“You can see he's a special player,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “His pass to Hartikainen was a big-league pass. That's all fine, but I was happy with his defensive game. He had a good stick, he was in good position and had good reads. It was an outstanding effort.”
Oklahoma City outshot San Antonio 16-2 in the second period, but the game was tied 2-2 before Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle got untracked after going scoreless in two games last weekend in Cleveland.
Nugent-Hopkins recorded two assists, the first a pass to Schultz that led to the Hartikainen goal. Nugent-Hopkins' second assist was from his knees behind the net that set up Eberle in the crease for a 4-2 lead late in the second period.
“Anytime you get your first one it feels good,” Eberle said. “It's good to see that we kind of finished them off. That's going to be a big key for us going into third periods. It was a good effort tonight.”
Early in his pro debut, Schultz is showing he should fit in well with the Oilers' other young stars.
“The points are coming, but (in the AHL) defensively guys are stronger, faster and tougher for us to control them,” Schultz said. “It may look like it's easy for me, but it's definitely a challenge every night.”