Patrick Russell had finally scored his first NHL goal.
And then he hadn’t.
“Tough break. You have to look past it. I guess I’ll get to celebrate it twice now,” said Russell, who beat Jacob Markstrom with 3:54 left in the first period Sunday night in Vancouver. However, the Canucks successfully challenged for goalie interference, and the goal was taken off the board.
“I didn’t know how to react,” said Russell. “It was tough, but at least we won the game.”
“It sucks. You feel a for a guy who goes through that,” said captain Connor McDavid. “I’m sure he’ll get another one.”
“When a guy scores his first goal, you see the reaction of the guys on the ice and guys on the bench. They know who is going to get his first one. Everyone is really happy,” said head coach Dave Tippett.
Russell has had a few close calls in the 24 games he’s played this season.
“You can’t get frustrated. You have to keep going. I feel like I bring a lot of other aspects to the game,” said Russell.
Lately, he’s mostly made an impact grinding on the forecheck with Markus Granlund and Gaetan Haas.
“He gives everything he has out there. He’s helped out on the penalty kill and gets in there on the forecheck,” explained McDavid.
“He’s a prototypical role player. He goes up and down his wing. He does a lot of things right,” said Tippett. “He’s a stabilizing player.”
The Oilers will start a four-game homestand Wednesday night against the Ottawa Senators. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will miss his fifth straight game with a hand issue. Zack Kassian won’t play for the second straight game with a back injury.
Defenceman Matt Benning has been put on injured reserve after blocking a shot against the Canucks.
Goaltender Mike Smith will return to the lineup after not dressing on Sunday.
Goaltender Stuart Skinner and defenceman Caleb Jones have been assigned to Bakersfield in the AHL while blueliner Joel Persson has been called up.