The Oilers and Flyers don't always meet at Rexall Place. But when they do, the home side prefers a shutout.
The clubs last met in Edmonton on Feb. 3, 2010 when the orange and blue snagged a 1-0 victory.
Tonight, Taylor Hall
and Jordan Eberle
each scored, while Devan Dubnyk
stopped 35 shots, thwarting the league's highest scoring team by a 2-0 score.
While the Oilers hopped out to an early 3-0 shot lead in an otherwise sluggish start, Shawn Horcoff
was assessed a hooking minor at 4:37 to put the Flyers on the power-play. The visitors peppered Devan Dubnyk
with four quality attempts, but the Oilers' 82.6-percent success rate improved with another scoreless man-disadvantage.
Needing a spark, the game got it with 11:37 on the clock. After some prodding, Darcy Hordichuk
engaged Philadelphia's Jody Shelley in a spirited heavyweight tilt. The Oilers' 6'1", 212-pound enforcer landed some late shots and earned the decision, but an roughing minor on the play (also charged to No. 16) put Philadelphia back on the power-play.
Once again, the home side killed the advantage as the 0-0 game carried into the period's latter half.
While the rest of the period was primarily composed of neutral zone play and poorly-conceived passes, the Oilers nearly took a 1-0 lead when Taylor Hall
constructed a seeing-eye pass to Ales Hemsky
in the slot. No. 83 connected and got great wood on the shot, but Ilya Bryzgalov stood tall in turning aside the chance with an athletic blocker save.
With 20 minutes in the books, the game remained in a 0-0 tie as the Flyers took a 14-9 lead in shots.
Coming out to a stronger start, the Oilers drew a power-play when Pavel Kubina hauled down Sam Gagner
at 2:15. Hemming the Flyers in their own end throughout, the Oilers got on the board when Ryan Whitney
's point shot went wide, but the end-board rebound poppped to Hall at the doorstep, who punched it home for the icebreaker 1:11 into the advantage.
Just seconds after the goal, Brayden Schenn was sprung on a clear-cut breakaway, but Dubnyk denied the opportunity to preserve his club's one-goal lead.
At 8:04, the Oilers extended to a 2-0 advantage. On the squad's 16th shot, Jordan Eberle
picked a loose puck up along the side boards and curled into the slot. WIth a wide-open lane on Bryzgalov, he launched a heavy wrister that snuck between the goalie's glove and pad, dribbling across the line to give the sophomore his 27th goal of the season.
With 1:36 to play, Scott Hartnell took a healthy run at Magnus Paajarvi
, dangerously kneeing him and earning a minor for his trouble. No. 91 was slow to get up, but did eventually, only to be escorted to the locker room alongside Head Athletic Therapist T.D. Forss.
Late-period chances nearly put the OIlers up by three, but none were converted as time expired to end the period. 23 seconds remained on the orange and blue's third power-play.
As the penalty expired to start the period, the Flyers were granted a partial 3-on-1 opportunity after the Oilers crafted a turnover at the Philly blueline. Super villain Hartnell got the shot, but Dubnyk made the save to keep his team's 2-0 lead intact.
Moments later and on another odd-man rush, Jakub Voracek burst in and ripped a slapper that eluded Dubnyk's grasp and slipped toward to the goal line, but Tom Gilbert
raced in and cleared the puck to safety.
With 9:10 to play, Eric Belanger
, Corey Potter
and Ryan Smyth
choreographed a nifty three-way passing play, but with a sure tap-in on the horizon, the puck bounced over Potter's stick at the last second, causing the biscuit to pinball wide in a wild sequence.
A questionable slashing call on Taylor Hall
put the Flyers back on the power-play at 16:27. 39 seconds into the advantage, Horcoff was unleashed on a breakaway but was hooked all the way; thus, a penalty shot was awarded. The captain raced in on his attempt, but his backhand try was snubbed by Bryzgalov.
Needing a pair to equalize, Peter Laviolette pulled his goalie with 2:40 to play for an extra-attacker. It didn't matter, though, as the Oilers cruised to the buzzer and a 2-0 win over the league's highest scoring team.
Follow me on Twitter | @ryandittrick