|Edmonton's Dwayne Roloson defends the goal against Carolina's Chad LaRose during Saturday's matinee game in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)|
With Edmonton striving to end a five-game losing skid, Oilers Captain Ethan Moreau posted the game-winning goal and then an empty netter in the game's final two minutes to secure a 3-1 victory over the Hurricanes Saturday afternoon. Moreau earned first-star honours for the two-goal performance, while Dwayne Roloson stopped 33 shots for his first win of the season.
Only 39 seconds into the game, Moreau took a high-sticking penalty to put the visitors at an early disadvantage. Carolina posted one shot on the powerplay, but the best scoring opportunity of the young game belonged to the Oilers Captain at the conclusion of the penalty. Moreau burst out of the box and broke in on Hurricanes netminder Cam Ward but was unable to score on an initial shot or following rebound.
Unfortunately for the Oilers, a breakaway in the opposite direction resulted in the opening goal four minutes later. Hurricanes defender Tim Gleason fed a surging Ray Whitney, who beat Dwayne Roloson by firing five hole to give the home team an early 1-0 lead.
The Oilers outshot the 'Canes through to the final three minutes of the frame, at which time a heavy hit on Denis Grebeshkov prompted Moreau to tackle Tuomo Ruutu. In addition to the fighting majors, Moreau earned two minutes for instigating and a 10-minute misconduct, putting the Oilers on the penalty kill for the second time.
Like during Carolina's first powerplay, Edmonton's penalty killers allowed only one shot on goal, allowing the club to wrap 20 minutes with a 10-7 shot lead but down 1-0.
Edmonton's penalty killers were back on duty 2:16 into the second period when Sheldon Souray was called for hooking. But the Oilers forced a third scoreless 'Canes powerplay and then benefited from a powerplay of their own when former Hurricane Erik Cole drew a hooking penalty from Dennis Seidenberg.
Although the 'Canes managed two shorthanded shots, the Oilers started to click midway through the five-on-four. With a sharp-angle shot, Shawn Horcoff snapped the puck inside the near post to put Edmonton back on even terms with Carolina.
Horcoff followed up the goal with a hooking penalty at the game's midway point, but Carolina was unable to match with a man-advantage marker of their own and dropped to 0-for-4 on the powerplay.
With under five minutes left in the period, a tripping penalty to Lubomir Visnovsky offerd the Hurricanes a fifth powerplay. Although the home team assumed their first shot lead of the game on the man-advange, Roloson refused to allow a 'Canes go-ahead goal and kept the game tied 1-1 heading into the third period.
Following a sixth 'Canes powerplay early in the third, the Oilers benefited from their second and third powerplays -- including a 37-second five-on-three -- when Seidenberg and Anton Babchuk spent time in the home box. Edmonton topped the shot clock on the powerplays but was unable to take their first lead of the game.
With less than two minutes left in regulation, Moreau made it happen at even strength. After powering up the wing, Moreau approached Ward's stick side and bumbled the puck past the goalie to give the Oilers their first lead of the game.
The Hurricanes opted for six skaters in the game's final minute and swarmed Roloson. The home team came within inches of forcing extra time when the puck toed the goal line, but video replay proved that Roloson swiped it away to maintain his club's one-goal lead.
With 35 seconds left on the clock, Moreau added an empty netter to secure a 3-1 victory for the Oilers.