Edmonton Oilers end pre-season with 5-3 win over Seattle Kraken

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Evander Kane scored the game-winner with 1:58 left to give the Edmonton Oilers a 5-3 pre-season win over the Seattle Kraken at Rogers Place on Friday night.

Seattle Kraken’ goalie Philipp Grubauer (31) makes the save as Edmonton Oilers’ Evander Kane (91) and Jamie Oleksiak (24) look for the rebound during second period NHL pre-season action in Edmonton on Friday, October 7, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

“I thought it was a competitive, back-and-forth game,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said after the game. “Both teams had good moments.

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“I think we found a way to win a couple games where we didn’t have our best,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said.

The Kraken took the lead with seven minutes left in the first when Daniel Sprong flicked in a second chance at the side of the net. In the final minute of the first, Oilers defenceman Tyson Barrie ripped a power-play point shot past Seattle netminder Philipp Grubauer to make it 1-1.

“Everyone’s excited to get the regular season going, and we’re no different,” McDavid said. “There are 32 teams that think they have a shot at (the Stanley Cup), and we’re one of those teams.

“You’re trying to get through camp healthy first and foremost, and that’s a ‘check.'”

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Seattle rookie forward Matty Beniers scored the only goal of the second period. Andre Burakovsky missed an open net for the Kraken, but the puck went off Beniers who chopped it past Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell.

“The guys were doing a great job tonight — the whole pre-season actually — of blocking shots and playing hard, and I think we’re all ready to get at it in the regular season,” Campbell said.

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Five minutes into the third, Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi sliced in a sharp, goal-mouth pass from McDavid to tie it at two.

“That will help him feel good about his game and where he’s at,” Woodcroft said post-game.

“When he was with Connor, it brought out some of his natural skillset — Connor has a way of doing that for people — and it was a big one for us. They scored some big goals.”

“He’s a big body, skates well and is at his best when he’s physical and getting in on the forechecks and winning pucks back for his linemates,” McDavid said of Puljujarvi.

With 4:33 left, Grubauer tried to clear the puck but it hit the onrushing Leon Draisaitl and trickled in to give the Oilers a 3-2 lead.

Jared McCann fired home a power-play goal with 2:18 left, but Kane scored just 20 seconds later off a pass from Draisaitl. McDavid added an empty-netter.

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The Oilers will open the regular season at home against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. You can listen to the game live on 630 CHED, beginning with The Faceoff Show at 6 p.m. The actual game starts at 8 p.m.

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–With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED

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