Ty Rattie leads the way offensively with five points as the Oilers ground the Jets 7-3 on Thursday
EDMONTON, AB - Visitors, be prepared to experience some flight turbulance.
Ty Rattie picked up two goals and three assists, Connor McDavid scored once and added three helpers while Cam Talbot backstopped the Oilers with 20 saves on 23 shots as Edmonton grounded the Jets 7-3 at Rogers Place Thursday night.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins struck twice, Milan Lucic nabbed his first of the pre-season and Jesse Puljujarvi got his second goal in two games.
The Oilers improve to 3-0-0 in the exhibition season.
Edmonton heads to Winnipeg on Sunday for another match against the Jets. The game can be seen on EdmontonOilers.com and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 6:08 p.m. MDT.
"I wish it was the regular season and those points counted but it's still a nice win and confidence booster," said Rattie, the Oilers leading point-producer of the night despite playing only 10:08 - none on the power play.
With questions surrounding the Oilers top trio as to whether they could maintain the chemistry they formed last season, many were answered following the squad's victory.
"He knows offence," said McDavid of Rattie. "He understands it. He can shoot the puck. It's on and off his tape pretty quick. That's stuff you can't really teach, that killer instinct around the net."
Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan was asked about his first unit post-game.
"They had a hell of a night," the Oilers coach said. "We'd like to keep them together, we think they're a good combination."
McLellan mentioned the squad the Jets iced on Thursday will be much different from the team they will face on Sunday when the clubs meet again.
"We'll have our hands full but you have to take advantage of those situations," he said. "Ty Rattie, Nuge and Connor took advantage of it tonight."
Puljujarvi got the party started for the Oilers, lighting the lamp on a breakaway marker while on the man-advantage. The 20-year-old called for the puck from Ethan Bear within the D-zone, then turned up ice to lead the breakout. Puljujarvi zoomed through the neutral zone then split the defencemen for a breakaway, going backhand on netminder Eric Comrie to open the scoring.
"I'm trying to keep going right now," Puljujarvi said post-game of the momentum he's gained in his past two matches.
Edmonton's top line made it 2-0 just over two minutes into the middle stanza. McDavid caused a turnover in the offensive zone, then dished the puck to RNH for a one-timer Comrie couldn't handle.
"It was nice to find the chemistry again early," said Nugent-Hopkins. "It's good that we could connect tonight."
But the Jets eventually took flight, netting a pair of quick-fire strikes to make it a new game.
Marko Dano cut the deficit to one for the visitors at 4:43, firing a wrister that handcuffed Talbot. Adam Lowry then followed suit, slamming an in-tight feed past the Oilers keeper.
But the Oilers - who outshot the away team 28-17 through 40 minutes - regained the lead after a Rattie marker. The winger redirected Cooper Marody's spin-o-rama pass on the doorstep to register his second point of the night.
McDavid doubled the Orange & Blue up at 2:58 of the final period, wiring a wrist shot top right corner for the 4-2 advantage.
The first line continued their offensive assault late in the period, with Nugent-Hopkins putting home McDavid's net-front pass from under the Jets' goal-line to make it 5-3 Edmonton at 10:11.
"As the game went on, if we had another period of play I think we would have gotten a lot better," Nugent-Hopkins said of his linemates.