Souray’s late goal lifts Oilers over Islanders
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)—Sheldon Souray(notes) scored the game-winner with just 2:15 to play giving the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night, spoiling the preseason debut of John Tavares(notes).
Tavares, the top pick in the NHL draft this summer, was held scoreless in the contest. The OHL phenom was battling flu symptoms Monday and was unavailable for the Islanders’ first exhibition game against the Canucks.
“Early on I felt pretty good and though I did some good things out there,” Tavares said. “But as the game went on I felt what you need to be in proper game shape for this level, for sure.”
Islanders coach Scott Gordon said they aren’t putting too much pressure on the highly touted youngster at this point.
“If he scores 50 goals and adds 50 assists this year, that would be a great start for him,” Gordon joked. “Quite honestly, just like the rest of our younger players, we want him to grow and develop through the course of the year. The first half for him is probably going to be about getting acclimated to the pro game and getting familiar with our system of play, just like it was for Josh Bailey(notes).”
The Islanders took a 1-0 lead on Gervais’ slapshot 6:30 into the first period.
Edmonton then took the 2-1 lead 2 minutes later as Gagner snuck out from behind the net and was able to stuff home a backhander.
New York evened the score with just under 5 minutes left when de Haan put a screened shot from the slot past Jeff Delauriers, who came into the Edmonton net midway through the game.
Souray’s game-winner was set up by Gagner who had a two-point night.
Oilers head coach Pat Quinn was glad to see Souray put the puck in the net after seeing his shot break two sheets of glass behind the New York net in the second period.
“I would rather see it break the net than the glass,” he said. “We know he can fire that thing with such great velocity. That has been his bread and butter for a lot of years. I’m sure the Rexall building people aren’t very happy with him right now.”