Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur slides across to stop Oilers forward Ales Hemsky.
- photo by Andy Devlin Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club
Strong forechecking from Jarret Stoll and Patrick Thoresen led to Edmonton's first scoring chance of the night. Stoll tried to wrap the puck around on Devils netminder Martin Brodeur but was denied.
Almost eight minutes into the period, Zack Stortini dropped the gloves with New Jersey's Arron Asham. The fight was even at the start but Stortini got some late shots in to win the bout handily.
Edmonton looked to have scored the game's first goal when Sam Gagner picked up the puck in the corner and tried to jam it low past Brodeur. The Devils goaltender made the initial stop and then denied Fernando Pisani on the close rebound. On the play, the net was dislodged right before the puck crossed the goal line.
The Oilers finally got on the board 15:15 into the opening period. Joni Pitkanen picked up the puck in the Edmonton zone and then skated up ice. He dished the puck to Hemsky who drove to the net. Brodeur made the initial stop on Hemsky's deke but Pitkanen was right there to put home the rebound.
After one period, shots on goal were 9-8 for New Jersey.
Ladislav Smid took the game's first minor penalty 9:08 into the second period. He draped himself over Zach Parise as the Devils forward tried to break in alone on Garon.
After killing off that penalty, Steve Staios got two for delay of game after clearing the puck over the glass. That put New Jersey back on the power play.
On the ensuing man advantage, Garon made a nice save on Gionta after the Devils forward took a pass from Parise in the slot.
Aided by the two power plays, New Jersey started to take over some of the game's momentum. Shots on goal were 9-0 Devils at one point during the period.
They added two more shots at the end of the period on their third power play to make it 11 unanswered shots on goal.
After two, shots were 21-10 for the Devils.
Jamie Langenbrunner almost tied the game in the opening minute of the period. He had the puck and Garon at his mercy but the Oilers netminder got a piece of it before the puck bounced harmlessly in the crease and was swatted away.
About five minutes later, Garon stoned David Clarkson on a pair of chances from the top of the crease. Clarkson took a pass in the slot from John Madden and redirected it on net. Garon kicked out the first shot then kept his pads along the ice to deny the second opportunity.
The Oilers were scrambling and iced the puck. Coach MacTavish called a 30-second timeout to give his players some time to rest but on the next faceoff, the Devils scored to tie the game.
Brian Gionta passed the puck across the crease right on the stick of Elias. Garon couldn't come across in time to make the save.
35 seconds later, New Jersey went back on the attack. Gionta swooped in to put home a rebound after Zubrus took the initial shot on goal. Just like that, New Jersey had a 2-1 lead.
With 9:42 to go in the third, Mike Mottau accidentally clipped Horcoff with his stick giving Edmonton its first power play of the night.
With 40 seconds left, Sheldon Souray's booming shot from the point was stopped by Brodeur. The blast neutralized the Devils netminder for a moment but it was then cleared out of harm's way. Moments later, Madden fired the puck the length of the ice into the open cage to give New Jersey the win.
NOTES: Dwayne Roloson was scratched tonight due to strep throat. Backing up Mathieu Garon was University of Alberta Golden Bears goaltender Aaron Sorochan.
Andrew Cogliano is denied on a scoring chance in the third period by Martin Brodeur
- photo by Greg Skafte edmontonoilers.com