Oilers crush Capitals 5-2
|Edmonton's Shawn Horcoff puts a move on Washington John Erskine, sending him to the ice during at the Verizon Center January 13, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Three goals by Erik Cole, an NHL first for Steve MacIntyre
, and 34 saves by Dwayne Roloson helped give the Edmonton Oilers a 5-2 win over the powerful Washington Capitals Tuesday night. Gilbert Brule
also scored for Edmonton, while Tomas Fleischmann and Mike Green registered Washington's two markers.
The Oilers -- and specifically goalie Dwayne Roloson -- had their hands full early. The Capitals crafted a 12-3 shot lead by the period's midway point and then benefited from the game's first powerplay when Marc Pouliot was called for interference, but a hooking penalty to Alexander Semin only six seconds later negated the man-advantage.
Although Washington continued to dominate the shot clock after the penalties, Edmonton was the first to make one count. With seven minutes left in the first, Steve MacIntyre
beat Jose Theodore with a wrist shot from the slot to register his first NHL goal and give the Oilers a 1-0 lead.
Less than a minute after the goal, Semin took another hooking penalty to watch the Oilers go their second powerplay and -- 25 seconds later -- score their second goal of the game. After a scramble near Theodore's crease freed up the puck and threw Erik Cole off-balance, the forward made a final swipe while falling to the ice and forced the puck across the line to put the Oil up 2-0.
and Kyle Brodziak took penalties in the period's final two minutes, offering the Capitals a good chance to narrow the gap. But the Oilers killed the first infraction and were then relieved by the buzzer midway through the second. As a result, Edmonton would start the middle frame down a man and trailing 19-9 in shots but with a 2-0 lead.
The Caps hit 20 shots on the period-opening powerplay, but Roloson resisted the assault. A minute after the return of five-on-five, the Oilers gave their goalie a bit of a rest by carrying play back up the ice. Kyle Brodziak swept up the wing and then hit Gilbert Brule
with a perfectly-timed centering pass. Brule out-played Theodore and backhanded the puck into the net to score a beauty of a goal -- his second in as many games and Edmonton's third of the night.
At 7:40, Washington's Tomas Fleischmann secured a spot beside Brule on the highlight reel. Faced with a cluster of white jerseys, the winger powered up the middle and beat Roloson with a high wrist shot to get the Capitals on the board and back within two.
Just over three minutes later, Steve Staios' face connected with the edge of Fleischmann's stick, resulting in a double high-sticking minor to the home goal-scorer. Despite testing Theodore with three more shots, the Oilers were unable to extend their lead on the four-minute powerplay.
A late delay-of-game penalty to Washington's Karl Alzner ensured Edmonton would start the third period with a two-goal lead and a powerplay.
Although the Oilers couldn't increase their lead on that fifth man-advantage, Erik Cole scored his second of the game with both teams at even strength. Kyle Brodziak fired a wrist shot from the hashmarks that bounced in off Cole at the top of the crease to give the Oilers a three-goal cushion. The assist marked Potulny's third in two games since being called up from the AHL's Springfield Falcons.
Washington's penalty killers stifled a sixth Edmonton powerplay later in the period, after which the club's powerplay unit made an impact on the scoreboard. With Brule serving a boarding penalty, Mike Green picked up a sneaky pass from Semin and edged it past Roloson to set the score at 4-2.
The Capitals pulled Theodore in the final two minutes, and the six swarming skaters helped push the club over the 35-shot mark. But Roloson kept the puck out of his net and Cole added an empty-netter to his tally, securing a 5-2 win for the Oilers and a winning start to their three-game road trip.
Erik Cole now has five career NHL hat tricks. His last one also came against the Washington Capitals on November 9, 2006 in a 5-0 Carolina Hurricanes win against the Caps... The Oilers did not have a hat trick last season... The win was Edmonton's first in Washington since January 26, 1997.
|Three star selections