EDMONTON - Patrick Maroon looks like he is ready to pick up where he left off last season.
Maroon had a goal and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers came away with a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in exhibition action on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old had eight goals and 14 points in 16 games with the Oilers after joining Edmonton at last season's trade deadline. He's come to training camp leaner and more fit, having lost more than 15 pounds.
"I felt really good out there tonight," said Maroon, who was returning from a leg injury suffered earlier in the pre-season. "These pre-season games are huge for guys like me to get my feet underneath me. I feel a bit different than I did last season. I'm just trying to find my game and fit wherever I can fit in playing in this lineup."
Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said he's been seeing good things out of Maroon.
"Absolutely," he said. "When he is playing well. He's big and holds onto pucks, he makes tight little plays and goes to the net. It looks like he is really enjoying the game when he is playing well, and that's the kind of night that he had."
Mark Letestu also scored for the Oilers, who improved to 4-2-0 in the pre-season.
Nick Sorensen replied for the Ducks, who are winless in exhibition at 0-4-1, but are far from having iced anything resembling their final team to date.
"We're putting some young players in some very difficult situations," said Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle. "Some of them are going forward, and some of them are plateauing, and some are regressing. We didn't see to have any execution with the puck, we just slapped it around and were caught panicking far too many times in our own zone.
"Tonight wasn't one of our better efforts, that's for sure."
Edmonton started the scoring three minutes in as Oscar Klefbom's point shot deflected right to Maroon in front and he easily put it into the empty net with Ducks goalie John Gibson going the other way.
The Ducks tied it up with just under five minutes left in the opening period, as Sorensen picked off an ill-conceived Jesse Puljujarvi pass and beat Oilers starter Cam Talbot in tight.
The Oilers retook the lead with five minutes to play in the second period as Maroon sent a backhand pass from behind the net to Letestu, who scored while being hauled down.
There was no scoring in the third period.
Edmonton plays its two remaining pre-season games at home on Thursday against Winnipeg and Saturday vs. Vancouver. The Ducks travel to San Jose to play the Sharks on Wednesday and then return home to face them again on Sunday to close out exhibition play.
Notes: The Ducks only had four goals through their first four pre-season games… Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl played for the first time after returning from playing for Team Europe in the World Cup… Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler have still not played for the Ducks after also participating in the World Cup.