Vancouver Canucks’ goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes the save on Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) as Elias Pettersson (40) defends during second period NHL pre-season action in Edmonton on Thursday, October 7, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Draisaitl, McDavid lead Edmonton Oilers to 3-2 exhibition win over Vancouver Canucks

Freshly signed stars Pettersson, Hughes return to action for B.C. side

Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid each had a goal and an assist as the host 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.

READ MORE: Vancouver Canucks sign stars Pettersson, Hughes to multi-year contracts

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.


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