Taylor Fedun’s first career NHL game couldn’t have gone much better than it did. He had a goal — the first of his NHL career — and was +2 on the night.
“I thought he was steady,” said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins. “I thought, for his first game he played well. We were asking our D to join the rush in certain situations. That play developed perfectly. It was something we actually worked on at the morning skate this morning and he was able to finish. What a great way to start your career, get a goal and an important win for our team.”
"It was awesome to get out there in the first place and get my legs under me," said Fedun. "I had the opportunity to jump into the play and ultimately finish. It was a pretty special night."
Fedun described his goal:
“They dumped in and we were able to get back to it. And it was a good session of chips and supports by our guys. Every time someone chipped it, someone was there and we slowly beat our guys with all the chipping. And as that happened there was more and more space for me to jump up and find a lane.”
He was also impressed with the feed he got from Nugent-Hopkins.
“It’s right on your tape. I didn’t even have to think about it. He made it pretty easy for me.”
The Oilers were slightly below the 50% line on Tuesday when it came to face-offs but coach Eakins felt that the team won the key draws and clearly that was enough to come away with two points on the night.
“You want to talk about face-offs, Arcobello ended up icing the puck and we had a real important draw with guys that were tired and Nuge really beared down on the draw so that’s another step in the right direction for him because he had struggled early and that was encouraging for me to see.”
Boyd Gordon was once again over 60% in the dot and won a key draw in the extra frame which ultimately led to the overtime winner.
“Those face-offs are extremely important. Our guys continue to work on their draws. Obviously, Boyd Gordon is the best on our team. It’s one of these things with our other centremen, you’ve got to let them go in and take draws. I could have Boyd Gordon take every draw but we’ve got to rely on these other guys and it’s something that they’re trying to improve on.
“It’s another 15 seconds before you can get into the zone and that’s if you can get in there cleanly with no pressure so (face-offs are) important.”
Mark Arcobello scored the first two goals of his NHL career tonight, and made them count. His first was a go-ahead marker in the second period with the game tied 1-1.
“He’s a big goalie and I played against him a lot of games in the American League,” Arcobello said of Jacob Markstrom, who spent a lot of time with the Oklahoma City Barons’ division rival San Antonio Rampage. “He crouched down a little too far and I put it exactly where I wanted which doesn’t always happen. I was happy to get that one.”
His second goal was even bigger, with the Oilers on a four-on-three power play in overtime. Arcobello wired a shot from the left circle.
“I knew he’d be moving with a pass coming across and I tried to get there as quick as I could. That was just the gravy to top off a good night and a big win,” said the rookie forward.
The two goals got a big monkey off the back of the forward, who had an excellent October with 10 assists but had not yet found the scoreboard.
“He’s getting his chances and when those guys are getting their chances, eventually they start going,” stated head coach Dallas Eakins. “Arco, boy, I think he probably could have had four (goals tonight) with a little luck so good on him. He was real solid for us tonight.”
Arcobello was relieved to finally dent the twine.
“I was feeling it a little bit,” he began. “Especially in my last real big chance in Phoenix I should have scored. I want to help the team win, too, that’s the biggest thing. The chances I’ve been missing could have helped our team win the game so it’s nice to be able to contribute tonight.”
Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins was very happy with how the team played on the defensive side of the puck tonight, despite a couple of late goals which pushed the game into overtime.
“I thought we took some baby steps in the right direction defensively. We went in with a fairly detailed plan but with some simple, simple goals we wanted to accomplish and our guys did that,” Eakins said. “And we were rewarded for our defensive play with some odd-man rushes that we were able to convert.”
Eakins also liked that despite the adversity, the team never wavered from their game plan and ultimately it paid off with the OT victory.
“I liked that we stayed in the fight. We were up 3-1 in the third period and then they end up with a goal to tie it. It was a broken play, a fluttering curving puck. It was more bad luck than anything. I liked our third period and the way our guys dug their heels in.
“I thought we played a great third period. This wasn’t a period where we had two massive breakdowns and played on our heels. I highly doubt they had more than three scoring chances in the whole period. I was happy with our period.”
The head coach did let a few thoughts creep into his head as the late scoring play by the Panthers threatened to extend the Oilers five-game winless skid.
“All that was going through my head when they got the third one was ‘geez, what’s it going to take? We’ve played a real solid road game here.’
“After they got their second I thought our guys were good on the bench. I called a time out there and our guys were focused, they were saying all the right things. I liked it. It’s a different thing when you’re up 3-1 or 4-1 and start playing a careless game and you quit playing and we didn’t do that. That’s not what happened here tonight.”
The NHLPA announced via twitter today that former Edmonton forward Jason Arnott has retired from professional hockey after 18 NHL seasons.
Arnott played in 1,244 NHL games, scoing 417 goals and adding 521 assists. He had stints in Edmonton, New Jersey, Dallas, Nashville, Washington and St. Louis.
Arnott was selected 7th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Oilers and played for the blue and orange from 1993-1998. He was traded by Edmonton, along with Bryan Muir, to New Jersey in '98 for Bill Guerin and Valeri Zelepukin.
His best season with the Oilers was his rookie year in which he scored 68 points, including a career-high tying 33 goals (He matched 33 goals in 2008-2009 with the Nashville Predators).
Arnott scored the cup-winning goal in double-overtime of game six of the 2000 Stanley Cup championship.
Playing in Florida is a homecoming for Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins on several fronts.
“I swung through here twice as a player and spent the first eight years of my life up near Tampa. Lots of connections to the state and this organization,” Eakins stated.
Eakins was born in Dade City, Florida which is about 35 miles north of Tampa. He also played for the Panthers from 1993-95 and again in 1997-98 for a total of 41 games.
“I think the one thing I remember the most here is, we didn’t have great teams but boy the teams stuck together and we checked really well. It was something we took great pride in.”
Roger Neilson was the head coach during his first stint with the Panthers. Eakins and Neilson go way back as the Oilers coach was a disciple of Neilson’s hockey school in Peterborough, Ontario at age 12.
“(Playing for) my second father, Roger Nielson, was a special thing as well.”
The lines are:
Ryan Hamilton has been assigned to the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons, the Oilers announced today.
Hamilton played two games for the Oilers during his call-up and had no points. In between the two games, he missed 11 games with a knee injury.
The Oilers have announced the recall of defenceman Taylor Fedun from Oklahoma City of the AHL.
This season, Fedun has played in 12 games for the Barons scoring a goal and three assists.
The 25-year-old could play in his first-career NHL game, as he joins the team in Florida before their tilt against the Panthers tomorrow night.
Fedun spent the entire 2012-13 season in the American Hockey League, amassing 27 points (8-19-27) in 70 games. He also added three goals and three assists in 17 playoff games with Oklahoma City.
Fedun was an undrafted free agent signing of the Oilers.