Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid lead Edmonton Oilers past Vancouver Canucks 3-2

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EDMONTON — Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid each had a goal and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers came away with a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday in NHL pre-season play.

Derek Ryan also recorded a goal for the Oilers (5-1-1), who won their third in a row.

Quinn Hughes and Nic Petan replied for the Canucks (2-4-0), who have lost two straight.

Edmonton’s lethal power play was given a two-man advantage and cashed in seven minutes into the first period when McDavid sent it across to Draisaitl, who blasted a one-timer past Vancouver goalie Jaroslav Halak.

The Oilers power play struck again with 1:26 left in the opening frame when goalie Mike Smith sent a long pass up ice and McDavid put a puck past Halak short to the glove side for his third goal and ninth point in four pre-season games.

The Canucks got one back with a power play of their own as Hughes blasted a long shot through traffic past Smith two minutes into the second period.

Vancouver scored the game’s fourth power-play goal three minutes later as Petan tipped an Elias Pettersson pass into the net.

Edmonton regained the lead with an even-strength marker midway through the middle period as Ryan tipped in a Duncan Keith point shot.

There was a scary situation late in the third when Oilers forward Zack Kassian hit his head on the ice with his helmet popped off after a fight with Zack MacEwan. Kassian laid motionless for a while, but was later able to head to the dressing room on his feet, albeit with help.

Halak made 39 saves, while Smith stopped 35 shots.

It was the first of three consecutive games between the Oilers and Canucks. They will close out pre-season play on Saturday in Vancouver before facing each other again to start the regular season on Wednesday back in Edmonton.

Notes: Pettersson and Hughes played for the Canucks for the first time in the pre-season after finally agreeing to contract extensions last weekend… Also playing his first exhibition game was Oilers defenceman Kris Russell, who was recovering from an upper body issue… Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto was out with a possible concussion, opening the door for veteran Kyle Turris to move up to the second line for the contest… Oiler hopeful Brendan Perlini, who leads the league with five pre-season goals, was a healthy scratch.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2021.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

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