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.