|Edmonton's Ales Hemsky skates by New York's Wade Redden on November 10, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)|
Fresh from Sunday night's 2-1 win in New Jersey, Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers salvaged a 3-2 shootout win for the Oilers with 40 saves and a perfect shootout performance vs. the Rangers in New York Monday night. Erik Cole and Kyle Brodziak gave the Oilers a 2-0 lead early in the game, while Ales Hemsky earned the game-winner with the lone shootout goal.
Rangers' tender Henrik Lundqvist would face the game's first three shots, including a centering attempt by Fernando Pisani that bounced off Erik Cole's skate and into the net to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead at 3:27.
Four minutes later, the Rangers benefited from a man-advantage when Lubomir Visnovsky earned a holding penalty. Although the home team used the opportunity to match the visitors' four shots, New York was unable to beat Deslauriers and continued to strive for their first goal.
With under three minutes left in the opening frame, Zack Stortini and Colton Orr grappled at center ice and then watched from the penalty boxes as the Oilers held on to their one-goal lead through to the end of the period.
Like in the first period, it took the Oilers 3:30 to find the back of the net in the middle frame. Perfectly poised in front of Lundqvist, Kyle Brodziak tipped in Visnovsky's blue line slapshot to give Edmonton a 2-0 lead.
Five minutes later, the Rangers responded. After surging out of the home zone with Ryan Callahan, Paul Mara completed a two-on-two rush with a snap shot that beat Deslauriers and put the Rangers back within a goal.
Edmonton benefited from their first powerplay following the goal, but the visitors were unable to regain their two-goal cushion on the man-advantage. New York's top line applied pressure upon the return of five-on-five, eventually drawing a holding penalty from Robert Nilsson. But like the Oilers, the Rangers were unable to translate the five-on-four into a powerplay goal and even-strength play continued.
New York dominated the play through the rest of the period. The club came within centimeters of tying the game when their 22nd shot slipped through Deslaurier's pads, but the young goalie reached back and smothered the puck as it toed the goal line, keeping the Oilers up 2-1 to start the third period.
While the Rangers' 22nd shot failed to result in a goal, their 30th attempt proved to be the equalizer. Only 46 seconds into the third period, Chris Drury tipped in Scott Gomez's slapshot to erase Edmonton's two-goal lead and tie the game.
The Oilers matched the Rangers shot for shot as the period progressed, but a holding penalty to Ales Hemsky threatened to derail the club with six minutes left on the clock. Deslauriers faced his 40th shot and a cluster of aggressive Rangers on the penalty kill, encouraging a shoving match between Sheldon Souray and Aaron Voros that escalated into a melee.
Penalties were evenly distributed, but at 17:15, New York's Marc Staal was called for hooking to give Edmonon a second and final regulation powerplay. Although the team tallied four shots on the man-advantage, Lundqvist persevered to force overtime.
That second regulation powerplay was quickly followed by a sudden-death four-on-three when Souray drew a holding-the-stick penalty from Mara 14 seconds into extra time. But Lundqvist turned away the two powerplay shots and then prevented Pisani and Andrew Cogliano from scoring the game-winner on a two-on-one, pushing the game into a shootout.
With 40 saves behind him, Deslauriers stepped up to face three more in the shootout. After Sam Gagner's failed attempt, Hemsky beat Lundqvist one-on-one and it was up to Deslauriers to stop sniper Markus Naslund. Thanks to a quick glove hand, the Oilers goalie robbed the Rangers of a come-from-behind win and sent his club back to Edmonton riding high from a 3-2 shootout victory.
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