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RECAP: Oilers 5, Jets 2

The Oilers special teams were strong in their 5-2 pre-season win over the Jets

by Chris Wescott @TheChrisWescott / EdmontonOilers.com Head Writer

Video: OILERS TODAY | Oilers vs. Jets postgame

Special teams ran wild for the Oilers as they scored two on the man advantage and two shorthanded to cruise past the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 in exhibition play.

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The Oilers finished the game 2-for-3 on the power play, and killed off all six of the Jets chances, in addition to the shorthanded goals.

"We were able to use a power-play unit, or two, that will be together for the first time," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "We spent a lot of time working on that, so it was good to see them get a couple. The penalty kill still got tested a lot tonight. We scrambled around. I think there's an area of improvement that has to happen in that special teams, but to get a couple shorties is nice as well."

The first PP goal came 5:16 into the first period as Jordan Eberle dropped it to newly-named captain Connor McDavid, who shifted left into the slot and sniped his second of the pre-season to make it 1-0. Andrej Sekera recorded the second assist for stealing the puck from Dustin Byfuglien in the neutral zone and setting up the play.

After the buzzer had sounded signalling the end of the first period, the puck went in the Oilers net on a ricocheting Byfuglien point shot. A second earlier, and it would have been a tied game.

Patrick Maroon continued his strong pre-season for Edmonton, putting his Oilers up 2-0 at 7:07 of the second with another power-play goal. Maroon skated across the crease and tucked the puck just past the toe of the sprawling goaltender. His tally was his second of the exhibition campaign and fourth point in four games.

While shorthanded, Oilers forward Drake Caggiula drew a penalty shot on a rush at 8:58 of the middle frame. The college free agent signing's attempt was kicked away by Connor Hellebuyck. Caggiula would eventually head to the Oilers locker room, presumably as a result of being hauled down prior to the penalty shot. The forward would not return to the contest.

"On his breakaway he got twisted up and it's a lower-body injury, from what I've been told, and we'll see how he is in the morning," said McLellan.

In another odd injury situation, McLellan left the game in the second after being hit by a puck. The coach persevered and returned to the bench for the third period.

"It's the not-so-funny bone," said McLellan. "Just got a puck there, and I'm fine."

At 9:14 of the second, what appeared to be a broken skate blade forced Oilers goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to exit the game. Cam Talbot replaced him during the repair.

Winnipeg got their first goal of the game at 11:28 of the middle frame. Brandon Tanev got behind the Oilers defence and beat Talbot. Gustavsson then returned to the game, after solving his equipment issue.

The big Swedish netminder made a big stop with just over four minutes left in the second, diving on a puck with bodies in close.

Then, 3:28 into the third, the Jets had a 2-on-1 opportunity that was kicked out wide by Gustavsson.

The Oilers pulled further ahead, shorthanded, a moment later thanks to their captain. McDavid raced down the ice to beat Hellebuyck for his second of the night, and third of the pre-season. Benoit Pouliot had the lone assist, at 3:51 of the final frame.

Edmonton continued to roll a minute and one second later with another shorthanded, solo chance on Hellebuyck. This time it was Mark Letestu who potted his second of the pre-season to put the Oil up 4-1.

Tyler Pitlick sniped in a shot from the slot at 9:31 of the third, from Letestu and birthday boy Nail Yakupov to make it a four-goal game. That was Edmonton's first even-strength goal of the game.

The Jets narrowed the Oilers lead to three when Bryan Little hammered home a one-timer at 15:52 of the final frame, but it was far too little too late.

The Oilers moved to 5-2-0 in the pre-season with the win. They close out their exhibition schedule on Saturday at 7 p.m. as they host the Vancouver Canucks.

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