Oiler Eberle's goal a talker

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:39 PM ET

EDMONTON - CALGARY — It was an impressive way to open his NHL account and prior to his second game against the Calgary Flames, Jordan Eberle was still being asked about it.

The Edmonton Oilers forward scored a highlight-reel goal in the teams’ season-opening encounter, stepping around Flames defenceman Ian White while short-handed, then lifting a backhand over goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.

It was a goal White later referred to as fortunate, stating the puck bounced over his stick as he lay flat on his stomach in a feeble attempt to stop the Oilers rookie.

“I guess it did bounce over his stick a little bit,” said Eberle prior to Saturday’s contest. “I guess you can say it was little bit lucky, but I guess it worked out.”

After getting around White, there was nothing lucky about the way Eberle took the puck to his backhand and roofed it on Kiprusoff.

Being face-down at the other end of the ice, perhaps White missed that.

They went at each other in the first encounter as though they had a previous beef, but Jarome Iginla and James Vandermeer insist it was all just in the heat of the moment.

The two former teammates were ready to square off and drop the gloves in the season-opening encounter between the Flames and the Oilers.

Neither were putting off the possibility of it happening again prior to Saturday’s contest.

“That was just playing the game hard, he’s a competitor and I’m a competitor and sometimes that happens,” Vandermeer said. “Sometimes when you hit a guy a little harder than he wants to be hit, he lets you know.”

Vandermeer and Iginla were teammates for parts of two seasons in Calgary.

This off-season Vandermeer was acquired by the Oilers in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes.

“It’s just playing hard, I’ve played with him and he plays hard,” Iginla said. “He gets into those a lot, I get into those sometimes, so I imagine that won’t be the last one that occurs over the course of however many games we play against each other.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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