The Edmonton Oilers struck early and managed to hold off the Calgary Flames in a 3-1 win at Rexall Place on Sunday night on the strength of goals from Marco Roy, Justin Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
The game was the first for Leon Draisaitl as an Oiler on Rexall Place ice.
"I was a little bit nervous, to be honest, at the beginning. That's a little bit normal," Draisaitl began. "I think I did okay. It's still early in the season. Once I feel more comfortable, I'll be better for sure."
Draisaitl was named the game's third star. He had an assist, was +2 and three shots on goal in 15:42 of icetime. On his first shift, he assisted on Roy's goal.
"It's always nice to be in on a goal in your first shift," Draisaitl stated.
Roy’s goal came only 1:28 into the opening frame. He took the puck in the slot and fired it five-hole past Flames starting goaltender Joni Ortio to get the Oilers on the board early.
"I was feeling really good after the goal," said Roy. "Leon had some great vision, he saw me off the rush."
4:37 into the first, the Oilers took a penalty for having too many men on the ice. Calgary struck on that power play in mere seconds to tie the game up. Curtis Glencross redirected a point shot from Kris Russell to make it 1-1.
Edmonton regained the lead at the 8:47 mark of the first. Schultz skated into the zone and slipped the puck in between the post and Ortio's pad from a tough angle to get the Oilers back in the lead.
A holding penalty to Ladislav Smid gave the Oilers their first power play of the game late in the opening frame but they were unable to convert.
Shots on goal after one were 10-7 for the Flames.
A Keith Aulie penalty late in the first gave Calgary a power play to start the second. The Flames were unable to score on either that man advantage or the subsequent one by Taylor Hall at the 3:43 mark.
Smid took his second penalty of the game with 13:52 to go in the period and Oilers converted 14 seconds later.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wired a shot from the right circle past Ortio to give the Oilers a two-goal lead. Brad Hunt and Schultz got the assists.
Bill Arnold received two minutes for tripping with 2:17 left in the second, giving the Oilers another man advantage.
Edmonton’s best chance on that power play came when Greg Chase redirected the puck at the right side of the net but it rang off the post. Ortio was sharp moments later on a pad stop off Nugent-Hopkins to keep it a two-goal deficit for the visitors.
Shots on goal after two were 15-14 for Calgary, though the Oilers ended up outshooting the Flames 24-22 overall.