It was a dramatic turnaround for the Edmonton Oilers and for Kyle Turris in Monday night’s 5-2 win over the Seattle Kraken.
With 17:20 to go in the third, Seattle forward Jordan Eberle broke in alone on Edmonton goaltender Mikko Koskinen, who came up with the save. It kept the Oilers in front 3-2.
“It was a really big save. I was backchecking and thinking this could be a really tough night if this is the third goal I’m on for,” said Turris, who at the time was -2 on the night.
Just 17 seconds after that save, Turris took a feed from Devin Shore and put the Oilers ahead 4-2.
“He made a beautiful pass, right on my tape — flat — and I just tapped it in,” he recalled.
It was Turris’ first goal in a season that sees him finding a new role in the NHL. Turris, who turned 32 in August, has spent years as a scorer playing on teams’ top two lines. He is now playing on the Oilers’ fourth line.
“Through camp, I was trying to contribute, to have energy every game, every shift,” Turris said. “It felt good to help in the shootout at the beginning of the year, to chip in on the second power-play unit whenever we get a chance, and to score last night.”
“Veteran players who have played in the league a long time like playing in the NHL,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said. “They’re going to put the work in. They’re going to go to camp and play the right way and do the right things.
“If a young player comes up and takes their job, that’s one thing, but they’re not going to give it away.”
Turris joined the Oilers last season with the hope that he would be a support scorer. Instead, he had only five points in 27 games. He realized he was going to have to transform his game and his body to keep his spot in the NHL.
“It was really nice to get a full, normal summer of training with (strength and conditioning coach) Chad (Drummond) here,” Turris said. “He was a huge help. I put on a lot of muscle, weight and explosiveness.
“Right off the bat, I think that gave me a lot of confidence and physical ability I didn’t have before.”
“I give him credit,” Tippett said. “He did put a hard summer in. He’s played in the league a long time. Sometimes it just comes to the point where you’re not willing to put that work in. He went way the other way.
“He said he would put the work in and see where it goes.”
The Oilers (7-1) are back at it Wednesday taking on Nashville at Rogers Place. The Faceoff Show on 630 CHED begins at 5 p.m. The game is at 8 p.m.