NHL

Perron leads the way as Oilers down Canucks

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The Canadian Press
9/22/2013 2:05:43 AM
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EDMONTON -- It appears the Edmonton Oilers have another weapon to add to their already potent arsenal.

David Perron scored a goal and added an assist on Saturday as the Edmonton Oilers came away with a 5-2 exhibition victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

The 25-year-old from Sherbrooke, Que., upped his pre-season totals to three goals and four points in his first three games with the Oilers since coming in an off-season trade with St. Louis for fellow forward Magnus Paajarvi.

Perron was pleased when he first learned of the trade because he would be leaving a strict defensive system with the Blues and joining the likes of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov in a more free-wheeling system with the Oilers.

That feeling hasn't changed since he officially arrived in Edmonton.

"I'm even more excited now," said Perron. "I'm trying to do my best to be a factor on both sides of the puck and produce every night. Hopefully I can keep improving. This is just the start.

"It's nice to be coming to a team that is a little more offensive oriented. It is not like St. Louis wasn't trying to score, but it was pretty evident that they are a defence-first hockey team."

Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins believes his club could have a gem in Perron.

"I think we have a lot there," said Eakins.. "He can score, he competes hard and he's not afraid to get his nose dirty. We've let him loose on the penalty kill a little bit. I think we have a very well-rounded player and another guy who is excited to play hockey. He really likes to play the game and that's important."

Sam Gagner, Ryan Smyth, Yakupov and Will Acton also scored for the Oilers (3-1-1).

Mike Santorelli and Jannik Hansen replied for the Canucks (0-3-0).

The Canucks got on the board with the game's first shot 1:20 into the first as Santorelli snuck the puck through the pads of Oilers starting goalie Jason LaBarbera.

Edmonton had a full two minute five-on-three power play seven minutes into the opening period after a head shot on Hall, but were unable to get a puck past Vancouver goalie Eddie Lack.

The Oilers tied the game on the power play with seven minutes left in the first as Perron sent a pass through the crease, giving Gagner an easy tap-in to an open net.

Edmonton went up 2-1 four minutes into the second period with a short-handed goal from Perron, who picked up a rebound and sent a backhander in for his third of the pre-season.

The Canucks lost centre Jordan Schroeder midway through the second as he had to be helped off the ice favouring his left leg after blocking a shot.

Gagner also left the game late in the second after taking a Zack Kassian stick in the face and losing several teeth and did not return.

The game stayed 2-1 until 15:58 of the third period when a puck deflected to Smyth at the doorstep and he shovelled it past Lack for a two-goal lead.

Less than a minute later the Canucks responded as Hansen picked the corner on Oilers backup Tyler Rimmer to make it 3-2.

Edmonton put the game away shortly afterwards, however, as Yakupov beat Lack with a quick wrist shot and Acton scored into an empty net.

Notes: It was the second consecutive pre-season game between the two teams. Edmonton won the first contest 4-1 in Vancouver on Wednesday. The Oilers and Canucks will next meet in regular season play on Oct. 5 in Vancouver. Winger David Booth was expected to make his first appearance in a Canucks game since March 16th, but left the morning skate after just five minutes with what was described as groin stiffness. Chris Higgins, Alex Edler and Schroeder made their pre-season debuts for Vancouver... Neither Daniel or Henrik Sedin made the trip to Edmonton. Defenceman Anton Belov made his Oilers debut after arriving at training camp a few days late due to visa problems. The six-foot-four Russian was a coveted free agent after a career-high 26 points in 46 games for Omsk Avangard in the KHL last season.

Perron and Hamilton (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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