After finding themselves down 3-0 to the Ducks late in the second period, linemates Magnus Paajarvi
and Sam Gagner
scored two quick goals to get the Oilers back within striking distance. A game-ending power-play couldn't seal the deal, however, and Edmonton suffered a 3-2 loss in Anaheim Sunday night.
Under the Scope
The Oil and Ducks battled evenly through the first eight minutes before Steve MacIntyre
was called for high-sticking. Late in the man-advantage, Toni Lydman wired the puck to Luca Sbisa, who one-timed it past Nikolai Khabibulin
for the opening goal.
The Ducks assumed a considerable shot lead following the goal, and on their 12th attempt, found another marker. Although Khabibulin stopped Lubomir Visnovsky's initial slapshot, Teemu Selanne promptly pulled the rebound out of the goalie's reach and tapped it across the line.
The goal sealed first-period scoring, ensuring Edmonton would start the middle frame trailing 2-0 and 12-4 on the shot clock.
Consecutive Ducks penalties gave the Oilers two man-advantages in the first half of the second period. The visitors added four shots to their tally but Curtis McElhinney turned them all away to preserve his club's two-goal lead.
The Oilers continued to press after the penalties expired. With 8:24 remaining on the clock, McElhinney dropped to make a save and sliced the underside of his chin on a teammate's skate blade. It was an injury that could have been much worse but still required treatment; after seeking a medical assessment on the bench, he retired to the dressing room and was replaced by Jonas Hiller between the pipes.
With a fresh goalie behind them, the Ducks flocked to the other end of the ice. After making a pair of big saves, Khabibulin was caught out of position, leaving a gaping net. Rookie defenceman Jeff Petry
came to the rescue, sliding across the goal line to intercept an attempt from Saku Koivu.
On the following whistle, stitched-up McElhinney returned to the game.
At 16:30, a holding minor to Taylor Chorney
put the Oilers back on the penalty-kill. One minute into the man-advantage, Selanne deflected Visnovsky's point shot into the net, giving both players two points and the Ducks three goals.
But the Oilers quickly got that one -- and another -- back. Perfectly poised to receive Sam Gagner
's rebound, Magnus Paajarvi
fooled McElhinney with a quick wrist-shot to get Edmonton on the board and back within two.
26 seconds later, the same line crafted a second goal. Thanks to a bang-on pass from Linus Omark
, Gagner sunk a one-timer to make it a one-goal game heading into the final frame.
Edmonton continued its fast pace early in the third, eventually assuming control of the shot clock. Anaheim soon got back on top, however, thanks to a double high-sticking minor to Theo Peckham
. Oilers penalty killers proficiently passed the test and stayed within striking distance.
The opportunity to tie it up presented itself in the final minutes of regulation. With 20 seconds remaining in a penalty to Lydman, Andreas Lilja was called for boarding and the Oilers pulled Khabibulin, creating a brief six-on-three and more lengthy six-on-four.
Despite swarming dangerously in the offensive zone, the extra skaters were unable to score an equalizer and the Oilers closed their five-game road trip with a 3-2 loss.