Mike Smith’s season debut went well.
In his first start since coming off long term injured reserve, the 38-year-old goaltender made 27 saves as the Edmonton Oilers downed the Ottawa Senators 3-1 Monday night.
“He was really strong, dialed in,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said after the game. “It was a solid first game for him.”
There were no goals in the first, but two fights broke out just two seconds apart. Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira and Senators forward Austin Watson squared off in the neutral zone. On the ensuing faceoff, Edmonton’s Zack Kassian and Ottawa’s Erik Gudbranson engaged in an extended tilt. Kassian didn’t return to the game after the fight.
Senators forward Evgeni Dadonov was credited for the first goal of the game 5:33 into the second. He was jousting for the puck with Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson, who accidentally shot it into his own net. The Oilers applied a lot of pressure late in the period and tied it up when forward Leon Draisaitl swiped in his eighth of the season.
Edmonton forward Tyler Ennis pulled off a slick move coming down the left side and fired a shot past Ottawa netminder Matt Murray to put the Oilers in front with 13:51 to go in the third.
“It was a big goal for us,” Ennis said.
The Oilers’ Josh Archibald took a pass from Connor McDavid and sealed it with an empty-netter with 1:10 left.
“Everybody was involved, felt like a good team win,” Tippett said.
Draisaitl and McDavid extended their point streaks to 10 games.
The Oilers and Senators will meet again on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Faceoff Show on 630 CHED starts at 3:30 p.m.
–With files from 630 CHED’s David Boles