GAME STORY presented by CENOVUS

Under the Scope: Oilers at Sharks

An in-depth look at Thursday's 5-2 victory over San Jose

Friday, 14.01.2011 / 3:10 AM / Cenovus Game Story
By Ryan Dittrick  - edmontonoilers.com
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Under the Scope: Oilers at Sharks
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Timely goal-scoring, a strong performance by a recent all-star selection, and a brilliant backstopping effort from Edmonton's rookie netminder told the story of a 5-2 Oilers victory Thursday night. Devan Dubnyk led the way for his club, as he provided 41 saves on 43 shots to earn his fourth victory of the season and Edmonton's first road win since early December.

Ales Hemsky tallied a season-high four assists, as the chemistry between he and linemates Taylor Hall and Dustin Penner has reached a new level. Hall scored twice and added an assist, while Penner added a goal and contributed with five shots on net to help spark the offensive attack.

Linus Omark and Andrew Cogliano added Edmonton's other markers, while Joe Thornton and Ryan Clowe notched San Jose's lone goals in the third period.

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


Devan Dubnyk was strong all evening, but the constant offensive attack from the veteran Sharks provided an ever-reminding threat that the game could be broken open at any moment. With that in mind, the timely offensive output from the Oilers provided some breathing room for the young squad. Dustin Penner's goal only 3:50 into the second period put Edmonton up by a pair, and provided the insurance that the visitors desired. While the Sharks charged offensively in the final frame, they were never able to get any closer than the two-goal disadvantage that the Oilers had procured earlier on.


32 The Oilers won only 32% of the draws tonight. Of the players who took more than three, Sam Gagner produced the best total with a 6-8, 43% outing in the faceoff dot.
4 Ales Hemsky's four assists is a season-high for the dynamic winger as he doubled his previous high of two. With the additional four points tonight, Hemsky has now recorded 28 in 29 games this season.
47 It was a game that had its tone set by physical play. Both the Oilers and Sharks combined to dish out 48 hits on this night (23 by Edmonton, 25 by San Jose).
42 Prior to tonight, the Oilers' last road victory came on December 2, 2010 vs. Toronto; a span of 42 days between triumphs away from Rexall place.


Ales Hemsky
G A P +/- Shots
0 4 4 +4 2


Devan Dubnyk
SA SV GA TOI SV%
43 41 2 60:00 .953


Taylor Hall
G A P +/- Shots
2 1 3 +3 5



SHARKS
Antero Niittymaki
SA SV GA TOI SV%
29 25 4 58:39 .862

OILERS
Devan Dubnyk
SA SV GA TOI SV%
43 41 2 60:00 .953



SHARKS
Dan Boyle - D

30:02 - 0P, -2 rating

OILERS
Tom Gilbert - D

29:56 - 1A, +3 rating

Andrew Cogliano has admittedly endured a difficult 2010-11 season to this point, but with confidence growing and chemistry developing between he and his new linemates, his offensive game was on display tonight. After receiving a beautiful feed from recent call-up Liam Reddox, Cogliano curled from the corner into the low slot where he lined up his sights for the game's opening goal. Sharks goaltender Antero Niittymaki commited early, leaving room for Edmonton's speedster to snipe the puck into the roof of the cage. It was a fine display of skill that put the Oilers up 1-0 early.


Although the Sharks' offensive game has had difficulty executing of late, the chances were there on this evening as San Jose looked to return to the win column. Devan Dubnyk, however, stood in the way. The Oilers' rookie netminder provided his team with 41 saves on the evening, including 13 in the third period to lead the Oilers to victory. In the process, Dubnyk collected his fourth win of the season that pushed his personal record above the .500 mark (4-3-5) for the first time since November 23, 2010.


Being matched up against one of the NHL's best in Joe Thornton is never an easy task, but the added responsibility was something that rugged defenceman Theo Peckham welcomed with open arms. Peckham finished the night having played 21:21 of solid defensive hockey, recording two hits and two blocked shots in the process. While Thornton would add a powerplay marker early in the third period, he was blanked offensively when Peckham was on the ice providing the defensive challenge.


While the game featured dozens of bone-crunching hits, it was the other brand of physical play that set the tone early. Only a few minutes into the game, San Jose had established a dedicated crease-crashing effort. At 9:29 of the first, Ladislav Smid took exception. He dropped the gloves Jamie McGinn and landed several strong punches before being broken up by the linesmen. It was a quick, but spirited by exhibition by Smid that only resulted in a two-minute minor penalty for roughing.


The Oilers' powerplay has struggled of late, as the team currently sits in a lengthy goal-scoring drought with the man advantage. Edmonton hasn't scored on its past 27 opportunities, including a lengthy five-on-three tonight. Interestingly enough, however, Linus Omark's third period goal came moments after the two-man advantage expired. The Oilers have still yet to score a goal while up two men all season as well.



"I'm happy with what I'm playing. Coming in the year, I had no idea. I'm still young and I've still got to earn everything I get, so I'm excited every chance I get to play. I know I say that all the time, but it's true."

Devan Dubnyk following the win over San jose




Saturday, January 15 at Los Angeles
  8:00pm MT (CBC / 630 CHED)


After having returned to the win column following a dominant 5-2 victory over the Sharks, the Oilers hope the California fun will continue in Los Angeles.

Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com