VERNON, BC - In front of a standing-room-only capacity crowd of over 3,000 at Vernon's Kal Tire Arena, the Oilers treated the pro-Oilers crowd to a treat as they rolled to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night in NHL exhibition action.
Laurent Brossoit led the way with a 30-save performance in goal. Connor McDavid, Jordan Eberle and Jesse Puljujarvi were the goal scorers for Edmonton.
Edmonton's next game is back at Rogers Place on Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks. The game can be seen right here on EdmontonOilers.com within the Oilers region (AB/SK/NWT) starting at 7:00 PM MDT.
"It was a tremendous experience, I'm sure for both teams," Oilers head coach Todd McLellan stated, speaking about the Hockeyville game. "To come and play in front of a passionate crowd like that and doing it for a really good cause -- Lumby can now have an improvement to their arena. Maybe there will be a young kid five or six years from now from that community or from Vernon that will play as one of the two teams in the Kraft hockey game somewhere."
Overall, McLellan was happy with his team's performance. In particular, the penalty killing which showed much better than it did on Friday night in Winnipeg.
"We had a chance to do one full practice on penalty killing and it took a step forward. We'll get a chance to do that on the power play in the next few days and hopefully we'll improve in that area," McLellan said.
The first goal of the game came near the midway point of the opening period. Puljujarvi skated into the Kings zone then fired a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. The shot sailed over the blocker of Kings starting netminder Jack Campbell to make it a 1-0 game.
After 20 minutes, shots on goal were 9-6 for L.A.
3:26 into the middle frame, a solid second effort from the side of the net gave Edmonton its second lead of the night. McDavid scooped up a loose puck and took a couple hacks at it before getting it past Campbell.
The line of McDavid, Eberle and Lucic played much better, particularly in their abiliy to finish in this one.
"I thought they took a step forward," McLellan said of the line. "They created those types of opportunities the last game they played, they just didn't finish. Tonight there was a little more polish around the net."
Eberle agreed with his head coach but added that there was still some work to do.
"Even last game, I thought we had a lot of O-zone chances. We were playing in their end a lot but just couldn't find ways to get to the puck. Both our goals were kind of on the rush today. We still need to find a way to work the cycle. Having Looch there, he's a big body who's going to open up a lot of space."
Two minutes later, the Oilers went on the power play for the first time on the night after Brayden McNabb caught Drake Caggiula with a high stick. McDavid very nearly scored on that man advantage, making a quick move at the top of the crease but Campbell was able to keep it a two-goal affair.
Brandon Davidson got injured in the neutral zone after getting a shoulder to the chin at the hands of Tanner Pearson with nine minutes to go in the second period. On the play while Davidson was down, the Oilers skated down and scored. However, the whistle blew and the goal was negated. Result of the play was a penalty for blow to the head and a game misconduct for Pearson.
Oilers weren't able to generate much on the man advantage, however. The Davidson injury was the second one suffered by the Oilers in the game. Iiro Pakarinen fell awkwardly into the boards after getting tangled up with Matt Greene early in the first.
"I know Pakarinen is going to be a little while with a lower-body injury. Little while, let's call it a month then see what happens after that. Davy's still being assessed and we'll call it day-to-day right now until we get home," said McLellan, adding he thought Pearson's hit warranted the punishment it received.
"I thought it was dirty. I thought it was the right call. It's unfortunate."
Shots after 40 minutes were 17-16 for the Kings.
L.A. finally broke the goose egg on a wrist shot from the point by Paul LaDue 4:50 into the third.
Edmonton got that goal right back less than a minute later. McDavid fed Eberle across the slot and Eberle one-timed it over Campbell to regain that two-goal edge for the Oilers.
The Kings drew within a goal once again after Brayden McNabb's goal made it a 3-2 game with 10:15 to go.