Celebration time for Pouliot - twice

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 6:41 AM ET

Marc-Antoine Pouliot got to celebrate his first NHL goal twice.

The Edmonton Oilers rookie had to wait for a video review to see if his first-period goal would count after banging in a rebound past Coyotes goaltender Curtis Joseph yesterday.

It did. So he kept the puck.

"It feels great to be able to contribute for the team," said Pouliot. "I was looking forward to getting it, and I'm very happy now."

Pouliot's goal was the first of the night for the Oilers in a 7-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, and got the team off on the right foot in a game they could not afford to lose.

FIRST CAREER POINT

The goal also marked Brad Winchester's first career point as he picked up an assist on the play.

"The shot came from the side and I just went to the net," Pouliot said. "I think it hit my pad or something. It wasn't the prettiest goal, but I'm going to take it."

After the puck went in the net, Pouliot had to wait for confirmation from the video goal judge. The puck hit his leg and went it. But without a discernible kicking motion, the goal stood.

"I knew it was going to be a good goal," he said. "It hit my pad, it wasn't that it hit my skate or something."

It was Pouliot's third consecutive game in the lineup for the Oilers after having sat out for eight since having been recalled from Hamilton on March 13.

"The kid has been impressive," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "He makes predictable plays. He's got an air of reliability in his game. It was an easier night tonight than it has in the past, but at the same time he was in good, reliable spots and doing good things with the puck.

HELPS CONFIDENCE

"Any time you get a goal, you can't help but help your confidence. He'll remember that for the rest of his life, because we all do."

Winchester drew into the line-up for the second time in three days after being recalled last week.

Having struggled to stay with the team this season, the Madison, Wisconsin, native was finally able to pick up his first point in his 17th game with the Oilers.

Along with the assist, Winchester also got involved in a fight with Coyotes winger Josh Gratton in the second period.

"It was good, we're just trying to get more shots and contribute," said Winchester. "It feels good to get a point. I'm just continuing to try and improve all the time and I'm trying to generate more opportunities and it was good that we could pick up a goal there."


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