It didn’t take long for Nino Niederreiter to fit in with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Niederreiter and Lucas Wallmark each had a pair of goals and Andrei Svechnikov had a goal and two assists as the Hurricanes scored early and cruised to a 7-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.
“It’s always nice if you get a chance to score a goal, but more importantly we got the win we needed,” said Niederreiter, who was acquired in a trade on Friday from the Minnesota Wild and played in his 500th career NHL game on the night.
“The last home game, we definitely didn’t play the way we wanted, so it’s a big win for us tonight.”
Brock McGinn and Jordan Martinook also scored for the Hurricanes (23-20-5), who snapped a two-game losing skid. Sebastian Aho and Jaccob Slavin each had three assists.
“The start was obviously what we talked about doing and it couldn’t have went really any better,” said Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “You have to give the guys credit, it was a 60-minute effort for the most part. The effort level was high and we deserved that game.”
Leon Draisaitl had two goals and Brandon Manning and Zack Kassian also scored for the Oilers (23-23-3), who have lost two straight.
“We have to get through this, we have no choice,” Draisaitl said. “It is frustrating. We take two steps ahead and then we take two back. One ahead, and then one back. We go up and then we go down. We have to figure it out.”
Carolina wasted no time getting on the board, scoring on the first shot of the game just 28 seconds in when newly-acquired forward Niederreiter beat Oilers starter Cam Talbot with a quick wrist shot for his 10th of the season.
The Hurricanes took a two-goal lead six-and-a-half minutes into the first with the Oilers scrambling in their own zone on a point shot by Slavin that was tipped in by Svechnikov. Carolina was outshooting Edmonton 8-0 at the time.
The Canes kept it coming with another goal 11 minutes into the opening period as Niederreiter muscled his way out from behind the goal line and beat Talbot for his second of the game on his team’s 15th shot. Mikko Koskinen replaced Talbot in the Edmonton net.
The Oilers finally showed some signs of life with 51 seconds left in the first when Connor McDavid fed it in front for Manning, who beat Petr Mrazek.
Carolina got that goal back on a McGinn snipe two minutes into the second period and then made it 5-1 a couple of minutes later on the power play on a breakaway goal by Wallmark.
The Hurricanes blew another goal past Koskinen late in the second on a perfect feed from Warren Foegele to Martinook, for his 10th.
The Oilers got that goal back with 19 seconds left on the 25th of the season and 100th in his career for Draisaitl.
Edmonton made it look a little better with another goal on a tip by Kassian to start the third, then made it 6-4 seven minutes into the final frame on the power play on Draisaitl’s second of the game.
Wallmark scored again into an empty net to put the game away.
Both teams return to action on Tuesday as the Oilers play host to the Detroit Red Wings and the Hurricanes head to Calgary to face the Flames.
Notes: Carolina forward Micheal Ferland took the warm-up, but wasn’t able to play with an upper body injury. As a result, the Hurricanes dressed seven defencemen.