NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Edmonton
(Sunday, October 9th)
Final Score: Edmonton 2, Pittsburgh 1 (SO)
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Rookie sensation Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tied the game late in regulation and Ales Hemsky scored the game-winner in the shootout, as the Edmonton Oilers started the season with a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Nugent-Hopkins, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, had three shots on net in his NHL debut for the Oilers, who have had the worst record in the league in each of the past two years.
"It was really exciting, especially playing against a team that's supposed to be really good this year, Pittsburgh," Nugent-Hopkins said. "It was huge to get two points out of this game."
Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves for the victors.
Kris Letang scored the lone goal for the Penguins, who had won their first two games of the season.
Brent Johnson turned aside 34-of-35 shots in his first start of the year for Pittsburgh, which was without forward Evgeni Malkin (lower body).
"It's a tough way to start the year on the Canadian west coast trip," Johnson said. "I thought we played well all three games."
The Penguins wasted little time in taking a 1-0 lead. While on the power play, Letang fired a slap shot from the left point. The puck got through traffic in front before sneaking past Dubnyk at the 3:13 mark.
Edmonton had 13 shots in the first stanza and went 0-for-4 on the power play.
"I thought special teams was such a factor. It used up a lot of our energy and a lot of our minutes, either killing penalties or on the power play," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "We didn't have enough 5-on-5, enough gas in the tank to continue to push and get that opportunity to get that second goal."
Johnson continued his stellar play in the second frame, stopping eight shots to keep it 1-0.
Nugent-Hopkins got the crowd into the game with 4:55 to play in regulation. A loose puck was picked up in the slot by Nugent-Hopkins, who managed to backhand the puck into the net with a defender all over his back.
Pittsburgh was given a great chance to go back in front when Ryan Smyth received a major for elbowing.
Edmonton killed off the long power play to keep it 1-1.
Following a scoreless overtime period, Edmonton's Jordan Eberle got the shootout started with a goal. Letang was then stopped by Dubnyk.
Hemsky put the pressure on the Penguins with a goal in the second round. James Neal kept the visitors in the game with a goal. But Steve Sullivan failed to keep the shootout going for Pittsburgh.
The Penguins had won four straight against the Oilers...Edmonton hasn't finished higher than 19th in the NHL standings since '06, when they made it to the Stanley Cup...The Penguins went 1-for-8 on the power play, while the Oilers went 0-for-5 on the man advantage.
10/10 01:25:35 ET