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Under the Scope: Oilers at Senators

An in-depth look at Monday's victory over the Senators

Monday, 29.11.2010 / 11:42 PM / Cenovus Live In-Game Blog
By Ryan Dittrick  -

Four answered goals, including three in the third period, lifted the Oilers to a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators Monday night; the team's first win against the Senators since March 14, 2004.

The line of Andrew Cogliano, Gilbert Brule and Dustin Penner led the way for the Oilers offensively, as each recorded a two-point night in the victory. Cogliano and Brule each scored in the third period to put the Oilers ahead and gather some insurance, before Taylor Hall netted his sixth of the season into an empty net to seal the win for the visitors.

All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:

The Oilers had a strong second period, doubling up Ottawa's middle frame total by outshooting the hometown club 10-5. Although the Oilers were in control of the game, they weren't able to equalize despite several powerplay opportunities. Late in the period, the Oilers gave up a shorthanded breakaway that was turned aside by Martin Gerber. Moments later on the same advantage, Tom Gilbert fired a slapshot over the shoulder of Brian Elliott to tie the game at one. Gerber's save kept Edmonton in the game and immediately sparked an offensive response. Watch Gerber's Save

41 The Oilers won 41% of the draws tonight. Colin Fraser was best on the night, producing at a 50% clip in the faceoff circle.
25 Edmonton physical dominated the Senators on this night. The Oilers dished out a total of 25 hits, while the Senators could only respond with 12 of their own.

In addition, the Oilers produced 25 shots on goal tonight to the Senators' 23. It was only the third time that the Oilers have outshot their opponent, and the first time this season that they have won when doing so.
6 This was the first time the Oilers have skated away victorious at Scotiabank Place in six tries. The last win came on March 14, 2002.

Andrew Cogliano
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +1 1

Gilbert Brule
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +1 1

Martin Gerber
23 22 1 60:00 .957

Brian Elliott
24 21 3 59:56 .875

Martin Gerber
23 22 1 60:00 .957

Filip Kuba - D

23:51 - 0P, -1 rating

Ryan Whitney - D

26:21 - 0P, +1 rating

With the Oilers up 2-1 late in the third period, the line of Andrew Cogliano, Gilbert Brule and Dustin Penner continued an already strong evening. After Brule set Cogliano up for a goal earlier in the period, Cogliano quickly returned the favour. In what turned out to be a partial two-on-one down low, Cogliano fed a beautiful pass cross-crease to a wide-open Brule, where the skilled winger simply had to re-direct the puck past a helpless Brian Elliott. The goal provided the Oilers with some insurance in the final few minutes as Edmonton cruised to victory.

Martin Gerber had an outstanding night against his former team. The veteran goaltender kept the game close in the first period when the Oilers were finding their way early, and he provided his club with several spectacular saves throughout the night to give Edmonton an excellent chance to win. Most importantly, his breakway save on Daniel Alfredsson late in the second was the turning point in the game, as the Oilers scored the equalizer moments later and didn't look back.

Although Gilbert Brule and Andrew Cogliano stole the show in the final period where each tallied an important goal, linemate Dustin Penner's efforts shouldn't be lost in the shuffle. The entire line, particularly Penner, had a strong evening in the trenches. The forechecking pressure and smart plays with the puck enabled the Oilers to generate offensive chances as the game progressed. As such, Penner finished the night having recorded two assists and a plus-one rating in the victory.

Overall, tonight's game was physically dominated by the Oilers. Furious forechecking pressure enabled Edmonton to work Ottawa's defence and wear them down through consistent and deliberate pressure. Leading the way was defenceman Jim Vandermeer, who dished out a total of five hits to help contribute to the team total of 25. While none of the hits tonight were particular noteworthy, Vandermeer's presence offered a consistent battle for the physically outmatched Senators.

The Oilers came into tonight's game without having beaten the Senators since March 14, 2004. The last time the Oilers came away victorious at Scotiabank Place came exactly two years prior, on the same date in 2002. The Oilers broke those streaks tonight with a huge road victory.

"What a great story. To come back from an injury like that and come back to a former team and be able to do this for us is real big for him -- and us."

-  Head Coach Tom Renney's take on Martin Gerber's performance and return to Ottawa. 

Wednesday, December 1 vs. Montreal
  5:00 p.m. MT (TSN / 630 CHED)

The Oilers' eastern Canada road trip continues with a stop in Montreal. Edmonton hopes to continue its strong start to the trip with a victory over the Canadiens.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |