The Oilers next game is the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg on Sunday. The game is at 1 p.m. MT and can be seen on Sportsnet and heard on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network. Edmontonoilers.com and Oilers TV will have full coverage of the weekend, including the alumni game.
Winnipeg roared out to a 4-1 lead but the play of MacTavish and Mark Messier in the second and third periods was the spark the Oilers needed to rally. Three unanswered goals in the middle frame made it a 4-4 tie and then in the third, MacTavish fed MacDonald at the doorstep to give the visitors the lead.
But then Selanne struck. He assisted on a goal by Kris King and then scored the deciding marker after being upended by Craig Simpson with 3.6 seconds to play. On the ensuing penalty shot, he went five-hole on Oilers netminder Curtis Joseph.
"There was nothing negative at all about the day," said Wayne Gretzky afterwards. "It was a tremendous crowd for an alumni game. You could tell how big hockey is here. The hockey obviously wasn't great hockey, but it was competitive. And the game ended the way it should have ended with the best player on the ice, on the home team, scoring a big goal.
"Good for him and good for the franchise and great for the city. Tomorrow's the real game. Tomorrow's what matters. This isn't going to change our livelihood, but we had a great experience, we had a wonderful night on Friday and a great day today. We enjoyed playing the game."
Selanne talked about the magic of the evening.
"Coming back here, meeting all the teammates and guys I haven't seen in 20 years playing games against the Edmonton legends, you don't have a chance to do this very often," Selanne said.
The Winnipeg crowd was boisterous in its introductions of both the Oilers and Jets players with the loudest ovations going to Dale Hawerchuk, Teemu Selanne and, of course, Wayne Gretzky.
Bill Ranford and Bob Essensa started the game in goal for their respective clubs. The game was three 20-minute periods with no stoppages except for penalty shots, which replaced penalties.
The first penalty shot of the game went to Teemu Selanne, who was upended in front of the Oilers net following an excellent scoring opportunity. Selanne made no mistake, going backhanded top shelf to give Winnipeg the 1-0 lead.
"It was amazing," Selanne said of the crowd reaction after his opening goal.
"I've got a great relationship with the fans here, too. It was really special. I knew I was going to score, too. So that was a good feeling," he chuckled.
Edmonton started to push back after falling behind and eventually Mark Messier was awarded a penalty shot but his backhand attempt was denied by Essensa.
Just over a minute later, Kris King swooped in and picked up his own rebound, lifting it over Ranford to double the Jets lead. It was the first of two for King on the night. A player not known for his scoring prowess, King joked about his offensive explosion.
"I thought I was terribly coached throughout my career. And I think the pressure of playing for money was the biggest reason. Once they stopped paying me I found my hands again," he chuckled. "I know Teemu wanted to play with me all those years but (Jets coach) John Paddock wouldn't agree."
90 seconds after that, Selanne set up Hawerchuk who wired a wrist shot by Ranford. The assist was Selanne's third point of the period.
With 6:02 to go in the opening frame, Edmonton finally got on the board. Glenn Anderson spotted Messier in the high slot and Messier made no mistake, wiring a high shot past Essensa.
Mike Eagles converted a cross-ice feed from Morris Lukowich with 39 seconds to go. Ranford stacked the pads but the puck found its way into the back of the net.
Shots after one period were 17-11 for the Jets.
Starting the middle frame, Dwayne Roloson and Daniel Berthiaume were the new goaltenders for Edmonton and Winnipeg respectively.
Early in the period, Tikkanen is fouled for a penalty shot. He scored on the attempt but it was on a rebound so that was ruled a clear no goal.
Three minutes into the second, Berthiaume made a nice poke check to rob Ryan Smyth of a goal. Coming back the other way, it was Roloson's turn to shine as he denied Lukowich on a breakaway.
With 13 minutes to play in the second, Craig Simpson narrowed the deficit to two goals with a penalty shot marker. 30 seconds later, Messier netted his second of the game. It was a classic Mark Messier goal, wiring a wrist shot from the left circle over the shoulder of the Jets goaltender.
Oilers came all the way back after Craig MacTavish drove to the net and jammed it past Berthiaume, making it 4-4.