Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ryan nets winning goal for Senators against Jets

New addition Bobby Ryan had a goal and an assist to help the Ottawa Senators defeat the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Ryan, acquired in one of the biggest trades of the offseason just hours after captain Daniel Alfredsson signed with the new division rival Detroit Red Wings, skated on a line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek, which is where he figures to start the season.

Michalek also had a goal and an assist, and Spezza added an assist on Michalek's goal. Defenseman Erik Karlsson had a pair of assists, and goaltender Robin Lehner made 17 saves in 40 minutes of work.

Matt Halischuk had the lone goal for the Jets. Michael Hutchinson, who joined the Winnipeg organization on a one-year contract in the offseason from Boston, stopped 29 of 32 shots in net.

Ryan nets winning goal for Senators against Jets

New addition Bobby Ryan had a goal and an assist to help the Ottawa Senators defeat the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Ryan, acquired in one of the biggest trades of the offseason just hours after captain Daniel Alfredsson signed with the new division rival Detroit Red Wings, skated on a line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek, which is where he figures to start the season.

Michalek also had a goal and an assist, and Spezza added an assist on Michalek's goal. Defenseman Erik Karlsson had a pair of assists, and goaltender Robin Lehner made 17 saves in 40 minutes of work.

Matt Halischuk had the lone goal for the Jets. Michael Hutchinson, who joined the Winnipeg organization on a one-year contract in the offseason from Boston, stopped 29 of 32 shots in net.

Grigorenko's SO goal lifts Sabres over Canadiens

Mikhail Grigorenko's shootout goal lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens in the preseason opener for both teams on Sunday night.

Grigorenko beat Zachary Fucale with a backhand on Buffalo's second attempt in the tiebreaker.

The Sabres, who never led, erased four one-goal deficits. Colton Gillies got the Sabres even at 4 with 4:24 left in regulation.

Zemgus Girgensons scored two goals in the second for Buffalo, making it 3-3 at 11:51 on the first shot faced by Fucale. Jamie McBain also scored for the Sabres.

Michael Bournival scored twice for the Canadiens. Martin St-Pierre netted Montreal's second power-play goal at 12:59 into the third to give the Canadiens a 4-3 lead.

Erik Nystrom added a power-play goal for Montreal.

SABRES OVERCOME PENALTY TROUBLE IN PRESEASON OPENER

The Buffalo Sabres didn’t make it easy on themselves, but they got the job done.

The Sabres prevailed in the shootout, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 inside a packed Bell Centre on Sunday in their preseason opener. Zemgus Girgensons scored twice in the game and Mikhail Grigorenko netted the decisive goal on a nifty backhand in the shootout.

Defenseman Jamie McBain and camp invitee Colton Gillies also scored for Buffalo.

Matt Hackett was the winning goaltender, taking over midway through the game for starter Jhonas Enroth. Hackett stopped 11 of 12 shots in 35:23. Enroth made 10 saves on 13 shots.

Michael Bournival tallied twice for Montreal. The Canadiens also received goals from Erik Nystrom and Martin St-Pierre.

Before they could reach the shootout however, the Sabres had to successfully kill off two penalties in the third and in the overtime period.

Buffalo didn’t hold a lead in the game until the very end and fought back from four one-goal deficits.

“We kind of knew they were going to come out hard here in an exhibition game with the crowd they did. I thought we got better as the game went on,” Sabres coach Ron Rolston said. “But I liked a lot of our younger players and the poise that they had in an environment like this for the first time.”

Though the Sabres got into penalty trouble, particularly late in the game and in overtime, they killed off four of Montreal’s six power plays.

“We had a lot of kills and a lot of double odd-man situations which made it tough, but I think we hung in there,” Sabres forward Steve Ott said. “Obviously there’s always room for improvement. That was our first real test.”

While Rolston and the coaching staff would rather not find themselves in so many shorthanded situations, developing players like Girgensons relished the opportunity to be on the ice during a crucial penalty kill.

“I think it’s really good for the team to be put in such tough situations before the real season because it still matters how we play here, but it’s a lot about learning and getting prepared for the regular season,” Girgensons said. “So I think it’s good putting us in those tough situations. It helps us down the road.”

Girgensons’ first goal came on the penalty kill 0:58 into the second period to tie the game at one. He scored again with 8:09 left in the period to make it 3-3, beating Furcale with a wrist shot from the off wing.

“He changed really the game, the momentum of getting the shorthanded goal and then getting the second goal he had on the short side,” Rolston said. “…I thought [Girgensons] was one of our best players tonight.”

The Sabres lineup Sunday featured heavily touted prospects like Grigorenko, Girgensons, Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov, Johan Larsson and Mark Pysyk mixed with veterans like Ott, Drew Stafford, Patrick Kaleta, Cody McCormick, Henrik Tallinder and Mike Weber.

Ott was impressed with the grit some of the younger players showed in the game. Ristolainen in particular blocked a hard shot early in the third period.

“The sacrifice is there. The compete is there and those are aspects you can’t teach,” Ott said. “When young guys are doing that and sacrificing themselves, it just shows they want to be on this team. Obviously, it bodes well throughout our lineup and the stable of young prospects that we have. ”

Ott served as captain for the game. Rolston said he will continue to rotate the “C” throughout the season before naming a full-time captain. Tallinder and Stafford served as the alternates.

Stars Open Preseason with 6-5 Shootout Loss to Blues

It was a mixed bag for the Dallas Stars in their first game of the preseason. There was plenty of offensive firepower, but keeping the puck out of their net was a different story. The end result was a 6-5 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center Sunday night.

“I thought from the standpoint of making plays and creating good opportunities against what I thought was a pretty good defense they dressed, that part was good,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We had some breakdowns that cost us. We’d like to clean that up. Our young defense probably hurt us a little bit. But I really liked what our forwards did. They did a really nice job of creating some opportunities.”

Leading the way among the Dallas forwards was 18-year-old Valeri Nichushkin, who scored two goals and registered a game-high nine shots on goal in his first taste of NHL action.

“I was waiting for that all summer, so I was very excited,” Nichushkin said through a translator, which in this case was Stars defenseman Sergei Gonchar.

It was an impressive showing for the 18-year-old Nichushkin, Dallas first round pick (10th overall) in this summer’s NHL Draft.

“He was able to push through and skate well in the game,” Ruff said. “He was responsible for creating a number of really good opportunities, and he obviously scored a couple. You look at his all-around game and he is trying to pay attention to where he is supposed to be defending. He’s got a lot on his plate, and I thought it was a good effort from him.”

Tyler Seguin and Erik Cole each had a goal and an assist for the Stars. Defenseman Kevin Connauton also scored.

It didn’t take long for the Stars to get on the board in Sunday night’s game. They went on a power play 19 seconds into the contest and cashed in to take the early lead. After taking a pass from Seguin, Alex Chiasson sent the puck from the goal line to the slot, where Cole banged it past Blues goaltender Jake Allen 1:17 into the game.

The Stars made it a 2-0 game when Connauton’s snap shot from the left point got past Allen to give the Stars a 2-0 lead at 3:59 of the first.

The Blues bounced back to tie on a couple of goals by Maxim Lapierre, who tipped in a Ryan Reaves shot at 8:48 of the first and then scored a power play goal five minutes later, knocking the puck past Stars goaltender Dan Ellis during a scramble in the Dallas crease.

The Stars took the lead back 5:53 into the second period with their second power play goal of the night. Seguin finished off some slick passing by the Stars, scoring from the left circle to make it a 3-2 game.

“There was a lot of passing going on,” Seguin said. “Just a couple of good passes and when I got the puck back on my stick there wasn’t a goalie in the net anymore.”

The Blues drew even at 13:32 of the second period when the Stars turned over the puck and Sebastian Wannstrom slipped a shot from the bottom of the left circle past Stars goaltender Jack Campbell, who had taken over in net just a few minutes earlier.

Nichushkin scored his first goal of the night with 27.3 seconds left in the second, getting to a puck in the slot and beating Allen with a wrist shot to put the Stars up 4-3.

“It was very emotional,” Nichushkin said of scoring that first goal. “This is really happening”

After Campbell and Allen traded slick saves early in the third period, the Blues drew even at the 4:40 mark on a goal by Adam Cracknell.

Nichushkin put the Stars ahead again, stealing a puck at the defensive blue line, breaking in alone on the St. Louis net and beating Allen with a forehand to backhand move to put the Stars up 5-4 with 12:56 left in the game.

Once again the Blues answered, getting a goal by Reaves four minutes later to tie the game at 5-5.

After a scoreless overtime, St. Louis’ Vladimir Tarasenko scored the lone goal of the shootout. Jamie Benn, Seguin and Nichushkin all failed to beat Allen.

Blues 6 Stars 5 OT

Vladimir Tarasenko scored the lone shootout goal and Jake Allen was able to turn away all three Dallas Stars shooters in the shootout of the St. Louis Blues' 6-5 win Sunday night at American Airlines Center.

Maxim Lapierre scored twice for the Blues, Ryan Reaves added a goal and an assist and Sergey Andronov had two assists as the line combined for six points in the game. Allen play the entire game in goal for St. Louis, making 33 saves.

"Three years ago, I think I scored 15 or 16 goals." said Lapierre, who scored 15 goals for Montreal in 2008-09. "I know when my confidence level is high, I can chip in goals offensively, but the main goal stays the same. That's to be physical and be good on draws defensively and on the PK. When I go to the rink for a game, I'm focused on these things. If the goals come, they come. It doesn't really matter to me."

Valeri Nichushkin, who was the 10th overall pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, looked impressive in his NHL debut playing on a line with Shawn Horcoff and Cody Eakin. He scored twice for the Stars, who saw Dan Ellis and Jack Campbell split time in goal. Also, the Stars saw the debut of Tyler Seguin in the game.

After an inauspicious start from the Blues where the Stars got goals from Erik Cole (power play) and Kevin Connauton less than four minutes into the game on four shots, Lapierre came back to get two for the visitors to tie it after one.

Lapierre, a free agent pickup by the Blues this summer, deflected a Reaves shot past Dan Ellis 8:48 into the period, then scored a power play goal 14 minutes in to make it 2-2.

Cole had given the Stars a 1-0 lead with a one-timer from the slot just 1:17 in, beating Allen high blocker side. Connauton's goal was a wrister from the blue line after taking a faceoff from Eakin 3:59 into the first.

The Stars reclaimed the lead on Tyler Seguin's power play goal, with Cole picking up his second assist of the game 5:53 into the second period.

The Blues again equalized on Sebastian Wannstrom's goal from a sharp angle, as he beat Jack Campbell from the low left circle with a wrister short side 13:32 into the second to make it 3-3.

But Nichushkin re-established Dallas' lead when he was able to collect a rebound and beat Allen in the slot with 27.3 seconds left in the second for a 4-3 Stars lead.

Adam Cracknell tied the game for the third time when Keith Aucoin collected a rebound in the slot and his shot deflected off Cracknell past Campbell 4:40 into the third period to make it 4-4.

Nichushkin picked up the puck after the Blues' Ian Cole lost it at the blue line. He beat Allen on the breakaway by sliding a backhand in at 7:04 of the third for a 5-4 Stars lead.

But the Blues would not go away again, as Reaves tipped Andronov's shot that beat Campbell from the top of the right circle through a crowd in front of the netminder at 11:03 of the third to tie the game 5-5.

"That was kind of the off-season plan, trying on getting a little offense and chip in whenever I can," Reaves said. "Obviously you keep the physical game up. I thought we started off pretty physical, but Lappy had two ... I don't know, I think our line had six points. That's going to be a big part of our team is the fourth line trying to contribute."

Tarasenko beat Campbell on the Blues' first shootout attempt, and Allen was able to stop Seguin and Nichushkin on the final two Dallas tries after Jamie Benm hit the left post on Dallas' first attempt.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was pleased with the first game, despite the ups and downs. he was especially pleased with the Lapierre, Reaves, Andronov combination.

"I just think you get a chance to prove yourself in these types of games," Hitchcock said. "You have a little bit of success, you get confidence. This was a real good evaluation for what we need to work on the next two days. We found out a lot in the scrimmage this morning and then a lot more tonight. So now we know what we've got to work on Monday and Tuesday and that'll give us a really good view of working on some things and getting ready. We got some real good evaluation on what guys were good at and what they need to work on."

Kadri and Raymond lift Maple Leafs over Flyers

Defenseman Paul Ranger scored the winner in his first competitive NHL game since stepping away from the sport in October 2009 as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Philadelphia Flyers at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario, in the first preseason tilt for both teams.

Ranger, who played more than 24 minutes per game in 2007-08 and 2008-09 as a young defenseman for the Tampa Bay Lightning, returned to hockey last season with the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey League and signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Leafs for this season.

Toronto let a three-goal lead slip away before Ranger's goal. The Maples Leafs had scored three times in four shots on Philadelphia starting goalie Steve Mason to open up the advantage. Nazem Kadri, Troy Bodie and Mason Raymond scored in quick succession for Toronto. Raymond is in camp on a tryout contract after scoring 10 goals and 22 points for the Vancouver Canucks last season.

It was the second straight competitive game in which Toronto has yielded a three-goal lead, though obviously this one had far less at stake. Brayden Schenn, Doug Clarkson (Dave Clarkson's younger brother) and Nick Cousins scored for the Flyers. Mason finished with 12 saves on 15 shots, while Toronto starter turned aside 14 of 17 shots.

Leafs Hang On To Beat Flyers

Nazem Kadri and Mason Raymond each had a goal and an assist Sunday as the Toronto Maple Leafs opened the NHL pre-season schedule with a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Kadri, who signed a new two-year deal on the eve of training camp, is expected to produce, while Raymond is with the Leafs on a tryout basis after 374 games with the Vancouver Canucks.

Performing in his hometown, it was Kadri opening the offence as the Leafs scored three in 3:05 for an early 3-0 advantage.

Kadri, who also starred in the Budweiser Gardens for the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights, began a two-on-one rush inside his own blue-line. Kadri used a drag move to awkwardly put Philadelphia defenceman Hal Gill out of position before snapping the puck past Steve Mason.

Troy Bodie, who split his AHL time between Portland and Norfolk last year and was inked as a free agent by Toronto in July, made it 2-0 by beating Mason in close. Bodie received his pass on the doorstep from 2013 first-round pick Frederik Gauthier.

The third Toronto goal displayed the speed of Raymond as he scored short-handed on a breakaway after stealing the puck at his own blue-line and out-raced Philadelphia's Erik Gustafsson down the right wing.

Philadelphia rebounded quickly with three goals from Doug Clarkson in the first period and Brayden Schenn and Nick Cousins early in second.

The Cousins goal was started by a Gill point shot that went wide of Leafs goaltender James Reimer's net and bounded out the other side for Cousins to flip in a backhand.

After netminder changes by both clubs, Toronto's Paul Ranger welcomed Anthony Stolarz by converting a rebound on a give-and-go effort by Kadri and David Broll.

The final period was scoreless.

In 28 minutes of work, Reimer stopped 14 of 17, while counterpart Mason stopped 12 of 15. Maple Leafs' Christopher Gibson didn't allow a goal in 32 minutes and was credited with 13 saves, while the Flyers' Anthony Stolarz was beaten in his first minute, but settled down to make 14 saves on 15 shots.

Six former or current London Knights dressed including Kadri, Dave Bolland and Ryan Rupert for Toronto, and Mason, Stolarz and Zac Rinaldo for the Flyers.

Blue Jackets 5 Penguins 4 OT

Ryan Murray donned an NHL sweater for the first time tonight, and to celebrate, he scored the game-winning goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Not a bad way to start, right?

It was an eventful game at Nationwide Arena with both teams trading the lead and trying to establish some flow in their first exhibition games of the season. The Blue Jackets, on the strength of two quick third-period goals from Mark Letestu and Cam Atkinson, took a 4-3 lead into down the stretch only to see the Penguins answer right back - setting the stage for a frenetic overtime period.

And it was finished off by a smart, heady play by the 19-year-old kid on defense. RJ Umberger beat out Evgeni Malkin for a loose puck at the Columbus blue line, started an odd-man rush with Letestu going to the net and found Murray joining the rush in the final 30 seconds of sudden death.

One look, one shot, top shelf, ballgame. The Blue Jackets, as coach Todd Richards put it, "found a way to win" despite not having their best stuff in the first 40 minutes of the game. They were out-shot 26-12 by the Penguins over the first two periods but managed a pair of goals out of it, and got back to their preferred style in the third period.

They directed more pucks at the net, used their speed and defended much better in the final stanza and got a strong performance in goal from Curtis McElhinney. Pittsburgh opened the scoring just 47 seconds into the game on a James Neal goal, but after that, McElhinney held the fort before giving way to Oscar Dansk for the third period.

Sure, it's one game and an exhibition at that, but there were some highlights contained within it. Murray's game winner, two spirited scraps from James Wisniewski (Murray's defense partner) and newcomer Ilari Melart, and some persistence against a pretty good team.

Murray scores late in OT to lift Jackets over Pens

Top prospect Ryan Murray scored with 21.2 seconds left in overtime to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-4, in the preseason opener for both teams Sunday at Nationwide Arena.

Murray, the second pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, missed most of the 2012-13 season because of a shoulder injury he sustained playing in the Western Hockey League last November. The defenseman played more than 23 minutes in the contest, and could begin the 2013-14 season with the Blue Jackets.

Recent addition Chuck Kobasew scored twice for the Penguins, including at 13:05 of the third period to knot the score at 4-4. Kobasew joined the Penguins for the start of training camp on a tryout contract, but there are potential openings among the bottom-six forwards in Pittsburgh.

James Neal welcomed Columbus to the Eastern Conference and the new Metropolitan Division with a goal 47 seconds into the first period. A pair of Columbus power-play goals wrapped around Kobasew's first of the evening made it a 2-2 game after 20 minutes. Artem Anisimov and James Wisniewski had the goals for the Blue Jackets.

Dustin Jeffrey, another forward fighting for a bottom-six slot with the Penguins, scored 4:19 into the third on the power play, but ex-Penguins forward Mark Letestu and Cam Atkinson tallied 30 seconds apart to push Columbus into the lead.

Marc-Andre Fleury started in net for the Penguins and allowed two goals on 14 shots in two periods of work. Curtis McElhinney, signed in the offseason to likely backup Vezina Tropy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, also played for two periods and stopped 24 of 26 shots.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Flames rally to win 6-5 in shootout

It looked like it would be a double dose of the Edmonton Oilers triumphing over the Calgary Flames in the Split Squad Battle of Alberta on Saturday night but a late charge by the Calgary road squad resulted in a 6-5 shootout victory for the Flames.

The Oilers had a 5-2 lead with nine minutes to play in the third period but then Calgary found some spark and came all the way back to tie the game at 5-5 with three goals in just over four minutes.

"There are some habits that we need to correct, and we'll be on them as quick as possible," said Oilers Associate Coach Keith Acton, noting particularly the players' shift lengths and their contribution to the Calgary comeback.

Action did like what he saw from a lot of his troops tonight.

"Davidson and Nurse played well on defence. I thought Andrew Ference did as well. We did some good things. I thougth we went to the net really well. Jesse (Joensuu) did well going on the net," Acton continued. "Five goals should be enough to win a game."

Lance Bouma's goal was followed just over a minute later by one from Josh Jooris and then T.J. Galiardi hammered home a power play marker with 4:51 to play to tie it up.

It didn't take the Oilers long at all to do some damage as Taylor Hall fired a shot from the top of the left circle that barely made it over the line -- or perhaps didn't, depending on what angle you were looking at -- after Flames netminder Kari Rammo got a piece of it.

Moments later Ben Street fired a shot from the side boards that eluded a screened Dubnyk and suddenly the game was even at 1-1. Ironically, just over a minute into the game and the match-up at Rexall Place had more goals scored in it than the contest going on three hours south despite that one starting an hour earlier.

The first penalty of the game went to Calgary's Lance Bouma, but the Oilers were unable to convert on the man advantage.

Marco Roy took a minor penalty with just over eight minutes to play in the opening frame to put the Flames up a man for the first time on the night. However, that power play was short-lived as Sven Baertschi took a hooking penalty less than a minute later.

With Baertschi still in the box, Ryan Smyth picked up the puck after Denis Grebeshkov pushed it towards the net. Smyth backhanded it in to put the Oilers back in the lead at 2-1.

That one-goal lead turned into a two-goal lead with 58 seconds to play in the opening frame. Kyle Platzer poked his stick into a scramble and knocked the puck over Rammo to increase the Oilers lead to 3-1.

After one period, shots on goal were 13-8 in favour of Edmonton.

The Oilers opened the second period much the same way as the first, with a lot of energy and it led to another early goal.

Off the rush, the Oilers start hacking away at the puck with Rammo doing acrobatics keeping the puck out of the net. The play started with Nail Yakupov's shot from the left circle and a rebound point-blank by Jesse Joensuu. Mark Arcobello then swooped in to put home the third rebound and make it a 4-1 game.

Near the midway point of the middle frame, Jiri Hudler fed Dennis Wideman at the top of the right circle and he made no mistake, rifling a shot blocker-side past Dubnyk to draw the Flames within two.

The Oilers responded a minute later. Joensuu shoveled the puck from behind the net, wrapping it past Reto Berra, who recently replaced Rammo in the goal.

The Oilers announced that Ales Hemsky had left the game due to illness. Nail Yakupov moved up onto a line with Hall and Smyth. Marco Roy moved into Yakupov's spot with Arcobello and Linus Omark.

Calgary outshot Edmonton 14-8 in the middle frame and had a 22-21 edge in shots over 40 minutes overall.

Oilers Road Squad Triumphs

A 2-0 Oilers lead turned into a tied game late in the third period but a Martin Marincin goal with under five minutes to play sealed a 3-2 victory for Edmonton, stifling a Flames comeback, on the road in Calgary.

The Oilers took the lead at 3:41 of the opening period, on the power play, when Ryan Jones deflected a Jeff Petry point shot in past Joey MacDonald. Defenceman Taylor Fedun was credited with the second assist.

“We did a little entry, put it back to (Fedun) cross-ice and he went to (Petry),” said Jones. “Petry was just walking across the line and I was just trying to do my best to stay in the goalie’s eyes and when (Petry) shot, it was just a matter of trying to put my stick on the puck and I deflected it down a little bit and it just went in.

“When you hang around the front of the net, good things happen.”

Two of the bigger names on the ice for the Oilers, Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner, nearly connected on a goal in the second period.

Eberle and Gagner had a two-on-one rush on goaltender Joni Ortio with just under eight minutes remaining in the second. Gagner found an open Eberle but the All Star forward shot the puck wide.

“He made a great play,” said Eberle of Gagner’s pass. “Actually, we had one before that too. We just couldn’t handle it. But, a lot of chances… That’s positive when you get into a game like this, your first one, you’ve got to get your legs under you and try to get as many opportunities as you can. That’s what happened.”

Edmonton traded former first round pick, Magnus Paajarvi, to the St. Louis Blues for forward David Perron in the offseason and he showed a reason why with his score in the middle frame.

Perron was checked in the corner and fell to the ice. He battled to get back on his feet and darted to the faceoff dot where Fedun found the forward with a perfect pass. Perron fired a shot past the Flames netminder to give Edmonton the 2-0 lead.

Boyd Gordon was awarded the second assist on the score.

The Flames scored their first at 2:43 of the third period. A shot deflected off the skate of a turned Philip Larsen and right to the Flames 22nd overall pick in 2013, Emile Poirier. The winger fired the puck past Richard Bachman and the Flames drew within one.

Mike Cammalleri tied the game at 6:31 when Matt Stajan pounced on a misplayed puck by Bachman. Stajan spun around quickly and centered the puck to a streaking Cammalleri who buried it.

The Oilers took the lead again when Eberle took the puck end to end and fired a steep angle shot on net. Ryan Hamilton swiped at the rebound and centered it out in front to Marincin who went hard to the net and finished the play, giving Edmonton the 3-2 lead with less than five minutes to go in the game.

Marincin’s goal proved to be the game winner as the Oilers survive a rally by the Flames to take the exhibition game, 3-2. The Oilers return to pre-season action on Tuesday in Winnipeg, against the Jets.

Hartley finds positives in setback to Oilers in Calgary

It didn't put a tick in the win column, but it was a victory nonetheless.

Knotted at 2-2 late in the third period, Martin Marincin's goal 4:52 remaining in the third period may have given the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 victory, but being able to evaluate how his young roster responded in the first game of preseason action was a win for Bob Hartley.

"I was pleased," Hartley said. "I can't fault the effort. The first two goals, there was some kids mistake but that's why we played them. We want to put them in those kinds of situations and if they do well, if they do bad…I shouldn't even say bad. If they make a mistake this is a game of mistakes.

"I felt those kids recuperated real well and they put it behind them and kept going."

Marincin tapped in a pass from Ryan Hamilton after Joni Ortio, on for the back-end of the 60-minute tilt, couldn't corral Jordan Eberle's initial shot. Edmonton's goal came a shift after Emile Poirier just about added his second of the night to give Calgary their first lead of the game, letting traffic funnel to the net before ringing the puck off the post.

Calgary's contingent -- playing opposite their split squad in Edmonton -- trailed by two after two periods, but Poirier put the Flames on the board early in the third.

Shane O'Brien's point shot was blocked but the rebound skirted over to the 22nd pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. Poirier one-timed the puck behind Oilers netminder Richard Backman just 2:43 into the frame to cut the lead to 2-1.

"I think I just went to the net," Poirier said. "It was the right time and it's an unbelievable feeling. First game and (I) scored."

It wasn't just his goal that caught the coach's eye.

"Poirier, especially the second half of the game," Hartley said. "I felt his speed really generated some good scoring chances for us, gave us the rebound goal."

Veteran Mike Cammalleri squared the game after some hustle from Matt Stajan.

Outracing the Edmonton defence to a dump in deep in the Oilers zone, Stajan pivoted and fired a pass squarely onto the stick of Cammalleri, who promptly deposited it behind Bachman at 6:31.

Marincin's late goal put the game out of reach, but Hartley wasn't disappointed with the end result.

Still, the game had plenty of value for Hartley.

"I put some kids with some veterans," he said. "I want to make sure I see my veterans react to playing with younger players. I want to see the younger players react against key position. We played some kids against (Jordan) Eberle and for me, that's what I wanted to see."

Though the Flames had the game's first scoring chances, it was the Oilers who found the back of the net first.

With Ryan Culkin in the penalty box for interference, Ryan Jones deflected a Jeff Petry point shot behind starter Joey MacDonald to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead just 3:41 into the game.

Mark Giordano almost drew Calgary even at Jones' expense. With the Oilers' forward in the penalty box for cross checking, Giordano walked in from the slot and beat Jason Labarbara but not the post at 8:40.

The chance came just minutes after Sean Monahan was denied his first of the season. Taking a cross-ice pass at the top of the crease from Curtis Glencross, Monahan's tap-in was denied by the Edmonton goalie.

Not to be outdone, MacDonald flashed the glove to deny Ty Bilcke his first of the exhibition series at the eight minute mark of the second period. After winning a footrace to the puck, Derek Nesbitt found Bilcke in the slot, but the Flames goaltender was equal to the task for his best save of the night.

With goaltenders splitting action, MacDonald was relieved by Ortio with 8:52 remaining in the middle frame after stopping eight of nine shots. Labarbara stopped all 12 shots he faced before being relieved by Bachman.

It didn't take long for Ortio to be tested.

Edmonton forward David Perron walked off the boards and snapped a shot from the right dot that beat the Flames goaltender short side just 2:05 into Ortio's shift and two minutes after John Ramage's penalty for holding had expired.

Flames overcome three-goal deficit for shootout win in Edmonton

Roman Horak capped off a third period three-goal rally in the shootout to hand the Flames a 6-5 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Saturday.

It was the second and final game of the night between the two clubs who participated in pre-season split-squad games in each of their respective buildings.

Things looked bleak for the Calgary group in Edmonton, facing a 5-2 deficit with less than nine minutes remaining before Lance Bouma cued the comeback with his first goal in a Flames jersey in over a year. Josh Jooris continued to turn heads finding the twine twice in the final seven minutes to even the score 5-5.

Goaltending prospect Reto Berra stood tall in the shootout, denying Linus Omark and Taylor Hall, while Sven Baertschi and Horak capitalized to give the Flames the win.

Karri Ramo started the match in goal for the Flames and turned aside 13 Edmonton shots while Berra stopped all but one of the 14 shots he faced.

Ben Street and Dennis Wideman capped off the scoring for Calgary who will embark on a two-game pre-season road trip to play a pair of natural site contests in Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan.

Capitals defeat Jets in shootout at Hockeyville

Two former Belleville Bulls goaltenders put on a show for their hometown fans Saturday night.

Philipp Grubauer, who relieved Braden Holtby midway through the second period, made 25 saves through overtime then went 4-for-4 in the shootout to lead the Washington Capitals to an entertaining 4-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets in the Kraft Hockeyville game at Yardmen Arena.

"I was looking forward to it all summer," said Grubauer, who played for the Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League from 2008-10. "It was pretty amazing to play here again."

Edward Pasquale, a Bulls goalie from 2006-08, went the distance and stopped 36 of 39 shots for the Jets. The only goal in the shootout came in the fourth round, when Capitals defenseman Mike Green scored on a wrist shot for the game-winner.

"They played well," Green said of the goaltenders. "It made for a good game. It was a lot of fun. We didn't know what to expect, and the city welcomed us with open arms. We had a lot of fun today. The people were excited for us to be here, especially the kids. They don't get to see a lot of NHL players come through here."

Evander Kane scored twice, and Scott Kosmachuk had a goal for Winnipeg, which was the designated home team. Jack Hillen, Stanislav Galiev and Troy Brouwer scored for Washington on a night the hockey-crazed fans of Stirling-Rawdon likely won't ever forget.

"It was fun," Kane said. "They've got the big ice surface out here. I didn't play in the OHL, but it was good. I enjoyed it. It's nice for the fans to see some NHL hockey when they don't maybe get that opportunity every day."

Galiev, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom came up empty in the shootout for Washington before Green scored.

"I thought it was great," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "Huge for the League to try and do stuff like this, to give something back to the smaller towns and bring the big guys in there. It obviously doesn't get to happen. [We're] a long way from Air Canada Centre, but it's great for the fans to see Ovi. They got to see him in a shootout, a perfect setup."

Kane struck first 4:33 into the second period. Aiming to find chemistry with linemates Devin Setoguchi and Mark Scheifele, Kane, who was named first star of the game, beat a screened Holtby off a feed from Setoguchi.

"It was good to get our first game under our belts and read and react on how we all play," Kane said. "I thought me and [Devin] established some pretty good chemistry and [Scheifele] did a good job of just kind of distributing the puck. It's only one game and we'll try to build from here."

The Capitals received a scare 6:42 into the game when Ovechkin was down on the ice after a high stick to the face from Jets defenseman Ben Chiarot. Ovechkin lay in pain for about 30 seconds before heading to the dressing room, but he quickly returned. Chiarot received a four-minute penalty.

Oates said Ovechkin received a few stitches near his lip. Ovechkin did not speak with the media after the game, although he did tweet a picture of his face (@ovi8) and wrote, "Just had a plastic surgery)))hahahaah."

"It was a pretty scary one," Oates said.

Green said, "I was up the ice, so I didn't see it until I saw the replay. Geez, he got lucky. But Ovi always seems to come out of it like … he looks mangled, but he's always OK. I guess that's why they call him the Russian machine."

Winnipeg led 2-0 after a goal by Kosmachuk at 6:08. The third-round pick (No. 70) in 2012 took a pass from Nik Petan and beat Holtby on a wraparound.

Grubauer replaced Holtby with 9:47 remaining in the second period after the Capitals starter stopped 17 of 19 shots.

Washington tied the game with goals 1:25 apart later in the period. Hillen cut the deficit in half when his quick shot from the left point beat Pasquale at 13:07, before Galiev redirected Nate Schmidt's feed past Pasquale.

It was a frustrating 85 seconds in what was otherwise a tremendous performance by the Winnipeg goaltender.

"I thought Eddie Pasquale was our best player tonight," Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian said. "He made some real great saves back there for us."

Grubauer preserved the tie with 2:40 left in the second, when he stretched out his left pad to rob Kane's backhand attempt on a breakaway.

"Obviously for him, a bit of an extra [special] feeling," Oates said of his goaltender. "Playing here, I'm very happy for him that he got the win. I think the fans got it all … they got a shootout, they saw a little bit of everything tonight."

Kane scored his second 7:14 into the third period. Moments after Grubauer robbed Setoguchi with a dazzling stick save, Kane beat Grubauer with a wrister from the left circle to give the Jets a 3-2 lead.

Later, with Scheifele in the penalty box for tripping, the Capitals put on a pretty passing display that culminated with a power-play goal for Brouwer, who one-timed Marcus Johansson's feed from behind the net past Pasquale to make it 3-3.

The game went to a shootout following a scoreless overtime, and Grubauer again stood tall and received some help. Setoguchi drilled a shot off the post in the opening round, and Scheifele fired wide in Round 3, but Grubauer denied Kane in the second round and Petan in the fourth to set up Green's game-winner.

"It's always different if you come off the bench in the second half, but you're pro athletes and you've got to make sure you're ready for the game," Grubauer said. "It doesn't matter if you come in the last period, second period. Rebound-wise, I thought I was all right, but I still have to work on a couple of things. I'm looking forward to practice."

Caps take preseason opener in shootout 4-3

Mike Green’s shootout goal enabled the Washington Capitals to come away with a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night in the Kraft Hockeyville game, the first preseason contest for both teams in 2013.



After a scoreless first frame, the Jets scored twice in less than two minutes against Caps starting goaltender Braden Holtby in the second period. Washington bounced back to draw even at 2-2 later in the frame, scoring two goals of its own in less than two minutes.



The Jets regained the lead at 3-2 in the third, but Troy Brouwer’s power play goal set the stage for Green’s shootout heroics.



Jets star Evander Kane started the scoring for Winnipeg at 4:33 of the second frame. With Washington in the midst of a line change, rookie Jets defenseman Julian Melchiori alertly and sharply sent the puck from his own blueline on the left side of the ice to right wing Devin Setoguchi along the right wing wall near the far blueline. Setoguchi gained the zone, then left the puck for Kane, who launched a perfectly placed wrist shot through a three-man screen in front of Caps goalie Braden Holtby. The puck nestled high into the far (left) corner of the cage to give the Jets a 1-0 lead.



Winnipeg wasted little time in doubling its lead. Caps defenseman Karl Alzner had the puck on his backhand in the corner to Holtby’s left. As Jets winger Scott Kosmachuk pressured him from behind, Alzner tried to push the puck around the back of the net but it was picked off by rookie pivot Nic Petan, who gave it to Kosmachuk. Taking advantage of the new, smaller nets the NHL has introduced this season, Kosmachuk quickly wrapped the disc around the smaller cage and tucked it behind Holtby on the goaltender’s right side.



Kosmachuk’s goal came 95 seconds after Kane had staked the Jets to their original advantage and it gave the Jets a 2-0 lead at 6:08 of the second.



Roughly seven minutes later, Washington halved the Winnipeg lead. Troy Brouwer carried the puck down the right side. Soon after entering the zone, he fed a trailing Nathan Walker in the high slot. Walker let go a shot from there, and Pasquale made the stop. But a juicy rebound caromed out toward the left point and Caps blueliner Jack Hillen, like an outfielder charging a ground ball, rushed in to meet the puck and wristed it over Pasquale’s shoulder.



“That’s kind of a set play where you’ve got the middle guy driving and then the far guy comes up the middle,” noted Walker. “He just found me open and it was a good pass.”



“I was keeping my gap tight,” said Hillen, “and sometimes pucks bounce out to you and you’re able to put them in. When you’re shooting from the point, you’re just trying to miss the first couple of guys because there are so many layers to get it through. Most times you’re not aiming to score, you’re just trying to get it on net. That’s really the goal, to get it on net.”



Washington seemed to draw some energy from the Hillen goal. The Caps kept buzzing the Winnipeg end. The Jets tried to clear the zone, but their clearing bid found its way to Caps defenseman Nate Schmidt at the left point. Schmidt spotted Stanislav Galiev with time and space near the right post and fed the winger with a perfect pass. Galiev, who had been firing shots from the left side all night prior to this, was left with an easy tap-in from the right side to make it a 2-2 game.



“Right before that,” explained Schmidt, “I had a chance to make almost the same play. But I missed it. When Connor [Carrick] passed it back over at the blueline, I saw Gally come out of the corner. I just tried to suck that d-man out as far as I could. Stan stared right at me and just let me know that he was there at the back door. All he had to do was just tap her in.”



The Jets struck for two goals in a span of 95 seconds earlier in the period, but it took Washington only 85 seconds in which to tally twice later in the frame.



Winnipeg regained its lead just ahead of the eight-minute mark of the third period. Caps goalie Philipp Grubauer made a desperate paddle stop on Setoguchi, but Jets center Mark Scheifele retrieved the puck behind the Washington net. He quickly fed it to Kane in front, and the Jets winger was able to net his second of the night before Grubauer was fully recovered and in place from making the stop on Setoguchi.



A mere 66 seconds after Kane’s second goal of the game, Caps center Nicklas Backstrom drew a tripping call on Scheifele to put the Capitals on the power play. After Green kept the puck in at the right point, a series of quick passes culminated with Brouwer firing a one-timer from the slot past Pasquale to make it a 3-3 game.



The Capitals killed off an Aaron Volpatti slashing minor without incident late in regulation, and the Jets managed to kill off a tripping call on rookied blueliner Josh Morrissey during the overtime.



Green was the only one of eight shooters – four on each side – to score in the shootout.