ST. LOUIS -- All of the attention and hype was on 18-year-old Connor McDavid, making his NHL debut for the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night, but another teenager playing his first game stole the spotlight.
St. Louis right winger Robby Fabbri, a good friend of McDavid's from junior hockey and a teammate in international competitions, celebrated his first game by scoring the winning goal midway through the third period to lead the Blues to a 3-1 victory in the season opener for both teams.
"I guess I've got some bragging rights," Fabbri said. "We'll see how long that lasts."
With his mom and dad watching in the stands, the 19-year-old Fabbri broke a 1-1 tie when he converted a behind-the-back, no-look pass from center Jori Lehtera 9:29 into the third period, becoming the first Blues player to score a goal in his NHL debut since Vladimir Tarasenko did it two years ago.
Fabbri also became the youngest Blues player to score a goal in his debut in franchise history.
"I came off the bench and I saw the play there," Fabbri said. "I wasn't sure if he (Lehtera) saw or heard me, so for him to make that play, it was an amazing pass. To be able to share not only my first game but my first goal with them (his parents), it's pretty great."
Fabbri was the Blues' first-round pick in the 2014 draft and McDavid was the No. 1 overall selection by the Oilers last summer.
"Both good players," Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. "Robby got on the scoreboard, though. Plus one for us. McDavid's going to be a good player. He's a special talent. Pretty impressed."
Pietrangelo also has been impressed by Fabbri, who can play up to nine games for the Blues before they have to make a decision to keep him on the roster for the season or send him back to his junior team in Canada.
"The amount of skill he has, he's going to make plays," Pietrangelo said. "He's going to make an impact night in, night out. It's a great pass by Jori, though. Hopefully, he gets more of those. Those are easy ones, though, for a goal scorer like that."
McDavid had his own scoring chances, registering two shots on goal, but both were turned aside by Blues goalie Brian Elliott.
"I did some good stuff, did some bad stuff," McDavid said in assessing his performance. "The Blues are obviously a great team, tough to play against for sure. You just kind of move on from here. There was a lot of attention on it (his first game) and I'm glad it's over. As the game went on, I felt better about it."
Edmonton coach Todd McClellan, making his debut with the Oilers as well after seven years in San Jose, thought playing against the Blues was a good test for McDavid.
"If you're going to start in the National Hockey League and go against big, strong, heavy, this is the place to do it," McClellan said. "They play that way. At times, I thought he was very dangerous and at other times I didn't think that line had a lot going.
"It's a matter of timing and chemistry and finding the right combinations for him and his linemates."
The Blues had tied the score midway through the second period when Pietrangelo's pass sent Tarasenko on a breakaway, and he beat new Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot, acquired from the New York Rangers, for his first goal of the season.
Right winger Troy Brouwer added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds as the Blues improved their record against the Oilers to 18-2-1 since 2009.
The Oilers had taken the early lead 17:22 into the opening period on a power-play goal, just three seconds into a tripping penalty on Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. After the faceoff, Pietrangelo's clearing pass hit left winger Alexander Steen and deflected past Elliott and into the St. Louis net. Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was credited with the goal.
NOTES: Blues RW Robby Fabbri was one of three players making his debut, along with Ds Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko. They are among seven newcomers to the roster since the end of last season. Fabbri is the youngest player to make his Blues debut since LW Jaden Schwartz also was 19 in 2012. ... Oilers RW Jordan Eberle will miss at least the first four weeks of the season because of a shoulder injury. ... Eight players made their debut with the Oilers, including LW Anton Slepyshev, who played his first game in the NHL. ... The Blues don't play at home again until Oct. 24. They begin a six-game trip on Saturday at Minnesota. The Oilers play at Nashville on Saturday.