Oilers beat Blues 2-1 in shootout
|Edmonton's Tom Gilbert keeps St. Louis' Brad Boyes from shooting on Dwayne Roloson on February 5, 2009 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Edmonton won 2-1 in a shootout. (Photo by Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Although the Blues forced extra time by matching Sheldon Souray
's opening goal, Robert Nilsson, Sam Gagner
, and goalie Dwayne Roloson were perfect in the shootout to secure a 2-1 Oilers victory Thursday night.
Only 30 seconds into the game, a hooking penalty to Shawn Horcoff
put the Blues on the powerplay, but Roloson was able to ease himself into the game by enjoying a shot-less two minutes.
Five minutes later, Edmonton got its first powerplay opportunity when David Perron was called for holding. Although the visitors managed to tally four shots on the man-advantage, St. Louis netminder Chris Mason continued the scoreless game.
At the 13-minute mark, Zack Stortini
and Cam Janssen collided near the Oilers bench, shared a few words and then traded some punches. The lengthy, evenly-matched fight saw both players land a handful of blows and eventually earn fighting majors.
With both players in their penalty boxes, the Blues applied pressure. Roloson was drawn out of position, and a shot from the point deflected off the right post and landed in the crease. A jumble of players swarmed the net and piled on top of the puck, preventing it from crossing the line. Kyle Brodziak took a roughing minor for his role in the melee and the Blues benefited from their second powerplay.
Although St. Louis matched Edmonton's eight shots on the man-advantage, both goalies stayed perfect through 20 minutes.
Roloson was tested by Brad Winchester early in the second, but David Backes was soon called for goaltender interference, giving the goalie a two-minute reprieve from the Blues assault.
St. Louis owned a 14-12 shot lead by the seven-minute mark of the middle frame, a lead that increased to 16-12 after Edmonton's Jason Strudwick
served two minutes for high-sticking.
The teams traded shots through the latter half of the period, but the Oilers would be the first to convert a shot into a goal. As the visitors cleared their zone and descended back in on Mason, Robert Nilsson fed the puck to blueliner Sheldon Souray
, who fired from the top of the face-off circle, through traffic, and into the net to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead with just over three minutes left on the clock.
Despite trailing 22-15 oin shots, the Oilers carried their one-goal lead into the final 20 minutes. During the second intermission, it was announced that Tom Gilbert
and Horcoff would not return to the game due to lower body injuries.
Edmonton adapted to the loss of a top forward and defenceman but struggled to contain St. Louis. Although the Blues' Brad Boyes took a cross-checking penalty at the five-minute mark, penalty killers outplayed the Oilers powerplay unit, culminating in a shorthanded goal for Jay McClement and a 1-1 tie.
The Oilers attained 20 shots in the final five minutes of regulation, and the Blues hit 30 two minutes later. A pair of extra Oilers shots and one more Blues attempt were blocked by Mason and Roloson, forcing the game into extra time.
2:30 into sudden death, Souray nearly scored the game-winner and his second of the game, but a telltale "ping" signaled a sturdy post and no goal. The Oilers were outshot 3-1 in overtime, but both goaltenders stood strong to force a shootout.
Roloson won the first breakaway battle and then watched Robert Nilsson score on his attempt. Another save for the Oilers put the win in Sam Gagner
's hands, and the young forward failed to disappoint by beating Mason with a backhand to salvage a 2-1 shootout victory.
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