Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves and Jesse Joensuu scored his third goal of the pre-season as the Oilers skated away with the 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets in Edmonton tonight.
Joensuu tied the game at 1-1 at 2:39 of the second period when Philip Larsen made a play to keep the puck in the zone. Then Tyler Pitlick batted down a clearing try and fired the puck towards the net. Joensuu planted at the top of the crease and deflected the shot back door for the goal.
"Boy, I thought he was excellent," Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said of Joensuu. "He's played nothing but well for me. We need that size, we're looking for size and he brings that. He protects the puck well, he's strong on his stick and he made some big plays on the boards in our zone in the game."
It was Joensuu's third goal and fourth point of the pre-season. It was an impressive showing for the forward who is looking to make the Oilers roster but he has been through training camp battles before and knows what to expect.
"I feel like every training camp is like that when you're not a superstar or you're not a guaranteed player on the team," said Joensuu. "It's easier now. Before, I used to be more nervous and felt like this is life or death if I make it in the NHL. But there's good hockey elsewhere. The NHL is the best league and it's my dream but if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. Life goes on. It's much easier now to focus on games and treat them better."
The Oilers took their first lead of the night at 9:22 of the second courtesy of forward Will Acton. Anton Belov shot the puck from the point and Acton re-directed it from the slot and in.
Acton has now scored a goal in two straight games.
"I just tried to stick to the basics and execute our game plan," said Acton. "I got fortunate with the tip that went in and it's more of a compliment to everyone else who ran their routes and put me in that situation and fortunately it went in."
"He was one of the guys that needed to have a good game and he did," said Eakins.
The momentum of the game originally swung in the Jets favour when they scored with 58 seconds left in the first period to take a 1-0 lead. Chris Thornburn's shot appeared to be sailing wide of the net when it deflected off Dubnyk's stick and took a re-directed path to the net.
It was the Oilers two-goal second period that flipped the game in their favour as they held on to win it, 2-1.