Reasoner revs up Rexall

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

Marty Reasoner figured it would be tough to top his last visit to Edmonton.

Two years ago, as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers, Reasoner scored the overtime winner against his former Edmonton Oilers teammates.

On Sunday, he was back at Rexall Place this time as a member of the Florida Panthers. And while he didnt pot an overtime winner, Reasoner did score a pair of goals against the Oilers, setting off a chorus of boos from the big crowd that watched Edmonton skate to a 3-2 victory.

I used to hear it when I was here, so Im used to it, smiled Reasoner. Its nice. I spent a big part of my life here and I learned a lot about the game and met a lot of great people.

Theres definitely more incentive when you come back to a place like this. Its a great atmosphere, great hockey, a great community and I was happy to be able to chip in a little bit. But not getting the win kind of sours the whole thing.

The two goals has Reasoner, 33, halfway to last seasons total output, when he finished with four goals and 13 assists in 80 games for Atlanta.

He got the Panthers on the board in the second period, snapping a shot over the shoulder of Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.

Then, with his team down 3-1, Reasoner banged a rebound past Khabibulin.

I thought we got contributions from everybody, but on a night when your third and fourth-line guys chip in, you should win, said Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer.

If we can get contributions from our depth guys all year, we should be in pretty good shape.

Reasoner spent parts of six seasons with the Oilers, although he missed the Stanley Cup run in 2006 after being dealt to the Boston Bruins for Sergei Samsonov just prior to the trade deadline.

Reasoner re-signed with the Oilers that off-season and played two more campaigns before joining the Thrashers.

Its good to come back, Reasoner said prior to the game. Its fun when you come back to places where you lived for a long time. Its been well documented that there have been a lot of changes here, so its a little different that way. There are not as many familiar faces, but coming back here is always fun.

Reasoner spent two years in Atlanta before being traded to Florida via Chicago this off-season.

Im starting to get used to it down there, Reasoner said. I keep going farther south. I dont know if Im going to end up in Mexico my next stop.

But its good. Its fun, its obviously a little bit different in Florida. Hockey is not a front-page thing, its not the topic that everyone is talking about. But thats not always a bad thing.

Sometimes its good, and you can go about your business and not worry about the scrutiny.

Fortunately for the Oilers, Reasoner wont be back this way with the Panthers for at least another two seasons.

I didnt know if I could outdo the last time with the OT winner, so I didnt want to come back, he said before the game.

I wanted to let that settle in for a year or two and then come back.

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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