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Drake Caggiula chipped the puck up the boards to Milan Lucic, who centred it to an open Draisaitl in the high slot. On the breakaway, Draisaitl sniped his first of exhibition play at 19:24 of the frame.

Yamamoto put Edmonton up 2-1 at 5:17 of the second period. The offensively gifted winger buried a Chris Kelly feed for his first of the night.

Iiro Pakarinen increased the Oilers lead to 3-1 when he sniped a shot, shorthanded, at 9:31 of the second. Pakarinen and Kelly came down the ice on a 2-on-1 rush and the winger let loose a quick shot on Bachman, finding twine off the short-side pipe.

Vancouver cut the Oilers lead to one at 4:03 of the third period. Anton Rodin sizzled a shot glove side of Brossoit to make it 3-2.

Pakarinen stole back the two-goal lead just moments later with his second marker of the evening. The Finnish winger went far, blocker side of Bachman from the faceoff dot at 4:41 of the final frame.

Yamamoto scored his second of the night at 12:38 of the third to put the orange and blue ahead 5-2. The power-play tally was assisted by Draisaitl and Caggiula.

As Yamamoto continues to make an impression on the club, he says there's still work to be done.

"Everything on the ice you can get better at," he said. "I'm still trying to figure out the systems a little bit, but I think my game is good but I can work on all of it and be better."

Chatfield scored for Vancouver to cut the lead back to 5-3 with less than six minutes remaining, but that's all she wrote as the Oilers shut the door the rest of the way.

The Oilers next pre-season challenger is the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow night at Rogers Place. Edmonton won the first meeting 4-1 on Wednesday night in Winnipeg.

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