Mike Smith is ready and ready to start the NHL regular season.
The veteran goalkeeper made 37 saves, an assist and nearly scored a goal on an empty-net effort as the Edmonton Oilers secured a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks in NHL pre-season play on Thursday.
“As camp progresses, you want to build and build and build your game and when the season is at its peak and play some of your best hockey,” Smith, 39, said. “I think my game is where it needs to be right now.”
Oilers newcomer Derek Ryan said Smith didn’t look like he was just playing another pre-season fling.
“She was dialed in tonight,” he said. “He’s just a fierce competitor. You see it on the ice where he’s fighting for every puck, fighting for every angle. He’s like another defender back there, passes plays and outlets and Beats his forecheck. He is an elite asset to be here.”
Leon Dresitl and Conor McDavid each had one goal and one assist, and Ryan also recorded a goal for the Oilers (5–1–1), who won their third straight.
Quinn Hughes and Nick Peyton answered for the Canucks (2-4-0), who have lost two straight.
“I felt great at the beginning, felt a little jaded at the start, after not playing in a while,” said Hughes, who played his first pre-season game. “It was exciting to go out there and play again in front of fans.”
Edmonton’s lethal power play was given a two-man advantage and was redeemed seven minutes into the first period when McDavid sent it to Dracital, who once struck Vancouver goalkeeper Jaroslav Halak.
The Oilers power play resumed with 1:26 left in the opening frame when Smith sent a long pass up the ice and McDavid shorted Halak for his third goal and a puck for the ninth point in four pre-season games. kept.
The Canucks got one back with a power play of their own as Hughes drove a long shot through traffic to Smith two minutes into the second period.
Vancouver scored the game’s fourth power-play goal three minutes later as Peyton passed Elias Petersen into the net.
Edmonton took the lead with an even-strength marker in the middle of the middle period as Ryan tipped in a Duncan Keith point shot.
There was a horror late in the third when Oilers forward Zac Kasian hit his head on the ice with his helmet after a fight with Jack McEwan. Kasyan was motionless for a while, but later with help got back on his feet in the dressing room.
Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said, “He was hit on the head pretty good when he hit the ice, but he’s in good spirits.” “He was telling jokes when I came and saw him after the game.
“It was one of those moments that haunts you. You’d never want to see this happen. It was a freak thing. His helmet comes off and he falls the wrong way and bangs his head. This Lucky he seems fine.”
Halak made 39 saves in damages.
It was the first of three consecutive games between the Oilers and the Canucks. They will kick off a pre-season game on Saturday in Vancouver before facing each other again to begin the regular season on Wednesday in Edmonton.
Petterson and Hughes played for the Canucks for the first time in the pre-season after agreeing to a contract extension last weekend and also playing their first exhibition game, Oilers defenseman Chris Russell, who was recovering from an upper body issue. Oilers forward Kailar Yamamoto was out with a potential setback, opening the door for veteran Kyle Turris to move to the second line of the competition, Oilers optimist Brendan Perlini, who leads the league with five pre-season goals, There was a healthy bruise.