Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ultimate NHL News September 22, 2015

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Canucks' Cracknell hometown hero at Hockeyville

 Playing street hockey while growing up in Victoria, forward Adam Cracknell imagined scoring a lot of game-winning goals for the Vancouver Canucks one day.
On Monday, his dream came to fruition.
Wearing a Canucks jersey for the first time and playing in front of family and friends in his hometown as part of Kraft Hockeyville, Cracknell scored the only goal 1:39 into 3-on-3 overtime to lead the Canucks to a 1-0 preseason victory against the San Jose Sharks at Q Centre.
With his picture hanging from a minor hockey wall of fame in the concourse at the other end of the arena and an extra Canucks skater on the ice for a delayed penalty, Cracknell walked into the high slot and beat Sharks goalie Aaron Dellcleanly over the blocker.
"I had a lot of time and picked a corner," he said. "I wasn't passing it up. Not here. Not now."
It was a fitting ending to three days celebrating the spirit of hockey in small towns.
"Just to be here and part of the moment and have all my friends and family, guys I grew up playing hockey with, able to come to the game and they are huge Canucks fans, so to do that in front of them is huge because they have supported me my whole career," Cracknell said.
Cracknell, who played his minor and junior B hockey nearby, is used to hearing his mom whistle after a goal at Q Centre. But with a standing room only crowd of more than 2,800 people coming to their feet to celebrate, it was a little tougher to find his parents.
"Usually I can hear my mom whistling but not today, there was too much noise," he said.
A lot of it was coming from the Canucks bench.
"As soon as he walked over the top of the circles and fired it, I said, 'this will be pretty cool if it goes in,'" said centerBrandon Sutter, who also played his first game in a Canucks uniform after a summer trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins. "I'm sure it's a good experience for him coming home. Not many guys get to play a NHL game in their hometown, so it was pretty cool."
The game may not have featured a lot of goals, but it did produce some lasting memories.
Some of the nicer moments involved Larry Orr, the longtime equipment manager of the Junior B Peninsula Panthers and a friend, father figure and skate sharpener to several generations of minor hockey players growing up in North Saanich, including brothers Jamie Benn and Jordie Benn of the Dallas Stars and Sharks defensemen Matt Irwin.
Orr, whose volunteer work and free equipment exchange program embody the community spirit of Kraft Hockeyville, received a standing ovation before dropping the puck for a ceremonial faceoff, and a shout-out from Don Cherry during Coach's Corner in the first intermission.
"I've heard more stories about him; 5:30 in the morning, kids drop into his garage and pick up equipment, he does all this stuff for them," Cherry said. "What an honor to meet him."
Jason Fletcher, who wrote the nomination and rallied the community behind it, accepted the Kraft Hockeyville trophy in a pre-game ceremony that included NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. And Fletcher, whose volunteer work builds on the legacy of people like Orr, was back in the spotlight in the second intermission accepting a check for $100,000 from Kraft that will go towards needed arena renovations at the Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich.
It was a great way to wrap up a weekend of community celebrations that included a touching hospital visit and on-ice instruction by NHL alumni Doug Bodger and Jyrki Lumme, an inspiring visit by the Stanley Cup to a parking lot party in North Saanich, and a valuable refereeing clinic by the NHL officiating crew, including Victoria-area natives Lonnie Cameron and Trent Knorr.
"This event as a whole was a lot of fun," Sharks forward Tommy Wingels said. "We all come from rinks similar to this so to play a game here at this point in our careers is special. You see the fans and the kids who hope to be in our position one day and at this point, it's kind of like we'd like to go back and be in their position for a couple days."
Game day began with thousands of fans lining the street to greet the players coming into the rink, and ended with them on their feet again cheering a home-grown player in Cracknell.
"To have Cracknell score was a great way to finish the game," said Canucks assistant coach Perry Pearn, who ran the bench while coach Willie Desjardins recovers from hip surgery. "If you're going to have a guy be a hero in overtime, you'd like it to be the hometown guy."
The only downside for the Canucks was seeing forward Chris Higgins leave the game early after blocking a shot by Sharks defensemen Brandon Dillon off the inside of his right leg.
"We'll have to take him home and have it looked at," Pearn said. "Obviously it was enough to take him out of the game."
Jacob Markstrom made 10 saves before giving way midway through the game to Richard Bachman, who also made 10 saves. But for Markstrom, the lasting memory was the crowd.
"It's so much fun to come to a place where people really care about hockey and bring them a game," he said. "The atmosphere gets better and it's a little more personal in a smaller rink."
Despite the loss, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer was grateful to participate in the Kraft Hockeyville experience.
"It was sloppy, but overall I was happy and real happy with the experience and glad we were a part of it," he said. "I'm really glad we were invited to be a part of it. Nothing but a positive experience across the board, other than I would have liked to win that game in overtime."

Canucks' Cracknell hometown hero at Hockeyville

Playing street hockey while growing up in Victoria, forward Adam Cracknell imagined scoring a lot of game-winning goals for the Vancouver Canucks one day.
On Monday, his dream came to fruition.
Wearing a Canucks jersey for the first time and playing in front of family and friends in his hometown as part of Kraft Hockeyville, Cracknell scored the only goal 1:39 into 3-on-3 overtime to lead the Canucks to a 1-0 preseason victory against the San Jose Sharks at Q Centre.
With his picture hanging from a minor hockey wall of fame in the concourse at the other end of the arena and an extra Canucks skater on the ice for a delayed penalty, Cracknell walked into the high slot and beat Sharks goalie Aaron Dellcleanly over the blocker.
"I had a lot of time and picked a corner," he said. "I wasn't passing it up. Not here. Not now."
It was a fitting ending to three days celebrating the spirit of hockey in small towns.
"Just to be here and part of the moment and have all my friends and family, guys I grew up playing hockey with, able to come to the game and they are huge Canucks fans, so to do that in front of them is huge because they have supported me my whole career," Cracknell said.
Cracknell, who played his minor and junior B hockey nearby, is used to hearing his mom whistle after a goal at Q Centre. But with a standing room only crowd of more than 2,800 people coming to their feet to celebrate, it was a little tougher to find his parents.
"Usually I can hear my mom whistling but not today, there was too much noise," he said.
A lot of it was coming from the Canucks bench.
"As soon as he walked over the top of the circles and fired it, I said, 'this will be pretty cool if it goes in,'" said center Brandon Sutter, who also played his first game in a Canucks uniform after a summer trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins. "I'm sure it's a good experience for him coming home. Not many guys get to play a NHL game in their hometown, so it was pretty cool."
The game may not have featured a lot of goals, but it did produce some lasting memories.
Some of the nicer moments involved Larry Orr, the longtime equipment manager of the Junior B Peninsula Panthers and a friend, father figure and skate sharpener to several generations of minor hockey players growing up in North Saanich, including brothers Jamie Benn and Jordie Benn of the Dallas Stars and Sharks defensemen Matt Irwin.
Orr, whose volunteer work and free equipment exchange program embody the community spirit of Kraft Hockeyville, received a standing ovation before dropping the puck for a ceremonial faceoff, and a shout-out from Don Cherry during Coach's Corner in the first intermission.
"I've heard more stories about him; 5:30 in the morning, kids drop into his garage and pick up equipment, he does all this stuff for them," Cherry said. "What an honor to meet him."
Jason Fletcher, who wrote the nomination and rallied the community behind it, accepted the Kraft Hockeyville trophy in a pre-game ceremony that included NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. And Fletcher, whose volunteer work builds on the legacy of people like Orr, was back in the spotlight in the second intermission accepting a check for $100,000 from Kraft that will go towards needed arena renovations at the Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich.
It was a great way to wrap up a weekend of community celebrations that included a touching hospital visit and on-ice instruction by NHL alumni Doug Bodger and Jyrki Lumme, an inspiring visit by the Stanley Cup to a parking lot party in North Saanich, and a valuable refereeing clinic by the NHL officiating crew, including Victoria-area natives Lonnie Cameron and Trent Knorr.
"This event as a whole was a lot of fun," Sharks forward Tommy Wingels said. "We all come from rinks similar to this so to play a game here at this point in our careers is special. You see the fans and the kids who hope to be in our position one day and at this point, it's kind of like we'd like to go back and be in their position for a couple days."
Game day began with thousands of fans lining the street to greet the players coming into the rink, and ended with them on their feet again cheering a home-grown player in Cracknell.
"To have Cracknell score was a great way to finish the game," said Canucks assistant coach Perry Pearn, who ran the bench while coach Willie Desjardins recovers from hip surgery. "If you're going to have a guy be a hero in overtime, you'd like it to be the hometown guy."
The only downside for the Canucks was seeing forward Chris Higgins leave the game early after blocking a shot by Sharks defensemen Brandon Dillon off the inside of his right leg.
"We'll have to take him home and have it looked at," Pearn said. "Obviously it was enough to take him out of the game."
Jacob Markstrom made 10 saves before giving way midway through the game to Richard Bachman, who also made 10 saves. But for Markstrom, the lasting memory was the crowd.
"It's so much fun to come to a place where people really care about hockey and bring them a game," he said. "The atmosphere gets better and it's a little more personal in a smaller rink."
Despite the loss, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer was grateful to participate in the Kraft Hockeyville experience.
"It was sloppy, but overall I was happy and real happy with the experience and glad we were a part of it," he said. "I'm really glad we were invited to be a part of it. Nothing but a positive experience across the board, other than I would have liked to win that game in overtime."

Toffoli, Shore lead Kings past Coyotes

Tyler Toffoli and Nick Shore each scored two goals to lead the Los Angeles Kings past the Arizona Coyotes at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, Calif.
Jordan Weal and Shore scored power-play goals 21 seconds apart early in the first period to give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead. Toffoli and Shore put the Kings up by four goals when they scored 3:20 apart late in the second.
Toffoli's second goal of the game came shorthanded 39 seconds into the third period.
Anthony Duclair scored for Arizona at 4:08 of the third.
Toffoli scored again when the teams played in the new 3-on-3 overtime format after the game.

Toffoli, Shore lead Kings past Coyotes

Tyler Toffoli and Nick Shore each scored two goals to lead the Los Angeles Kings past the Arizona Coyotes at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, Calif.
Jordan Weal and Shore scored power-play goals 21 seconds apart early in the first period to give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead. Toffoli and Shore put the Kings up by four goals when they scored 3:20 apart late in the second.
Toffoli's second goal of the game came shorthanded 39 seconds into the third period.
Anthony Duclair scored for Arizona at 4:08 of the third.
Toffoli scored again when the teams played in the new 3-on-3 overtime format after the game.

@EDM RECAP: Flames 2 at Oilers 4

The Edmonton Oilers kicked-off the home portion of their pre-season schedule with an exciting 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place.  

Making his debut of the NHL pre-season was none other than 2015 NHL Draft number-one pick, Connor McDavid. 

“There’s obviously nerves and excitement just going into the game and it takes a little bit to settle down,” said McDavid.

“I was a little nervous there in the first period, I wasn’t patient with the puck and wasn’t playing my game, but I guess that’s to be expected with so much hype about playing your first kind of NHL game.”

The split-squad game saw Oilers head coach Todd McLellan behind the bench in Edmonton to coach the home game at Rexall Place.

“I thought we got better as the night went on. I thought we were a little tentative, a little bit ragged early, but we did get better as the night went on,” said McLellan. 

“We saw some things, both positive and negative that we’ve worked on and have evidence now and we can go to the players with and improve our game.”

As the Oilers took to the ice, the starting line-up saw Cam Talbot take position as starting goaltender for the night.

After a number of shooting attempts made in the first period, it wasn’t until 5:27 left on the clock that the Oilers took a 1-0 lead thanks to Andrew Miller’s sharp shooting through the pads of Calgary Flames goalie Karri Ramo, assisted by Ryan Hamilton and Jordan Oesterle.

But Kylington responded at the 15:14 mark, placing the puck just to the right of Talbot, skimming his pads to make it a 1-1 game. 

“I like the fact that we shot the puck a lot and got it back,” said McLellan. “We had a lot of shooting attempts. I didn’t like as many being blocked as they were though, that needs to improve.”

Fans were on the edge of their seats each time McDavid’s stick touched the puck, waiting in sweet anticipation for him to find the back of the Flames net with each shot.

“I thought (McDavid) looked dangerous, I thought he had the puck he played well on both sides of it. Had a couple good scoring chances, got what we expected for day one,” said McLellan. 

Talbot’s exceptional goalkeeping kept the Oilers alive in much of the first-half of the second period, but eventually Flames centre Markus Granlund found the back of the Oilers net with 6:32 left in the second period, taking a 2-1 lead.

As the clock continued counting down in the third period, Oilers fans saw McDavid set up line-mate Taylor Hall for a direct shot on net, but to no avail.

Though Oilers saw a window of opportunity when Flames Garnet Hathaway received a two-minute penalty.

Giving the Flames a one-two punch, McDavid passed Draisaitl the puck who in turn delivered it into the back of McDonald’s net to tie-up the game at two a piece. 

“We talked about it obviously in the dressing room, we wanted to come back with a push and as a team we did a very good job,” said Draisaitl. 

“That’s something I think that the organization has to do better. To push back in games when you’re behind. I think it was a great job as a team.”

Oilers captain Andrew Ference received a two-minute penalty for hooking, leaving the Oilers shorthanded at 14:41, but Anton Lander was quick to make a play unassisted, placing the puck in the back of the Flames net and edging the Oilers forward on the scoreboard for a 3-2 lead. 

With 1:21 left in the third the Flames pulled McDonald for a man advantage but with a beautiful save by Oilers goaltender Laurent Brossoit the puck found Yakupov’s stick who placed a strong shot into the back of the net, assisted by Sekera and McDavid. 

“There was some good stuff, some stuff to improve on for sure,” said McDavid. “I think the main thing is the resiliency the team showed late in the game to battle back like that.”

Kylington impresses in pre-season loss to Oilers

A trio of Edmonton Oilers goals in the third period sunk the Calgary Flames hopes of heading back home with a win over the divisional rivals on Monday night at Rexall Place.
The Oilers scored a power play tally, a short-handed marker, and an empty-netter in the late stages of the game, edging the Flames 4-2 in pre-season action.
"Overall it was a pretty good effort, especially our young kids," said assistant coach Jacques Cloutier, who ran the Flames bench in Edmonton with counterpart Martin Gelinas. "For a lot of them it was their first game and they played pretty hard."
Defenceman Oliver Kylington and centre Markus Granlundscored for Calgary.
In his first pre-season game, Kylington stood out on the Flames blueline. The Swede rung a hard shot off the post early on, netted Calgary's first goal of the night, and looked poised in his own zone.
"I felt pretty good. I was a bit nervous at the beginning but when the game started I was pretty calm and it was fun to play out there," Kylington said of his first taste of NHL action. "I think I played easy in our own end, I didn’t play that fancy I just played easy. I kept the pucks out and blocked some shots. I think I did a decent defensive job and I’m pretty proud of that.
"I think I did pretty good. Hopefully it gets better and better."
Kenny Agostino's former Yale teammate Andrew Miller opened the scoring for the Oilers, gliding along the boards and slipping a wrist shot underneath Ramo's pads at 14:33 of the first period.
That lead was short-lived, however, as Kylington tied things up with the Flames first goal of the 2015 pre-season. Calgary's second round selection in this year's NHL Draft plucked an errant pass off at centre ice and was able snap a shot a shot past Cam Talbot blocker-side.
"I think he was real good," Cloutier said of Kylington. "He moved the puck well. When he plays a simple game he is very effective. When you’re young that’s what you have to do – make the easy play."
With 9:21 left in the second period, the Oilers made a goaltender change, with Laurent Brossoit, who was selected by the Flames in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL Draft, taking over in net for Talbot.
Shortly after taking control of the crease, Brossoit's fellow 2011 draftee Markus Granlund gave the Flames a 2-1 lead with a short-handed goal at the 13:28 mark. Garnet Hathaway forced a turnover in the neutral zone and Granlund was to skate in unimpeded, ripping a wrist shot past Brossoit.
After stopping 16 of 17 shots in the first two periods, Karri Ramo was replaced in net by Mason McDonald. He stopped the first nine shots Edmonton sent at him but was unable to corral a shot from Leon Draisaitl, in tight on the power play late in the stanza.
Shortly after the Draisaitl equalizer, Anton Lander made it a 3-2 game with a short-handed goal. Evading Dennis Wideman at the blueline, the Oilers forward chipped the puck up and was able to get a clean shot off just above the hash marks.
Nail Yakupov added an empty-net goal to make it 4-2 and seal the victory for the Oilers.
ICE CHIPS: Karri RamoKris RussellDennis WidemanMorgan KlimchukMarkus Granlund, and Kenny Agostino got the start in Edmonton ... Russell, Wideman, and Lance Bouma sported the A's for Calgary on Monday night ... Derek Engelland led all Flames with four shots on net ... Kris Russell led all Calgary skaters in ice time, logging 25:58 ... Joe ColborneKenney Morrison, and Dustin Stevenson were the scratches in Edmonton.

Pouliot lifts Oilers past Flames with late goal

 It wasn’t the result Michael Frolik wanted, but his first game as a member of the Calgary Flames remained memorable nonetheless.
Frolik scored the lone goal in his debut, but Calgary fell 3-1 to the Edmonton Oilers in pre-season action at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday. The game marked the first time the 27-year-old pulled on a Flames jersey after signing a five-year contract on July 1st.
“Before the game I was excited for sure,” Frolik said. “It was a long summer and I was waiting for this time. It was a good debut and it felt pretty good.”
He impressed his boss with the performance.
“Michael is a great two-way player,” coach Bob Hartley started. “I think he’s a very underrated player. We saw his speed. We saw his hockey sense tonight. He can score goals and he’s going to be a big, big part of this hockey club. He can fill in on so many roles, so many responsibilities, that he’s going to give us a lot of options.”
Frolik saw 17:48 of ice time -- second only to Sean Monahanamongst forwards -- while skating alongside the likes of Sam BennettJohnny Gaudreau and Jiri Hudler as Hartley mixed lines.
He wasn’t the only one making his debut.
Defenceman Dougie Hamilton, the second of Calgary’s big offseason acquisitions, also played his first game for the Flames.
“For a first game it was okay,” said Hamilton, who logged 21:26 of ice.
“There's a lot of things I already know I can improve on and, I guess, it's good for me to recognize it right away. It's a good first step. A lot of things to do better, but I felt OK and I guess that's a positive.”
Like Frolik, he saw plenty of partners, too. At times, the 22-year-old was paired with Tyler WotherspoonTJ Brodie and captain Mark Giordano.
The shuffling of Frolik and Hamilton was by design.
“That was the plan,” Hartley said. “We’re trying with the addition of Dougie, the addition of Michael Frolik up front, we have some options. We’ll have some decisions to make and the best way to make those decisions, and they might change game-to-game, is if we get a taste of what certain players can do playing in certain roles with different players, I think it’ll be a good investment for the regular season.”
Benoit Pouliot scored with 2:52 remaining to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead late in the third period, converting on a 2-on-1 set-up by Jordan Eberle to beat Joni Ortio after Emile Poirier failed to connect on a pass with Giordano in the Oilers zone.
“It was a tough bounce,” Giordano said. “I thought I should have had that one in the slot there and instead it gets by me and they go down and score. I think it was good to get the first one out of the way and get some rust off and go from there.
“You'd rather have bad things happen to you now, obviously, than in the games that count but for us, at the end of the day, it's getting our game going and getting sharp again and we need to improve on that.”
With Ortio on the bench in favor of the extra attacker, the Flames couldn’t find the tying goal.
Justin Schultz added an empty netter with 7.1 seconds remaining for the 3-1 final.
Ortio finished with 12 saves on 13 shots in nearly 30 minutes of work.
After a scoreless first period, featuring a no-goal declaration on a Giordano punt and a Monahan crossbar, Frolik put Calgary on the board.
A quick outlet from Jonas Hiller to Johnny Gaudreau put the Flames in transition on the power play. Gaudreau spotted Frolik with a step on the Edmonton defence, and sprung the 27-year-old in alone, zipping a shot by the glove of Oilers starter Ben Scrivens to give Calgary a 1-0 lead 6:07 into the second period.
“It was a great play by Hiller,” Frolik said. “I think he made a nice pass there. Johnny made a great pass onto my stick and I just tried to shoot it and it went in. It was a great play by those two guys.”
It was a short-lived lead. Just 48 second later, Mark Letestu managed to snuff his sixth effort under the pad of Hiller and across the goal line to tie the game 1-1.
Hiller finished with 15 saves on 16 shots.
Frolik had two chances to regain the lead for the Flames. Sprung in alone shorthanded, the winger managed to get an initial deke off while being interfered with but couldn’t score. Awarded a penalty shot, Frolik went in alone again on Anders Nilsson, on in relief of Scrivens, but couldn’t beat the goaltender.
“The thing is, if you do that, you have to go upstairs,” Frolik said. “I didn’t do that. I wanted to go high and it didn’t. It’s kind of my move, but I have a couple more to use next time.
“I think scoring two would have been nice, but one is enough.
“Save it for the season.”

@CGY - RECAP: Oilers 3 at Flames 1

 Benoit Pouliot scored the game-winning goal 2:52 left in the third period as the Oilers earned a 3-1 split-squad victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Pouliot converted on a beautiful two-on-one pass from Jordan Eberle to break a 1-1 tie and give the visitors the win. The clutch play late in the game completed the split-squad sweep for the Oil, who wrapped up a 4-2 victory over the Flames in Edmonton just a few minutes prior.

“We liked our group,” said Oilers Assistant Coach Jay Woodcroft, who was manning the bench in Calgary while Todd McLellan guided the troops in Edmonton. “All 20 players contributed to the win. We liked our back end, we liked our goaltending and we had some real quality shifts from all four lines.”

“Overall, we worked extremely hard,” added Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “It was a battle pretty much the whole game. In a game like this, first preseason game, it was a little bit scrambly to start. I thought, as the game went on, we did a good job of calming that down and sticking to our systems, and it paid off for us in the end.” 

There were far more penalties than points in the opening frame, with each team logging six minutes in the sin bin. The Oilers had the best chance to score on the PP following a high-sticking double-minor to new Calgary blueliner Dougie Hamilton, but they were unable to solve Jonas Hiller during the four-minute man advantage. 

Edmonton’s best chance of the opening frame came on a three-on-one rush with Nugent-Hopkins setting up Phil McRae, but the PTO camp invite flicked his wrist shot just over the net.

The penalties continued in the middle frame, but the goals also followed as Calgary broke the goose egg on the PP 6:07 into the period. Johnny Gaudreau burst down the right wing and sent a cross-ice pass to Michal Frolik, who flicked a high wrist shot past Ben Scrivens to make it 1-0. Scrivens was replaced by Anders Nilsson midway through the second after turning aside 12 of 13 shots.

The Oilers replied just 48 seconds later, however, as new addition Mark Letestu got several whacks at a loose puck from the side of the net, eventually sneaking it past Hiller to even the score. Linemates Matt Hendricks and Lauri Korpikoski were also swarming the crease on the play, earning the assists in the process.

“To see that line burrow and poke away in the blue paint for not one or two but three chances, that was a big goal for our team,” Woodcroft said.

The Battle of Alberta was personified by Darnell Nurse and Hunter Smith 12:14 into the middle frame, as the 6-foot-7 Flame tracked down the Oilers blueliner and they dropped the gloves for a spirited scrap. After about 30 seconds of clutching and grabbing, both combatants got their fists free and landed a few shots, with Smith retreating to the locker room to have a cut on his face repaired.

Nilsson was in a groove between the Oilers pipes late in the middle frame, denying Frolik on a penalty shot and making a few other point-blank saves. The off-season acquisition from the Chicago Blackhawks, who starred in the KHL in 2014-15, finished his appearance with 17 saves as he battles to earn a spot in net with the NHL club.

“It was a huge turning point in the game for us,” Woodcroft said of the penalty shot save. “To have him not only make the save on the breakaway but also on the penalty shot, that was a big thing for our group. It emboldened us for the rest of the game.” 

“It felt great to play and put on the Oilers jersey – I’ve been waiting for that all summer,” Nilsson added. “I felt calm and felt I was tracking the puck really well. I felt in control and the guys helped me out a lot and made it easy for me.” 

After Pouliot put the Oilers up by one, Justin Schultz chipped in with an empty-netter to seal the deal.

The Oilers preseason schedule continues Wednesday night at Rexall Place as they host the Winnipeg Jets before hitting the road for back-to-back games against the Jets on Friday and Minnesota Wild on Saturday in Saskatoon.

Wild Falls 3-2 To Buffalo In Preseason Opener

The Minnesota Wild led through two periods, but the Buffalo Sabres scored twice in the third to defeat Minnesota 3-2 in each team's preseason opener on Monday.
The Sabres took their first lead of the game while killing a penalty in the third period. Jack Eichel managed to get pastJared Spurgeon at his defensive blue line, and carried the puck the distance on a breakaway, slipping it through the legs of Darcy Kuemper to make it 3-2 with a shorthanded goal.
The Sabres tied the game at two early in the third period on aMatt Moulson goal. Eichel drove toward the net, and sent a pass through the crease that deflected off Moulson and in.
Mikael Granlund power-play goal gave the Wild a 2-1 lead in the second period. After drawing a tripping penalty along the boards, Granlund was able to score off a rebound from the bottom of the circle.
The puck got worked inside to Mikko Koivu, who fed it back toRyan Suter at the point. He worked it quickly to Zach Parise at the dot, and Parise's one-time shot hit the post, deflecting right to Granlund's stick for a tap-in.
The Wild nearly took the lead just under three minutes into the second period. Koivu sent a cross-ice saucer pass onto the stick of Nino Niederreiter, but his shot hit the post and deflected wide.
The Sabres tied the game with 1:32 remaining in the first period. Forward Marcus Foligno gained the blue line, and took a shot toward goal. It was deflected by Johan Larsson, careened off the pad of Kuemper, and onto the stick of Nicolas Deslauriers who scored on the rebound to make it 1-1.
Minnesota controlled puck possession for most of the opening period, leading in shots 9-1 after 8:09 of play.
The Wild scored the game's first goal just past the midway mark of the first period. Zach Parise sent a point-to-point pass to Spurgeon. He walked down to the circle and with Jason Pominville screening in front, fired a slap shot over the glove of Chad Johnson to make it 1-0.