Jackpot! Edmonton Oilers cash in against Vegas

Edmonton Oilers' Adam Larsson (6), Oscar Klefbom (77) and Jujhar Khaira (16) celebrate a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights during first period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Tuesday November 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The first-ever meeting between the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights turned into a rout.

Thirteen of the Oilers’ 18 skaters had at least a point as Edmonton lit up Vegas 8-2 Tuesday night at Rogers Place.

“Eight goal nights don’t happen very often [and] it will be a while before we get another one of those, but just the freedom to play and have a little fun, scoring is fun,” Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said after the game. “Tonight, a lot of them [players] got rewarded.

“It was a little more relaxed on the bench and guys could have a little more fun in the game. We haven’t had that for a long time.”

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“We kind of put everything together tonight and things went well for us, but we can’t get away from that now,” said Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who chipped in with two goals of his own. “Obviously a night like tonight is good for the whole group. You get some confidence and other guys are getting touches and stuff. Personally, it’s starting to roll a bit and teamwise, the same thing.”

The Oilers opened the scoring 6:28 into the game with their first shorthanded goal of the season. Jujhar Khaira chose to pass on a two-on-one and Oscar Klefbom was able to convert from a sharp angle. Late in the period, on a power play, Patrick Maroon centred to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who snapped home his seventh of the season. Just 57 seconds later, Maroon wired a pass from Leon Draisaitl right under the crossbar to make it 3-0.

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The Oilers added another one halfway through the second period when Matt Benning tipped in a Klefbom point shot. Vegas finally hit the board at 14:41 of the second when Pierre-Edouard Bellemare ripped a shot over Cam Talbot’s left shoulder.

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The Oilers didn’t let up in the third period. Connor McDavid scored a power play goal 57 seconds into the session. James Neal got a quick reply for Vegas, but the Oilers came back with goals from McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins and Mark Letestu.

Dylan Ferguson replaced Maxime Lagace as the Golden Knights’ goalie halfway through the third. Ferguson, an emergency call-up from the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, became the fifth goalie to play for Vegas this season.  The modern NHL record for goalies used in a season is seven.

“The other guy [Lagace] was cramping up a bit, so we just said we will get the other kid in there and give him a chance and he’s a great kid and went in there and battled hard,” Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant said after the game. “They were getting goals and when he [Lagace] went down… [he] was a little sore, so we just wanted to make sure and get him ready for the next game.”

Talbot made 22 saves for the win. McDavid finished with two goals and an assist. Edmonton was 3 for 3 on the power play and 4 for 4 on the penalty kill.

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Prior to the game, the Oilers trade Jussi Jokinen to Los Angeles for Mike Cammalleri.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers acquire sniper Mike Cammalleri from Kings

“Well he’s a shooter,” McLellan said of the acquisition. “Since he entered the league, the one thing he’s had is an incredible shot, quick release – he knows where the net is and he’s obviously still doing that this year. He’s put up some goals and some assists in L.A.

“We think he can come in and use that shot. It’s not that we haven’t created opportunities, it’s that we haven’t finished on a lot of them. So if we can continue to create and he happens to be the receiver of some of those passes, then maybe we get a little more offence out of him.”

The Oilers improve to 7-9-2 on the season. They’ll host St. Louis on Thursday.

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