The Edmonton Oilers put on an offensive clinic in the first period, scoring four goals on 14 shots, and held on for the rest of the game, leaving the city of Vancouver with a 4-1 victory over the Canucks in pre-season play.
One second after a Vancouver penalty expired, Jordan Eberle scored on a wrap around shot from behind the Canucks net. Boyd Gordon and Martin Marincin were credited with the assists at 4:49 of the opening frame.
Marincin made the score 2-0 at 7:07 of the first, when the defenceman fired a shot from the point and the puck snuck past Roberto Luongo short-side. Eberle collected his second point of the night, while Brad Hunt earned his first.
Eberle made it three straight points on three goals when Gordon set up David Perron for a steep angle shot on Luongo. The puck deflected off of Luongo and up into the far side of the net across the body of the Canucks netminder.
“The puck was just going in early,” said Eberle. “I think in pre-season the biggest thing you can do is just try and get your game ready for the regular season. I think that’s what you’re looking forward to doing and getting some confidence.
“When the puck is going in you can’t get much more confident than that. I thought we played well early on, slowed down a little bit, but obviously it kept the pace down and we got the win. I saw a lot of good things out there.”
The scoring party continued to roll at 7:36 of the opening period. Forward Mark Arcobello found Jesse Joensuu from the corner and Joensuu found twine.
Vancouver made it 4-1 by getting traffic to the net. While Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk battled the traffic jam in front of him, the puck deflected off of his upper body and in. Brendan Gaunce was credited with the goal while Mike Santorelli and Zack Kassian take home the assists.
The second period yielded no goals for either club, but it did field it’s own mass of solid defensive plays.
The Oilers seventh overall pick in this year’s draft Darnell Nurse broke up a Canucks two-on-one rush in the defensive zone.
Dubnyk made some incredible saves to halt an attacking Canucks power play late in the second period and the Oilers penalty kill had their fair of blocked shots as well. Nurse, Gordon and Nick Schultz all took pucks off their bodies while killing off a Marincin interference penalty with under 4 minutes to play in the frame.
“The amount of contact we had, I loved,” said Head Coach Dallas Eakins. “After the second period I told our team, whether we win 4-1 or 8-1, those four guys that killed that penalty and blocked all of those shots, that’s what we need. It rubs off on people.
“It shows a dedication and commitment that we really want to instill in this group. That was the highlight of the game for me. That one penalty kill when all four guys got involved with massive blocked shots.”
The Canucks took the shot lead in the third period but strong play in the net by Dubnyk ruined any hopes at a comeback on the West Coast. The Oilers goaltender posted 25 saves in the win.