SUN Hockey Pool

O'Sullivan excited in home debut

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

He was excited to play his first game at home as a member of the Edmonton Oilers and Patrick O'Sullivan didn't disappoint.

The Oilers winger scored a goal in his home debut as the Oilers fell 4-3 in overtime to the Atlanta Thrashers.

"I thought he was great," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "He made some plays all night long and didn't make a mistake on the opportunity he got.

"You talk about guys that the play seldom dies with, he's one of those guys and he made some plays tonight."

O'Sullivan scored the Oilers second goal on the night, snapping a shot past Thrashers goaltender Johan Hedberg on a two-on-one rush.

The 24-year-old winger used linemate Andrew Cogliano as a decoy and beat Hedberg on the short side early in the second period.

"I was really excited to play tonight and coming out with all the fans cheering and everything was fun," O'Sullivan said. "It was everything I expected to be."

Acquired just prior to the trading deadline from the Los Angeles Kings as part of the Erik Cole trade, he joined the Oilers for the last three of a four-game road trip, the native of Winston-Salem, N.C., was making his home debut along with Ales Kotalik.

O'Sullivan finished with a goal in 10:15 of ice time which included power-play time and a short stint killing penalties.

"The last couple of games I've been feeling a lot better," he said. "By far, tonight I've felt the best of all the games I've played with the Oilers. I was trying to make some plays and it was nice getting a chance to play at home here."

The point was O'Sullivan's second as an Oiler, having picked up an assist in Montreal. He now has 15 goals and 24 points on the season.

"I don't think we were as sharp as we needed to be starting that game," O'Sullivan said of last night's overtime loss to Atlanta.

"They have good forwards, they have a lot of guys that have some skill and they made a lot of good plays. The next time we need to be ready to go right from the start."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


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