Oilers beat Flames to win pre-season debut at new arena

The Edmonton Oilers christened their shiny, new home, Rogers Place with a split-squad win over the Calgary Flames in their preseason opener by a 4-2 score.

EDMONTON — Tyler Pitlick had a goal and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers won their pre-season debut at the new Rogers Place Arena, coming away with a 4-2 victory over the visiting Calgary Flames in a split-squad game on Monday.

Iiro Pakarinen, Ryan Vesce and Kris Versteeg also scored for the Oilers.

Kenney Morrison and Freddie Hamilton replied with the goals for the Flames.

Edmonton got the first goal in its new building, as Pakarinen banked home a rebound during a scramble in front of Flames starting goalie Jon Gilles.

Calgary countered with seven minutes remaining in the opening frame when Mark Jankowski sprung Morrison for a partial breakaway and beat Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot high to the glove side.

The Flames went up 2-1 not long afterwards as a Hamilton shot banked off Edmonton defender Oscar Klefbom and dribbled past Talbot.

Eetu Laurikainen came in to replace Talbot in the Edmonton net for the third period.

The Oilers tied the game three-and-a-half minutes into the third on the power play as late training camp invite Vesce tipped a Matthew Benning shot past Gilles.

Edmonton grabbed the lead six minutes into the third as Pitlick swooped in to deposit the rebound of Taylor Beck’s backhander on the doorstep.

Midway through the third, Oilers college free-agent signing Drake Caggiula was awarded a penalty shot, but shot the puck over the net.

The Oilers made it 4-2 as Pitlick made a nice feed to set up NHL veteran and PTO camp invitee Versteeg.

Notes: The Oilers also beat the Flames 2-1 in Calgary in another split-squad game Monday. … Edmonton’s official opener for regular season play is on October 12th against the Flames. … Oilers centres Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will join the team for camp on Tuesday. They took a few days off after suiting up for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey.

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