Magnus Paajarvi originally wasn’t going to be in the Edmonton Oilers lineup for Saturday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche.
Then Lennart Petrell took a puck to the head during warm-up and didn’t play, which forced Paajarvi into the game.
He ended up scoring the winning goal with 1:34 left in the third period, as the Oilers erased a three-goal deficit late in the second period on their way to an entertaining 6-4 win on home ice.
The Oilers peppered Avalanche netminder Semyon Varlamov with 55 shots – he stopped 50 of them – and finished the game with 56 shots in total.
“It was awesome,” Paajarvi told the Edmonton Journal.
“I was laying on the couch at 6:45. I got to the rink at maybe 7:30. I just didn’t think. I just jumped in.
The Edmonton Journal also reported that Petrell left the arena with a headache.
Center Teemu Hartikainen also left the game for the Oilers with what was reported to be a shoulder injury.
Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.
The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.
Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.
Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.
Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.
During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.
It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.
As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.
Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.