Oilers 3, Blackhawks 2 (SO)
Thousands of Canadian Forces military personnel gather at centre ice for following the game.
- photo by Andy Devlin Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club
Dwayne Roloson stopped 38 of 40 shots en route to a 3-2 shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tickets for Troops night Saturday at Rexall Place.
and Shawn Horcoff
scored in the shootout for Edmonton while Roloson stopped both Patrick Kane and Yanic Perreault in the showdown.
The victory was Edmonton's league-leading sixth shootout win of the season with only one shootout loss.
"We've been pretty fortunate. I think it has to do with our goalies. They've been pretty unbelievable on the breakaways," said Marty Reasoner after the game on the team's shootout success. "I think we make it a little bit too close. We've got to hang on to some of those. When we take the lead we've got to extend it a little bit.
"It's good for the fans but I don't think it's very good for Mac and the coaching staff. I think it's giving them some heart issues," Reasoner joked.
"I think we have a combination of some pretty good skill guys and two great goalies."
Reasoner had a goal himself, his second of the season and second in three games.
"I think once you get a few games and it gets into double digits you start to press a little bit. Once you get that first one you feel more comfortable and can just worry about playing your game," Reasoner stated.
The game was Tickets for Troops night, which meant that a number of Oilers Season Seat and Mini-Pack Holders donated their tickets to members of the Canadian Forces. At the end of the game, Oilers players went to centre ice and saluted the largely-military crowd.
"It was a really great atmosphere," he said. "It's just a small thing we can do to show our support for them and how proud we are of what they're doing."
Roloson was busy early in the game , having to stop Patrick Kane on two chances right in front of the Edmonton net early in the opening period.
Sparks started to fly about eight minutes into the game when Zack Stortini
and David Koci squared off at centre ice. The two fought for several minutes, mostly grappling until the end when Koci got a few shots in on Stortini.
The fight started shortly after Koci levelled Stortini with an open-ice check in the Edmonton zone.
Edmonton had a power play late in the period and had two great chances to get the game's first goal but Khabibulin came up big both times.
Hemsky's one-timer from the left side boards looked like it had a chance to go in but the Blackhawks netminder slid his right pad across to make the save.
Moments later, Cogliano's quick wrist shot from the slot was stopped.
After one period, shots on goal were 8-7 in favour of Edmonton.
Chicago got on the scoresheet early in the second period when Jim Vandermeer
blasted a shot from the left point that beat a screened Roloson low glove side.
Five minutes into the period, Joni Pitkanen used his wheels to carry the puck up ice and skate around Blackhawks defender Magnus Johansson. He cut in front of the net but couldn't get the puck around Khabibulin.
A couple minutes later, the Oilers had a good scoring chance while shorthanded. Cogliano had the puck in the corner of the 'Hawks zone and found Horcoff alone in the slot. Horcoff's low shot was turned away by Khabibulin.
Coming back the other way, Roloson had to make a great glove save on a Patrick Kane wrister.
Edmonton started to pick up some momentum as the period went on. Horcoff, Penner and Hemsky rushed up ice on a three-on-two. Penner's shot was stopped by Khabibulin. The play circulated back up ice where the Oilers were making a line change.
Sanderson stepped on the ice and proceeded to carry the puck back into the Chicago zone. He threw it back to Grebeshkov at the left point. Grebeshkov carried the puck in deep and managed to pull Khabibulin over before feeding Hemsky at the top of the crease for a tap-in into the empty net.
Shots after two were 21-19 for Chicago.
Edmonton came out flying to start the third, outshooting Chicago 6-0 through the first 4:30 of the period. Several of the chances were solid as well such as Hemsky's short side attempt off the rush.
The Oilers were rewarded for their third-period jump 6:02 into the period. Brodziak found Reasoner at the left circle and he blasted it past Khabibulin to give Edmonton the 2-1 lead.
Past the midway point of the period, Chicago started to turn up the heat. Adam Burish had an open net during a scramble in front of the net but had the puck swatted away from him by Brodziak at the last minute.
Moments later, Duncan Keith corralled the puck at the blueline and slapped it past a screened Roloson low glove side to tie the game at 2-2.
With seven minutes left in the third, Toews tripped up Zack Stortini
as he tried to break free to accept a pass from Stoll, putting Edmonton on the power play for the third time.
Chicago started to take the play to the Oilers as the third period continued. Shots were 10-1 Blackhawks following Reasoner's goal up until a Hemsky wrister from the left circle was turned away by Khabibulin with two minutes left.
The Oilers' resolve was tested in a big way with 1:33 to go in the third. Ales Hemsky
was sent off at that time for holding the stick.
They were able to kill the penalty right to the end of regulation. Shots after three periods were 32-30 for Chicago.
Fireworks ensued with 12 seconds left in the overtime period after Patrick Kane slashed Roloson. Khabibulin almost skated down the ice to confront the Oilers netminder but calmer heads prevailed. The only penalty to result from the melee was a Kane slashing minor.
Dick Tarnstrom left the game in the second period after suffering a mild concussion. He will be out for one week... Steve Staios played in his 700th career NHL game and Shawn Horcoff
played in his 450th career Oilers/NHL game.
|Three star selections