Frolik, Jets top Oilers in opener

BY foxsports • October 1, 2013

Jacob Trouba had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut. Then the rookie defenseman got what he really wanted: a win.

Michael Frolik scored a pair of goals, and the Winnipeg Jets rallied to spoil Edmonton's home opener with a 5-4 regular season-starting victory over the Oilers on Tuesday night.

Trouba, Winnipeg's No. 9 pick in the 2012 NHL draft, scored the tying goal 11 minutes into the third period.

"It was a pretty cool experience," he said. "I just kind of threw it on net and it was a bit of a knuckleball. They don't draw it up like that, but it was a goal. I was just excited to see it go in.

"I think the most important part is the win. It's pretty special to me to get the win in my first game. The rest of the stuff comes when it comes. The win is what I am most happy about."

With 5:02 left, Eric Tangradi sent a beautiful backhand pass in front to Frolik, who snapped a 4-4 tie by directing his second goal of the night into the net before goalie Devan Dubnyk could get back across the crease.

"It was a really up-and-down game, but we battled hard, especially in the end," said Frolik, who came to the Jets in an offseason trade from the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. "It was a good finish for us, and we can be happy with the way we turned the game around.

"I don't think that we can afford to give up that many goals. The defense could be a little tighter."

Mark Scheifele and Bryan Little also scored, and Ondrej Pavelec made 34 saves for the Jets, who made their first appearance as a Winnipeg team in Edmonton since 1996.

Luke Gazdic, Boyd Gordon, Ales Hemsky and Jesse Joensuu scored for the Oilers, who squandered a 4-2 lead. Dubnyk stopped 23 shots.

"I just have to be better, I have to give these guys a better opportunity to win the game," Dubnyk said. "I didn't play well enough. Any night that we score four goals, I have to be able to at least get us a point."

Dallas Eakins, in his first NHL game as the new head coach of the Oilers, was annoyed that his team gave the game away.

"It's one thing when a team beats you, you can be OK with that, but not when you hand them the game like that," he said. "Our group cannot hand people goals in games like that, it's unacceptable.

"It always hurts more when you give the other team something. I don't like sending them a fruit basket or flowers."

Edmonton started the scoring just over two minutes in when Gazdic took a backhand shot from the faceoff that was later determined to have gone off Brown's stick and past Pavelec.

But the goal was eventually awarded to Gazdic, which was the original call. Gazdic, who was playing his first NHL shift, came to the Oilers off waivers from the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

The Jets tied it just over a minute later during a power play as Scheifele picked the corner with a shot from the top of the circle that Dubnyk waved at.

Winnipeg went up 2-1 with just under four minutes to play in the first period. Little took a long pass from Tobias Enstrom at the blue line and waited for defender Nick Schultz to go down to block a shot. He calmly beat Dubnyk stick side for his 100th NHL goal.

Edmonton tied it two minutes later with a power-play goal when Gordon tipped in Justin Schultz's point shot for his first with the Oilers.

Edmonton went ahead 3-2 at 3:38 of the second period when Hemsky worked his way into the Jets zone and beat Pavelec with a quick wrist shot from the faceoff dot.

The Oilers took a two-goal lead at 7:58 with another power-play goal. Jordan Eberle took a couple of cracks at the puck in tight before Joensuu pounced on the rebound and put it into the empty net. Mark Arcobello earned an assist for his first NHL point.

The Jets got back into the game with 3:42 left in the second when Frolik was hit by a puck in front. He picked it up and swung a shot through traffic past a screened Dubnyk.

Winnipeg tied it 4-4 at 11:06 of the third. Trouba, in his first NHL game, intercepted a long pass attempt by Taylor Hall and beat Dubnyk with a knuckler from just across the blue line.

NOTES: Edmonton is 18-7-3 in season openers at home. ... Trouba, a defenseman and the No. 9 pick in the 2012 NHL draft, earned his first career point on an assist on a second period goal. ... In addition to Eakins' first game, three Oilers players made their debut: defenseman Anton Belov and forwards Will Acton and Gazdic. Acton had an assist in his first shift on Gazdic's goal.

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