Kyle Turris had the game-deciding goal in a shootout as the Edmonton Oilers outlasted the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in the season opener Wednesday night at Rogers Place.
“It’s the first game, but it feels like we’ve been playing regular season games for the last two or three,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said.
LISTEN BELOW: Dave Tippett
Jesse Puljujarvi scored the first goal of the season late in the first period. He gathered in the rebound of a Darnell Nurse shot and flipped the rebound past Thatcher Demko.
Zach Hyman tallied his first goal with the Oilers on a power play with 2:48 to go in the second. He had an open net tap-in after taking a pass from Leon Draisaitl.
“He’s one of those guys you send over the boards and you know what you’re going to get,” Tippett said of Hyman.
“He’s the most annoying player to play against,” Nurse said after nine meetings against Hyman’s Toronto Maple Leafs in 2020-21. “He’s always in your back pocket, no matter if you hit him or you play him hard in the corners, he’s always coming back. And on top of that he plays on the power play.”
LISTEN BELOW: Connor McDavid & Zach Hyman
The Canucks cashed in on their fifth power play of the night when Oliver Ekman-Larsson drilled a long shot past Mike Smith with 7:32 left in the third. Quinn Hughes fooled Smith with a shot to the blocker side to pull the Canucks even with 2:49 on the clock.
Neither team scored in the first three rounds of the shootout. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Bo Horvat scored in round four. Turris drove a low shot past Demko in round five, and then Tanner Pearson was denied to give the Oilers the win.
“I’ll be the first to admit I had a bad year last year,” Turris said.
“Coming back I want to prove myself and that’s what I’m working towards doing. To get the shift in overtime and to be out in the shootout, it definitely helps build the confidence and is something I have to take advantage of,” Turris said.
LISTEN BELOW: Darnell Nurse & Kyle Turris
Smith made 36 saves including three in overtime. Connor McDavid had two assists.
The Oilers will host the Calgary Flames Saturday night.
With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott