Holloway hat-trick leads Oilers to preseason loss over Canucks

It looks like he can add Dylan Holloway’s name to the Edmonton Oilers’ season-opening roster in indelible ink.

Holloway had three goals and an assist and Zach Hyman had a goal and two assists as the Oilers posted a 7-2 NHL preseason victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

“It was one of those nights where everything seems to be going right,” said Holloway, the recently turned 21-year-old rookie who made his official NHL debut in Game 4 of last year’s Western Conference Final against Colorado.

“I saw that he was playing with Leon (Draisaitl) and Zach (Hyman), so he was obviously very excited. And my adrenaline was going there from the beginning. So yeah, super excited all day and felt good.”

Hyman was very impressed with Holloway’s performance.

“Look at our forwards: they are so deep and it is difficult to be part of this team. He’s doing everything he can to not let the coaches say no,” Hyman said.

“I can’t say enough good things about him. It’s just a game here, but he’s done it in previous games, and he has to keep doing it over and over again. He is doing a great job.”

Warren Foegele scored a pair of late goals and Tyson Barrie also scored for the Oilers (4-2 in the preseason) who dressed close to their full regular-season lineup.

Nils Hoglander and Conor Garland answered for the Canucks, who had few familiar faces playing in the contest. Vancouver has yet to enjoy any preseason success, falling to 0-3-2.

“It wasn’t a 7-2 game for me,” Vancouver head coach Bruce Boudreau said. “With five minutes to go it was 4-2 and we had just settled a five against three and we were about to shoot the goal when they scored. The wind just blew out everyone’s sails and they stopped for a couple of minutes.”

Holloway continued to make an unshakable case for being on the Oilers’ opening night roster with the first goal of the game midway through the opening frame. He made the most of his appearance in the top six by scoring a long shot from Darnell Nurse that went past Vancouver goalkeeper Collin Delia.

Vancouver tied it on its fifth power play just 4:22 into the second period when Hoglander finally got past Oilers goalkeeper Jack Campbell, hitting him on the glove side with a wrist snap.

Edmonton regained the lead 12 minutes into the half with a power play of their own when Connor McDavid sent a puck up front and Hyman was able to drive it home.

Just 26 seconds later, the Oilers were 3-1 up when Holloway expected more than a sliding defenseman and then beat Delia cleanly for his second game of the game.

Vancouver responded less than a minute after that, as Garland was credited for a goal that went wide a couple of times before hitting defender Cody Ceci and sliding between Campbell’s legs.

Edmonton restored their two-goal lead when Hyman showed some patience in feeding Barrie for a goal with just over a minute remaining in the second.

Holloway got her hat-trick with 2:41 remaining in the third when she took a spin behind the net before passing Delia for fourth of preseason.

Foegele scored 46 seconds later in a two-on-one and then scored another less than a minute later in a back-and-forth with Devin Shore. The two teams will meet again on Wednesday in a game to be played in Abbotsford, BC.

Both teams complete their home exhibition schedules on Friday when the Oilers host the Seattle Kraken and the Canucks take on the Arizona Coyotes.

GRADES: It was goaltender Campbell’s first full start in an Oilers uniform, having saved seven of eight shots in the middle of a game in his only previous appearance against Calgary. The former Toronto Maple Leaf starter left for Edmonton in free agency this summer, signing a five-year, $25 million deal after posting a 31-9-6 record with the Leafs last season. … Earlier Monday, the Canucks sent six players to their AHL affiliate in Abbotsford: Vincent Arseneau, Marc Gatcomb, Chase Wouters, Matt Alfaro, Michael Regush and Jett Woo, leaving their current preseason roster at 42 players.

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