SEASON STARTS WITH A WIN
Robert Nilsson scores on Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov in the shootout.
- photo by Andy Devlin Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club
- Hemsky (crossbar)
- Nilsson (scored)
- Reasoner (saved)
- Stoll (scored)
- Cheechoo (saved)
- Clowe (wide)
- Pavelski (scored)
- Marleau (wide)
- Dwayne Roloson, EDM
28 saves and stopped three of four in the shootout to help lead the Oilers to victory.
- Andrew Cogliano, EDM
Played outstanding in his first game as an Oiler. Assisted on Tom Gilbert's goal which tied the game in period three and was +1 in 12:28 of icetime.
- Joe Thornton, SJ
Scored the tying goal and had an assist to lead the Sharks with two points.
- Minnesota won but Colorado and Calgary both lost tonight, meaning the victory puts the Oilers in a tie with the Wild for top spot in the Northwest Division. Of course, it's still very early.
- Edmonton faces Philadelphia on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. MDT. That game can be seen on Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View.
Jarret Stoll scored in the shootout while Tom Gilbert
and Kyle Brodziak added third period goals as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 at Rexall Place on Thursday night, opening their season on the right foot.
With the game on his stick, Stoll elected to shoot the puck from the high slot, beating Evgeni Nabokov low glove side to seal the game for Edmonton.
"I know he moves quick and sometimes if you get a quick shot away you're going to be rewarded," said Stoll. "Lucky break, I guess."
It was a gutsy effort for Edmonton, battling back from a 1-0 deficit and again from a late tying goal on the backs of many of their young players.
"It was a fun game for everybody," Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish said after the game. "Overall, I thought we played well. I was a little worried about how nervous we'd be going into the first game but we settled in after the first period and started to make some plays."
The team's rookies - notably Kyle Brodziak, Tom Gilbert
, Andrew Cogliano
and Sam Gagner
- all shone and played in many situations, including late in the game.
"I thought they were really good. I don't think Sam played that much but that's going to change in a hurry if he keeps playing like that," MacTavish continued. "Cogliano broke through a couple of times, the puck will settle down for him once he gets a little familiarity."
After 40 minutes of strong defensive play by both sides, San Jose finally broke the 0-0 deadlock 26 seconds into the third. Joe Thornton fed Patrick Marleau in the slot and he one-timed it past Roloson who couldn't get across in time to make the save.
It didn't take Edmonton long to tie the game up, however. Just over a minute later, Cogliano, Gagner and Gilbert broke in on a three-on-two. Cogliano carried the puck into the zone on a rush before feeding it to Gagner in the slot. Gagner passed it back to Cogliano who then threw the puck towards the net. There, it bounced in off Gilbert's skate and in. After a short video review, it was ruled a goal.
"I don't even know what (Gilbert) was doing in front of the net but he was there and I just threw it towards the net and it went off his skate," said Cogliano.
The rookie forward played his first-ever NHL game tonight and registered his first career NHL point while also being named the game's second star.
"I think coming out to that national anthem, that was something special. You only feel that once and for a young guy that's pretty special. I've been waiting for this moment all my life," he continued. "I think there's no better team to do it with and be on."
1:14 after the Gilbert goal, Sheldon Souray
blasted a shot from the left point. Nabokov got a piece of the shot but the puck trickled through his legs. The puck sat in the crease momentarily before Kyle Brodziak swooped in and backhanded it into the yawning cage. The assist was Souray's first point as an Oiler.
"It's unbelievable. I thought we played pretty well tonight. After they scored that first goal we told ourselves on the bench to not let that goal beat us," Brodziak stated after the game.
The goal was Brodziak's second in his NHL career.
"Right spot at the right time, I guess. He got so much force on that shot you know it's going to find holes here in that," he said. "Lucky I was there to put it in."
With 7:13 left in the third, Dick Tarnstrom took down Mike Grier behind the Sharks net, giving San Jose a power play and a great opportunity to tie the game up but the Oilers - in particular, Marty Reasoner - were able to kill it off.
Edmonton took another penalty with 41.7 seconds to go in the third when Sheldon Souray
received two minutes for holding. This time, the Sharks capitalized.
Joe Thornton rang a shot just under the crossbar top corner to tie the game with 10.6 seconds to play.
The Oilers went with Dwayne Roloson in net while San Jose started goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.
The game had a fast pace to it early on as Ales Hemsky
drove to the net seconds into the opening period. Nabokov made the save and Patrick Marleau took it back the other way for a chance of his own.Shawn Horcoff
took the first penalty of the season as he held up Patrick Marleau in the Sharks zone just enough to upend the San Jose forward.
On the ensuing power play, Roloson made a number of saves to keep the game scoreless but San Jose's best chance came early in the man advantage when Steve Bernier rang a wrister off the left post.
Shortly after the penalty expired, Milan Michalek upended Hemsky in the neutral zone to put Edmonton up a man for the first time this season. The team cycled the puck well and kept San Jose pinned in their zone for almost the entire two minutes but could not score.
Following a spirited penalty kill, Hemsky got the crowd of 16,839 out of their feet with a nice toe drag move as he broke into the San Jose end. he was up1 - ended by Kyle McLaren as he drove for the net, giving Edmonton its second power play of the night.
After one period, San Jose had a 9-7 edge in shots over the Oilers.
The Sharks started the second period on the power play and came very close to scoring the first goal. Joe Thornton rang a wrister off the inside post - the third post the Sharks had hit in the game to that point.
Midway through the period, Raffi Torres kneed a Sharks player and defenceman Doug Murray took exception, dropping the gloves with the Oilers winger. Murray received two for instigating, five for fighting and a game misconduct while Torres got two for kneeing and five for fighting.
Neither team was able to generate a whole lot in the way of chances in the middle frame. Shots on goal were 4-4 in the period and 13-11 San Jose overall through 40 minutes.NOTES:
The win was Edmonton's eighth straight game going undefeated in home openers (6-0-2)... Cogliano and Gagner's assists on Gilbert's goal were each player's first career NHL point... Tonight's scratches for the OIlers are: Marc Pouliot (healthy) and Ethan Moreau (ankle). Mathieu Roy and Tyler Spurgeon remain on injured reserve... Curtis Brown, Devin Setoguchi (ankle) and Rob Davison were San Jose's scratches.
|Three star selections