Mark Arcobello scored the first two goals of his NHL career tonight, and made them count. His first was a go-ahead marker in the second period with the game tied 1-1.
“He’s a big goalie and I played against him a lot of games in the American League,” Arcobello said of Jacob Markstrom, who spent a lot of time with the Oklahoma City Barons’ division rival San Antonio Rampage. “He crouched down a little too far and I put it exactly where I wanted which doesn’t always happen. I was happy to get that one.”
His second goal was even bigger, with the Oilers on a four-on-three power play in overtime. Arcobello wired a shot from the left circle.
“I knew he’d be moving with a pass coming across and I tried to get there as quick as I could. That was just the gravy to top off a good night and a big win,” said the rookie forward.
The two goals got a big monkey off the back of the forward, who had an excellent October with 10 assists but had not yet found the scoreboard.
“He’s getting his chances and when those guys are getting their chances, eventually they start going,” stated head coach Dallas Eakins. “Arco, boy, I think he probably could have had four (goals tonight) with a little luck so good on him. He was real solid for us tonight.”
Arcobello was relieved to finally dent the twine.
“I was feeling it a little bit,” he began. “Especially in my last real big chance in Phoenix I should have scored. I want to help the team win, too, that’s the biggest thing. The chances I’ve been missing could have helped our team win the game so it’s nice to be able to contribute tonight.”
Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins was very happy with how the team played on the defensive side of the puck tonight, despite a couple of late goals which pushed the game into overtime.
“I thought we took some baby steps in the right direction defensively. We went in with a fairly detailed plan but with some simple, simple goals we wanted to accomplish and our guys did that,” Eakins said. “And we were rewarded for our defensive play with some odd-man rushes that we were able to convert.”
Eakins also liked that despite the adversity, the team never wavered from their game plan and ultimately it paid off with the OT victory.
“I liked that we stayed in the fight. We were up 3-1 in the third period and then they end up with a goal to tie it. It was a broken play, a fluttering curving puck. It was more bad luck than anything. I liked our third period and the way our guys dug their heels in.
“I thought we played a great third period. This wasn’t a period where we had two massive breakdowns and played on our heels. I highly doubt they had more than three scoring chances in the whole period. I was happy with our period.”
The head coach did let a few thoughts creep into his head as the late scoring play by the Panthers threatened to extend the Oilers five-game winless skid.
“All that was going through my head when they got the third one was ‘geez, what’s it going to take? We’ve played a real solid road game here.’
“After they got their second I thought our guys were good on the bench. I called a time out there and our guys were focused, they were saying all the right things. I liked it. It’s a different thing when you’re up 3-1 or 4-1 and start playing a careless game and you quit playing and we didn’t do that. That’s not what happened here tonight.”
The NHLPA announced via twitter today that former Edmonton forward Jason Arnott has retired from professional hockey after 18 NHL seasons.
Arnott played in 1,244 NHL games, scoing 417 goals and adding 521 assists. He had stints in Edmonton, New Jersey, Dallas, Nashville, Washington and St. Louis.
Arnott was selected 7th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Oilers and played for the blue and orange from 1993-1998. He was traded by Edmonton, along with Bryan Muir, to New Jersey in '98 for Bill Guerin and Valeri Zelepukin.
His best season with the Oilers was his rookie year in which he scored 68 points, including a career-high tying 33 goals (He matched 33 goals in 2008-2009 with the Nashville Predators).
Arnott scored the cup-winning goal in double-overtime of game six of the 2000 Stanley Cup championship.
Playing in Florida is a homecoming for Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins on several fronts.
“I swung through here twice as a player and spent the first eight years of my life up near Tampa. Lots of connections to the state and this organization,” Eakins stated.
Eakins was born in Dade City, Florida which is about 35 miles north of Tampa. He also played for the Panthers from 1993-95 and again in 1997-98 for a total of 41 games.
“I think the one thing I remember the most here is, we didn’t have great teams but boy the teams stuck together and we checked really well. It was something we took great pride in.”
Roger Neilson was the head coach during his first stint with the Panthers. Eakins and Neilson go way back as the Oilers coach was a disciple of Neilson’s hockey school in Peterborough, Ontario at age 12.
“(Playing for) my second father, Roger Nielson, was a special thing as well.”
The lines are:
Ryan Hamilton has been assigned to the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons, the Oilers announced today.
Hamilton played two games for the Oilers during his call-up and had no points. In between the two games, he missed 11 games with a knee injury.
The Oilers have announced the recall of defenceman Taylor Fedun from Oklahoma City of the AHL.
This season, Fedun has played in 12 games for the Barons scoring a goal and three assists.
The 25-year-old could play in his first-career NHL game, as he joins the team in Florida before their tilt against the Panthers tomorrow night.
Fedun spent the entire 2012-13 season in the American Hockey League, amassing 27 points (8-19-27) in 70 games. He also added three goals and three assists in 17 playoff games with Oklahoma City.
Fedun was an undrafted free agent signing of the Oilers.
The Oilers have been searching for answers to their slow start to the season and Dallas Eakins talked about the process involved in trying to right that ship, so to speak.
“Where we’re at with the team, it’s such a challenge to shake it. We’ve done a lot of talking. We had another long meeting this morning sorting out some things. The thing that I like, though, is we had a spirited practice. That was a positive sign. There was a lot of talk on the ice, there was lots of compete on the ice. The practice had a good pace.”
The head coach really liked what he saw from the team, particularly after a long travel day on Sunday.
“That’s the first encouraging thing for our team because where we’re at right now, it’s a depressing state. And usually that falls into your practice where now you start seeing guys fall away. But we didn’t see that today. We saw the exact opposite. I thought guys were digging their heels in during the practice. Now we’ve got to take that into the game.”
He added that it is very important to take the energy from today’s good practice and try and carry it over to tomorrow night’s game against a Panthers squad that has dropped four in a row.
“We can’t just leave it here today. We’ve got to have it tomorrow at 7:30 (eastern time).”
The Oilers have had some success in the buildings they’re visiting on this four-game road trip. They’re 5-5-2 in Florida all-time with four straight wins in South Florida. In Tampa, the Oilers are 7-4-1 all-time. In Philadelphia, Edmonton has won four of the last five and in their last six visits to the United Center in Chicago, they are 4-1-1.
“The first thing we need is a positive step. We need a good first five shifts to get us going and get away from the mistakes we’re making. I think we’re a group right now where our guys care so much that they’re trying to take on the world themselves and we end up giving the puck back to the other team. I believe today was encouraging but this is a trip that, boy, we’d like to make some hay on.”
Ryan Smyth stated that he's ready to play tomorrow against the Florida Panthers if called upon.
"There's a great deal of possibility," Smyth said about playing tomorrow. "We've got a doc on the road and I'm sure he'll assess me and give the okay but I felt really good and confident the last few practices. No nagging, no lingering so that's a positive step."
Smyth has been out since October 22 with a groin injury.
"I've never experienced a pulled groin before. It's a first in my career. I've had soreness but no pulled groins. It lingers. It lingered there for awhile. It was frustrating because you want to be out there and help out as best you can."
"Smytty will play. We need Smytty in the lineup right now. When things are not going great for your team, you really look to experience and leadership and the more guys like that we can have in our room the better so he will definitely calm the storm and hopefully be able to pick up some of our guys and give them some confidence."
Sunday, 19.10.2014 / 11:00 PM
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