1 2 3 T
St. Louis Blues STL 0 1 1 2
30 SHOTS 30
23 HITS 11
8 PIM 6
1/3 PP 2/4

Smyth pots a pair as Oilers double-up Blues 4-2

Wednesday, 06.08.2014 / 4:49 AM

The Ryans (Smyth, Nugent-Hopkins and Jones) combined to score two goals and three assists, factoring in each Oilers tally as the home side doubled-up the visiting St. Louis Blues 4-2 Sunday night at Rexall Place.

Nikolai Khabibulin got the start in goal, posting 28 saves and propelling the Oilers to their fifth straight win.


The Oilers were granted a power-play chance at 5:14 when St. Louis' Matt D'Agostini was assessed a slashing minor.

The team's 18.2-percent success rate with the man-advantage was propelled higher when the orange and blue struck 24 seconds into the PP. A seeing-eye pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins connected with the captain, and No. 10 made no mistake in depositing the puck upstairs on Jaroslav Halak to make it 1-0.

The Oilers' 90.7-percent PK was put to the test at 6:50 when Ryan Jones was issued a minor for inteference. That, too, gained steam as Nikolai Khabibulin stopped a pair of Blues attempts to kill the 5-on-4 opportunity.

Edmonton's 1-for-1 power-play went back to work at 9:41 when Roman Polak was charged with holding. Nugent-Hopkins took a high-sticking minor 1:02 into chance, putting the teams in a 58-second 4-on-4 sequence.

Just as the penalties expired, Theo Peckham made a heads-up, 58-foot pass to spring Taylor Hall on a breakaway. The sophomore attempted to slide the puck through Halak along the ice, but the Blues 'tender denied the scoring chance with a slick stick save.

With 4:56 on the clock and with the shots even 5-5, St. Louis' TJ Oshie crunched Eric Belanger from behind along the half-boards in the home side's end; the 33-year-old veteran was cleared to return as the Oilers' third power-play sputtered, keeping the game in a 1-0 score.

The Oilers continued to lead as the clock struck zero, but the Blues were in possession of a slim 8-5 edge in shots.


On the Blues' 11th shot 3:58 into the period, David Backes scored to pull St. Louis even. No. 42 curled from the corner before snapping a shot short-side, bar-in on Khabibulin (who was deep in his crease), to record his third of the 2011-12 campaign.

The Oilers responded 3:33 later; a quick-paced passing sequence between Ryan Jones and Alex Plante allowed the puck to be directed in on goal. Ryan Smyth pounced, sweeping around Halak as he slid the puck past the Blues netminder to restore his team's one-goal lead at 7:31.

As the period's 10-minute mark passed, the Oilers had closed the shot gap to a 13-12 Blues advantage.

With 6:44 remaining, the Oilers went up by two. Nugent-Hopkins rushed up-ice, orchestrating a three-way passing play between he and his linemates. No. 93 found Hall in the slot, who directed a pass down low to Jordan Eberle; he was unable to corral the puck, but it pinballed in off his skate to put the home side up 3-1.

The Oilers looked to extend the lead with 3:42 on the clock as Backes, again on the scoresheet, was assessed a boarding minor as he nailed Tom Gilbert with a vicious, from-behind check in the home team's end.

On the ensuing power-play, the Oilers took a 4-1 lead. Tom Gilbert's point shot was blocked, but the loose puck sat the goal-mouth where Smyth banged home his second of the night.

Another outstanding set-up between Eberle and Hall almost put the Oilers up 5-1. The duo broke in alone, No. 14 slid a feed across to Hall who was robbed by Halak's right pad with a sensational diving denial.

With 40 minutes in the books, the Oilers held a 4-1 stranglehold and were up 21-16 in shots.


The Blues went to the power-play, the visitors' third of the night, when Eric Belanger was charged with a [questionable] boarding call at 1:56. St. Louis cashed when eight players crashed the crease, popping the puck into the gaping cage behind the sprawling home side; Chris Stewart was credited the goal at 3:17.

The Oilers continued to press, looking to regain the team's three-goal edge. Nugent-Hopkins came close, rifling a shot high and wide on what appeared to be a promising 3-on-2 rush, but the 4-2 score remained.

With 50 minutes expired, the Oilers held a slim 25-24 lead in shots.

With 8:25 on the clock, Magnus Paajarvi took a midair pass from Belanger, springing him on a breakaway, 1-on-1 against Halak. No. 91 snapped a shot blocker-side, but the Blues goalie made a routine stop to give his team a chance down the stretch.

The Blues pulled Halak for an extra-attacker with 1:22 to play, but the visitors were only able to generate another two shots, and no goals, as the Oilers doubled-up St. Louis 4-2 as time expired.

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