RALEIGH, NC - A third period power play goal by Justin Schultz vaulted the Edmonton Oilers to a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena on Sunday afternoon.
"It was a great team effort. I thought our penalty kill sparked us. Finally our power play was able to chip in and get us the game," said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins.
With Andrei Loktionov in the penalty box for high sticking, the Oilers were able to convert on their fourth power play opporutnity of the afternoon. Justin Schultz took the puck at the right point and skated towards the right circle before wiring a wrist shot past Khudobin for his ninth of the season to make it a 2-1 game.
"It's definitely nice to get one. I still think we have some work to do but hopefully we gain more confidence going forward," said Schultz. "Everyone's buying into what were supposed to be doing to win games."
Ben Scrivens echoed the comments of the defenceman.
"You've got to find ways to win. It's another type of game you have to find a way to win or get points," Scrivens noted. "Every little experience we have like this is a building block. We're going to be more and more comfortable in these tight games."
In the early minutes of the first period, Scrivens snagged a quick one-time shot from Alexander Semin in what was Carolina's best scoring chance to that point.
A couple minutes later, Matt Hendricks broke into the Hurricanes zone with the puck. After getting pushed behind the goal line, he threw the puck out front to Anton Lander. The puck then ricocheted off the stick of Hurricanes forward Patrick Dwyer and shin of defenceman Jay Harrison before finding its way in for a 1-0 Edmonton lead. The goal was the third of the year for Hendricks after originally being credited to Lander.
Hendricks had an outstanding game and that was pointed out by the head coach afterwards.
Hendy is quietly coming in to become the heartbeat of our team. He is 100% a team player and it's rubbing off on our group," Eakins began. "You need to have players like that. They're off the stat sheets but very loud in the game. That's critical for us to take the next step."
With 11:37 to play in the first, Manny Malhotra was sent to the box for holding, giving the Oilers the game's first power play. They were unable to convert on the man advantage, however.
David Perron got sent off for two minutes nearly 15 minutes into the opening frame, setting up the first man advantage of the afternoon for the host Hurricanes. Not too long after the penalty was killed off, Scrivens cleared the puck over the glass to receive two minutes for delay of game. Oilers were able to kill off that one as well.
Carolina did manage to pull even late in the first, however. The initial shot from Jordan Staal was batted away by Scrivens' blocker but Staal was able to pounce on the rebound and bunted it in to tie the game up.
Shots after one period were tied at 11.
Edmonton carried the play early in the second, outshooting Carolina 5-3 through the first six minutes of the frame. Eberle nearly put Edmonton back in the lead after redirecting a centring pass from Hall but the puck just dribbles wide of the post.
Drayson Bowman crushed Jeff Petry from behind into the glass behind the Oilers net and received two minutes for boarding as a result. Edmonton head on the power play for the second time.
Matt Hendricks hammered Brett Bellemore behind the Hurricanes net at the 11:22 mark. Ron Hainsey then dropped the gloves with Hendricks immediately after. Bellemore jumped into the fray and afterwards it was mayhem, with Yakupov jumping in to save his teammate from the two-on-one fight. The result was roughing penalties for all involved.
Perron received his second penalty of the game with just over five minutes left in the second. On the PK, Ryan Smyth got a shorthanded breakaway but was stopped on his backhand attempt after losing a handle on the puck momentarily.
Shots after two periods were 21-20 for the Oilers.
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