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RECAP: Oilers 5, Rangers 3

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers


EDMONTON - David Perron scored twice and Ben Eager scored a whacky short-handed goal to lift the Edmonton Oilers to their fourth straight pre-season victory, a 5-3 win over the New York Rangers.
The Rangers jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 7:42 of the first when Marc Staal's point shot went through clean past goaltender Jason LaBarbera.

The Oilers then tied the game at 1-1, 12:47 into the opening period. With Ryan Smyth planted in the crease, Taylor Hall tipped in a point shot by Justin Schultz. Hemsky was credited with the second assist on the play.

With 30 seconds remaining in the first, Mark Arcobello one-hopped a puck into the slot for a streaking David Perron who took one whack at it, going top shelf for the go ahead goal. Jordan Eberle recorded the second assist on the score and the Oilers took a 2-1 lead into the locker room.

Arcobello, in the midst of a battle for a roster spot, had two assists on the night.

"Opportunity hasn't come around very often in my career," said Arcobello. "So I am trying to make the most of it and doing what I can."

Perron's second goal made it 3-1 on another deflection, this one on the power play at 1:07 of the second period. Jeff Petry sauced a pass from the half boards and right on the blade of Perron's stick. The puck hopped up and in past Martin Biron. It was Perron's fifth goal of the season.

The Rangers drew within one 1:03 later when Chris Kreider shot the puck on net from the corner. Jason LaBarbera made the initial save but the rebound sailed right to J.T. Miller who slowly worked across the face of the Oilers goalie and found the back of the net, blocker side.

Here's where it gets interesting.

The Oilers killed off a long 5-on-3 Rangers power play with Ben Eager and Taylor Hall both taking penalties in rapid succession. The 5-on-3 also turned into a goal for the Edmonton penalty killers.

As the first penalty to Eager expired, Smyth found the forward coming out of the box. Eager picked up the puck at the blue line and let rip a slapshot from the left wing. The puck dinged off the near post and ricocheted off of the back of Biron and in. The goal was officially shorthanded with just one second remaining on the Hall penalty. The goal at 11:25 of the middle frame made it 4-2.

"It's preseason," said Biron. "We're trying to get some of the kinks out and keep progressing to where we want to be. They had three really nice deflections that… There's just some really talented skaters on their side and they were able to get those and that gave them momentum."

Rookie defenceman Darnell Nurse faked a shot from the half boards, then skated around the net and backhanded a perfect pass to Eberle who roofed a backhand of his own to make it 5-2 at 13:15 of the third period.

"(Nurse) made some excellent plays, some of the same plays that he made in Vancouver where he was able to get up on the play and create some offence," Edmonton Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. "At times I thought, and it wasn't just him, we struggled in our zone in that third period by giving them too much space. (We were) pulling off in that defend mode. I think he had a good game."

Shortly after the game, the Oilers announced that Nurse has been sent back to Sault Ste Marie in the OHL while Taylor Fedun, Tyler Pitlick and Anton Lander have all been assigned to Oklahoma City in the American Hockey League.

The Rangers would score on the power play with under four minutes to play as Dan Girardi shot the puck through the five-hole of LaBarbera. The late goal by Girardi wasn't enough to spark more offence and the Oilers held on to close out their fourth-straight pre-season win.

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