The Edmonton Oilers overcame a strong goaltending effort from Calgary’s Dan Vladar to beat the Flames 2-1 in pre-season action Friday night at Rogers Place.
The Oilers opened the scoring while killing a penalty in the first period.
Kailer Yamamoto held onto the puck down low before putting it in front for Leon Draisaitl, who flipped the puck past Flames goaltender Dan Vladar. Dillon Dube pulled the Flames even about minutes later.
Late in the second, Connor McDavid collided with teammate Evander Kane in the neutral zone. McDavid was spun around and fell to the ice, remaining down for a few seconds before skating slowly to the bench. He returned to the game without missing a shift.
“I was trying to get out of the way, but those things happen,” Kane said. “I knew he was okay — he’s a big, strong guy.
“Anytime you don’t see it coming, you’re probably more surprised than anything.”
The Oilers dominated the second, outshooting the Flames 16-4, but couldn’t solve Vladar.
“Tip your hat to their goaltender, he played a heck of a game,” Woodcroft said post-game.
The Oilers had their first fight of the pre-season in the third period, when Darnell Nurse engaged in a brief scrap with Mitch McLain.
Brett Kulak gave the Oilers the lead with 11:05 left, taking a pass from Luke Esposito and sailing a long shot past Vladar.
Nurse and McLain tussled again late in the game.
“I would never want to pull back Darnell in that situation because I thought he tried to do it for the right reasons — he was sticking up for a teammate,” Woodcroft said.
“It’s part of what makes him of of the most feared defencemen in the league.”
“He’s obviously a leader on this team and seeing him step up and take care of that physical stuff for me is appreciated,” Evander Kane said.
Jack Campbell made his first appearance in the Oilers goal, stopping seven of eight shots in just over 31 minutes of work.
“It was nice to get in the new jersey and hear the new fans and the boys were buzzing out there,” Campbell said.
“He didn’t get a ton of work, but I thought he was clean with the puck and looked confident and big in the net,” Woodcroft said post-game.
Calvin Pickard went the rest of the way and turned away 14 pucks. Vladar finished with 37 saves.
The Oilers will play in Winnipeg on Saturday. It’s on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m. The game will start at 6 p.m.