EDMONTON, Alberta — Connor McDavid wanted to start things right at Rogers Place, the new home of the Edmonton Oilers.
McDavid scored two straight goals in the second period and had an assist, lifting the Edmonton Oilers over the Calgary Flames 7-4 on Wednesday night in the first game at Rogers Place.
The night began with a ceremony where former Oilers greats Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier figuratively passed the torch to the 19-year-old phenom, the youngest captain in NHL history.
“The anticipation for this game was huge and the fans were excited and all the greats were in the building,” McDavid said. “It was an exciting night for our whole organization and it was a good way to start it.
“I’m kind of happy it’s over. I’ll definitely take a lot of good memories from tonight and move on with those.”
Edmonton led the season opener 3-1 after one period on goals by Patrick Maroon, Tyler Pitlick and Zack Kassian. Alex Chiasson had a first-period score for the Flames.
Troy Brouwer and Michael Frolik scored in the second period to tie it 3-3, but then McDavid got goals with 7:43 and 5:27 left in the second for a two-goal lead — the second score came on a penalty shot.
First-round pick Jesse Puljujarvi scored for Edmonton in his NHL debut in the third period. Dennis Wideman had the final goal for Calgary, and then Jordan Eberle added an empty-netter.
Cam Talbot stopped 37 shots for Edmonton.
Brian Elliott made 21 saves in his first game with the Flames. Elliott was traded from St. Louis to Calgary in the offseason.
“It was kind of one of those nights where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” Elliott said. “That’s not the way you want to start the season.”
The Oilers moved into Rogers Place this year after 42 seasons at Rexall Place.
McDavid snapped a 3-all tie with his first goal, banking in a backhand shot. He then scored his penalty shot goal minutes later, approaching Elliott slowly and beating the goalie following a series of quick dekes.
“He was Connor. He was our leader. He had fire in his eyes,” said coach Todd McLellan.
The first shot in the new arena yielded the first goal when Maroon tipped Leon Draisaitl’s shot past Elliott 1:10 into the game.
Chiasson scored 36 seconds later, swinging out from behind the net and then batting in his own rebound behind Talbot.
At 5:34, Pitlick gave Edmonton two goals on two shots, ending a 2-on-1 break by beating Elliott up high.
Kassian added to the Oilers’ lead with 4:48 left in the first, taking a long pass from Oscar Klefbom and making a nifty move to beat Elliott.
Brouwer intercepted a pass and scored on a short-handed breakaway 8:26 into the second, and then Frolik capitalized on a turnover by Milan Lucic to tie it with 9:09 left in the period.
After McDavid’s goals, Puljujarvi scored 9 minutes into the third on a power play. Wideman made it 6-4 with 8:31 left, but then Eberle scored into an empty net with 1:22 left.
NOTES: The 2016 first-round draft selections for both teams made their NHL debuts in the game, as fourth overall pick Puljujarvi dressed for Edmonton and sixth overall selection Matthew Tkachuk played for Calgary. … Starting on Calgary’s top line was veteran Kris Versteeg, who spent the entire preseason on a tryout with the Oilers before surprisingly signing on with the Flames.
The teams play again Friday night, this time in Calgary.