tied it up with only 6:12 to play, but Ryan Getzlaf ended the Oilers' overtime hopes 1:12 into the extra period, potting the winner on a breakaway and sending the hometown crowd home with an OT loss to conclude the 2011-12 campaign at Rexall Place.
The Oilers got off to a quick start, peppering ex-Oiler Jeff Deslauriers with a pair of shots from the crease in the opening 16 seconds; Teemu Hartikainen
and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
each got a whack, but the puck stayed out.
Near the period's four-minute mark and with the Ducks still not having recorded a shot, Bobby Ryan was sprung on a breakaway when Teemu Selanne caught Nick Schultz
napping at the offensive blueline. As Ryan crossed the Oilers line and looked to be in free, Devan Dubnyk
came out to challenge the attempt -- smothering the escaping puck as the Duck's reach wasn't enough. Within seconds, Ryan Whitney
came to his goalie's defence, clearing the biscuit out of harm's way.
As the 10-minute mark approached, The Kid Line connected once more for a quality scoring chance. Jordan Eberle
fed Nugent-Hopkins with a heads-up, no-look and behind-the-back pass at the blue that sent No. 93 in goal. Deslauriers made the save, but the Oilers extended to a 7-1 shot advantage in the process.
With 8:58 on the clock, the Oilers were granted a partial 3-on-1 opportunity. Sam Gagner
delivered a perfect pass to Eric Belanger
on his natural side for the one-timer, but his one-touch shot missed the mark on the opposite side.
was charged with slashing Corey Perry with 6:49 to play, putting the Ducks' 16.6-percent power-play to work. The Oilers were able to kill it off without surrendering a single shot, however.
Before long, another odd-man rush came the Oilers' way. This time it was Ales Hemsky
playing the role of distributor as Gagner awaited a pass. No. 83 held onto it, though, but his toe-drag was broken up by the sliding effort of Toni Lydman in the high slot.
The chances kept coming. On the ensuing faceoff, Eric Belanger
delivered a pass to Shawn Horcoff
at the doorstep. All alone, the captain wasted no time in releasing a shot, but Deslauriers stood tall in preserving the 0-0 score on the Oilers' 11th shot.
With 20 minutes in the books, the score remained in a 0-0 tie as the home side held a commanding 11-2 advantage in shots.
3:45 into the period, Darcy Hordichuk
pelted ex-Oiler Lubomir Visnovsky with a vicious (but clean) check along the boards in the Oilers end. George Parros stepped in to defend, but it cost him a roughing minor as the orange and blue were put on the power-play.
The Oilers were only able to generate two shots -- and only one was of the dangerous variety.
With 11:52 to play, the game got the spark it needed. It wasn't a goal, but it was good enough. Darcy Hordichuk
and George Parros dropped the mitts in a quick, but spirited heavyweight tilt. No. 16 landed a glancing blow to Parros' right eye (and another square on the chin), earning him the decision as the sold-out Rexall Place crowd rose to its feet.
And it worked. At 10:21, the Oilers notched the icebreaker. Off the rush, Ryan Jones
centered a beautiful backhand pass to Jeff Petry
in the slot; his connection caught iron, but Sam Gagner
raced in to deposit the rebound past a sprawling Deslauriers to make it 1-0.
The ending was the ideal outcome, too, as Gagner started it all with a 90-foot lob pass to spring Jones in the first place.
The Ducks weren't generating much in the middle period, but they made one count with 2:55 to play. On their eighth shot with 2:55 on the clock, ex-Oiler (there's a lot of them) darted down his off-wing and snapped a wrister past Dubnyk to square the score at one.
36 seconds and two shots later, it became a 2-1 Ducks lead. Off a faceoff, Devante Smith-Pelly bulled his way to the net, beating his man and putting a shot on goal. Dubnyk made the initial stop, but the home side's casual defence allowed Bobby Ryan to sneak in and pot the rebound.
Through 40 minutes, the Oilers trailed 2-1 despite holding an 18-13 edge in shots.
The Oilers could only generate two shots -- the Ducks didn't get any, mind you -- before the period's first TV timeout, but they were buzzing and holding a decided territorial advantage as they searched for the equalizer.
It took a while, but the Oilers made good. Nugent-Hopkins beat Cam Fowler to a loose puck along the side boards, chipping the puck into the slot where Eberle made the rendezvous. All alone on a breakaway, No. 14 made a series of dekes before going to his patended backhand, sliding the puck past an outstretched Deslauriers to make it a 2-2 game on the club's 24th shot.
When the buzzer sounded, nothing was decided. The Oilers held a 25-16 lead in shots, but OT was necessary.
1:12 into overtime, the Ducks sealed the win. On an odd-man rush, Sam Gagner
rifled a shot wide that rimmed around the boards and sent Ryan Getzlaf in alone on a breakaway. Anaheim's No. 15 made no mistake, sliding the puck through Dubnyk to wrap up a 3-2 win.
-- Ryan Dittrick, edmontonoilers.com - Follow me on Twitter | @ryandittrick