Lupul gets on scoresheet on 23rd birthday

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

Finally, a Joffrey Lupul sighting.

Not only on the ice, but on the score sheet - the speedy Edmonton Oilers right winger got his first goal and first point of the pre-season in a 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place last night.

Lupul, the 28-goal man obtained from the Anaheim Ducks in the trade for Chris Pronger, had zip, zero, nada for points in his first two games before banging his own rebound behind Jamie McLennan.

That's a start.

"I felt right from the start a lot better today," said Lupul, who had eight shots and enjoyed his best outing as an Oiler on the day he celebrated his 23rd birthday. "I figured that would be the case.

"I mean, it takes a couple games. Today, I felt a ton better. A little quicker, a little better legs, a little stronger on the puck.

"I'll keep getting better as the pre-season goes on."

It's not like Lupul has to put up points in pre-season to earn a roster spot, but the goal was a nice icebreaker for fans looking for something tangible from No. 15, who has been decidedly so-so to this point.

"He was the dominant forward in the game in the third period," coach Craig MacTavish said.

"I think it's natural for a player who comes from another team to feel his way in a little bit.

"Then, you start playing your game. It was good to see him playing at that level in the third. That's the best he's played."

With four shots in the opening 20 minutes, Lupul's best early chance came when he waltzed out of the corner but was foiled by a McLennan pad save 13 minutes into the game.

He had four more shots in the third, needing three hacks at it to score his first.

"It should have went in on the first and the second (shot)," smiled Lupul. "I actually got a little lucky on the third. I think it went through the five-hole."

Lupul, who played alongside Ryan Smyth and Toby Petersen and saw lots of time on the first power play unit, admits he's still adjusting to hockey in his hometown after three seasons with Anaheim, including a post-season in which he scored nine goals last spring,

"It's always nice to score a goal," said Lupul, who sprung Jan Hejda for a power play chance late in the game.

"To be honest, I'm more concerned with my overall performance. Today, I felt a lot better than I have in previous games.

"You can play poorly and get a couple of goals some nights. Other nights, you can play great and you don't get any."

Roy holds his own

Mathieu Roy tried his luck with Eric Godard late in the second period and held his own with Calgary's tough guy.

Roy, 23, six-foot-two and 215 pounds, and Godard, six-foot-four and 225 pounds, got into it after the Calgary forward took a poke at Devan Dubnyk in the goal crease.

"I don't like guys picking on the goalie," Roy said.

"Whoever it is, if I have to go, I'll go. It doesn't matter who it is.

"If I get my ass kicked, I'll get it, but I'm not going to let guys pick on the goalies.''


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