The Edmonton Oilers came from behind in the third period for a wild 6-5 win over the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday night at Rogers Place.
“It was kind of a sloppy game,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said.
“They can’t all be masterpieces. It was good. We found a way to get two points. That’s a good thing going on the road.”
The teams combined for five goals in the first period, with Ducks defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk starting it off just after the five-minute mark. Zack Kassian tapped in a pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for his first of the season.
“Good teams find ways to win,” Kassian said.
“In past years, we would’ve found ways to lose that game, but tonight we found a win,” he added. “Whenever you can start the year 3-0, that’s a positive step, and now we need to take that energy and bring it on the road.”
With just over five minutes to go in the first, Mike Smith made a big save on Trevor Zegras.
The Oilers quickly transitioned the puck to Connor McDavid, who beat Anthony Stolarz five-hole on a breakaway. Just 15 seconds later, Sam Steel beat Smith from a sharp angle to make it 2-2.
The Ducks took two penalties on the same play in the final minute of the period. McDavid set up Leon Draisaitl for a one-timer, and the Oilers were up 3-2.
The Ducks struck twice in 1:13 midway through the second. Nic Deslauriers beat Smith blocker side, then Steel cut in front and slid in his second of the night.
Smith left the game with 8:25 to go in the second, having allowed four goals on 15 shots.
“He just tweaked something that he didn’t want to hurt any worse. Lower-body injury and he’s day-to-day,” Tippett said.
“He’s going to see a doctor in the morning, just to check things out.”
Kassian struck on the power play early in the third, redirecting a power play pass from Evan Bouchard. Bouchard then put the Oilers ahead with a weird goal. From the right-wing corner, he poked the puck toward the Ducks net. It ticked off Stolarz’s left skate and snuck into the net.
“I honestly still don’t know how it went in, but I’ll take it,” Bouchard said.
Koskinen made his best save of the night late in the third, shooting the right pad to stop Adam Henrique with Stolarz on the bench for an extra attacker. Draisaitl scored an empty netter with 1:01 on the clock. Shattenkirk registered a late goal to round out the scoring.
“You don’t want to give up five goals ever. That means you have to scramble offensively to win a game and we don’t want to be a team like that,” Draisaitl said. “There’s lots of things we can do better defensively and we’ll work on it and get better at it.”
“I just want to have fun and, obviously, it’s not easy to go in and you don’t want to see (Smith) going down, but when I went in there, I just wanted to have fun. That’s my mindset,” Koskinen said.
Koskinen stopped 20 of 21 shots to get the win.
The Oilers, 3-0, will visit the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.
With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott