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New captain McDavid scores twice as Oilers top Jets 5-2 in pre-season

Winnipeg Jets' goalie Connor Hellebuyck (37) is scored on by Edmonton Oilers' Mark Letestu (55) during third period NHL pre-season action in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday October 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
October 06, 2016 - 9:32 PM

EDMONTON - It didn't take long for Connor McDavid to make himself right at home.

Playing his first game in the lavish new Rogers Place, McDavid scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers won their second straight pre-season game, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Thursday.

"It felt good, it was a good way to start," said McDavid, who also played his first game since becoming the youngest player in NHL history to be named captain. "It was a good win for us. They basically had their full lineup in, minus a few top forwards.

"I missed playing in front of Oilers fans over the summer. To come into this beautiful rink and have a good game like this, that made it all even better."

Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said it was good to see his young star put the captaincy hype behind him so quickly.

"We talked about him staying inside his skin and not changing who he was just because he had a 'C' on his jersey," McLellan said. "He did a very good job tonight, that whole line (with Jordan Eberle and Milan Lucic) was dangerous. They didn't play much in the third period, but they were dangerous in the first two."

Patrick Maroon, Mark Letestu and Tyler Pitlick had the other goals for the Oilers, who scored twice shorthanded and improved to 5-2-0 in exhibition action.

Brandon Tanev and Bryan Little responded for the Jets, who dropped to 4-2-0.

"We weren't so good at skating and battling and they were just one step ahead of us all the time," said Jets rookie Patrick Laine. "It was a hard game. We gave up some easy goals, including a couple of goals on the same power play. We will learn from this game."

The Oilers struck first on the power play five minutes into the opening period. McDavid took a drop pass from Eberle and danced past a defender before beating Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck. It was McDavid's second goal of the pre-season.

Edmonton had 11 first-period shots to Winnipeg's 10 on Oilers backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson.

The Oilers made it 2-0 on another power-play goal. Maroon stole the puck off the faceoff and waited for Hellebuyck to go down before sliding the puck in from a bad angle for his second goal and fourth point of the pre-season.

Edmonton rookie Drake Caggiula was awarded his second penalty shot in exhibition play a couple of minutes later, but once again was unable to score on the opportunity. He left the game with an injury later in the period, as did coach McLellan, who was hit with a puck.

Winnipeg got on the board midway through the second as Tanev got loose on a breakaway and beat Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, who came in while Gustavsson dealt with an equipment problem.

Edmonton went up 3-1 four minutes into the third as McDavid bounced off a check and sped up ice to score a short-handed goal. The Oilers then got another short-handed goal on the same penalty, as Letestu scored his second of the pre-season.

The Oilers got their fifth goal of the game from Pitlick during a scramble in front midway through the third.

Little got one back for the Jets with four minutes remaining.

Both teams conclude exhibition play on Saturday. The Oilers host the Vancouver Canucks and the Jets are in Minnesota.

Notes: These two teams met last Friday with Winnipeg winning 5-1. Mark Scheifele, who had four points in that game, and Blake Wheeler each lead the way for the Jets with five points through two games, but neither player made the trip to Edmonton. … The Jets and Oilers will face off in the Heritage Classic outdoor game on Oct. 23 in Winnipeg.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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