|Edmonton's Shawn Horcoff and Philadelphia's Mike Richards battle for a loose puck after a faceoff on November 2, 2008 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)|
Although Philadelphia's potent powerplay threatened to ruin a sunny Sunday matinee for Edmonton, two goals by Ales Hemsky and extra markers by Erik Cole, Sheldon Souray, and Dustin Penner pushed the Oilers to a 5-4 victory over the Flyers. Hemsky and Tom Gilbert earned three points each in the game, while Dwayne Roloson made 22 saves for his second win of the season.
Although Edmonton couldn't beat Flyers goalie Martin Biron on two early man-advantages, the Oilers lit the lamp at the period's midway point. After forcing the Flyers out of the visitors zone, Ethan Moreau and Erik Cole surged up the ice. Cole converted a pass from Moreau into a wrist shot from the hash marks that fooled Biron to put Edmonton up 1-0.
But Philadelphia responded only 1:42 later. With Edmonton's Tom Gilbert serving two minutes for hooking, Flyers forward Mike Knuble took advantage of a sprawled-out Roloson by pushing the puck past stand-in goalie Steve Staios to tie the game at one.
Less than two minutes after Knuble's equalizer, the tide turned back in the Oilers favour. At 12:27, Ales Hemsky secured a spot on the highlight reel by weaving through a cluster of Flyers defenders and beating Biron with a backhand for his first goal of the season and a renewed Oilers lead.
A last-minute hooking penalty to Philly's Joffrey Lupul ensured Edmonton would start the second period up one man, one goal, and four shots.
Three minutes into the middle frame, Oilers bruiser Steve MacIntyre took on Riley Cote and both players earned fighting majors for the scrap. A minute after the fight, Hemsky stole the spotlight for the second time with his second goal of the game. After battling up the slot towards Biron, the speedy winger cut across the Flyers crease and scored on the forehand to give the Oilers a two goal cushion.
Sheldon Souray headed to the penalty box for interference following the goal, offering the Flyers their third powerplay of the game. Like they did in their first opportunity, Philly made the most of their man-advantage and cut Edmonton's lead in half thanks to a well-screened slapshot from blueliner Braydon Coburn.
But Souray got payback with a slapshot of his own two minutes later. With Steve Downie serving a slashing penalty, the Oilers powerplay unit set up in the Flyers zone. Sam Gagner got the puck out to the Souray at the point, and the defenceman employed his legendary slapshot to put the Oilers up 4-2.
At 11:53, Dustin Penner got in on the action. The towering forward set himself up on Biron's doorstep and prodded the puck across the line to give Edmonton a three-goal cushion.
Souray headed back to the penalty box in the period's final three minutes, and for the third time in five instances, the Flyers went on the offensive. Just over a minute into the powerplay, Philadelphia's Jeff Carter beat Roloson with a wrist shot to put the Flyers back within two after two periods of play.
Only 20 seconds into the third, the Flyers swarmed Roloson and cut the Oilers lead to one. As the puck bounced around the crease, Simon Gagne swept in and pushed it past the goalie to set the score at 5-4.
Two man-advantages failed to result in a renewed two-goal lead for Edmonton, and Philadelphia followed up those five-on-fours with an unsuccessful powerplay of their own with nine minutes left on the clock.
The Flyers opted for six skaters in the game's final 90 seconds, but with exactly one minute left, a hooking penalty to Kimmo Timonen put Biron back between the pipes. The Oilers kept the home team from pulling the goalie until the game's final few seconds, but by that point extra time was out of reach and Edmonton held on for a 5-4 win in Philadelphia Sunday afternoon.