Oilers blow away Leafs 4-1
|Toronto's John Mitchell is stopped in close by Dwayne Roloson during game action March 7, 2009 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Roloson went on to make 39 saves in a 4-1 Oilers win. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Although the Maple Leafs registered the first goal of the game, the Oilers answered only 21 seconds later and then added three more to earn a 4-1 win and two points in Toronto Saturday night.
Kyle Brodziak scored two goals, Ales Hemsky
had a goal and an assist, and Dwayne Roloson stopped 39 shots.
Two minutes into the game, both clubs lost a defenceman when Toronto's Mike Van Ryn was helped off the ice, followed shortly after by Ladislav Smid
, who was hit in the Leafs zone, tripped over by the referee, and lost some blood as a result.
The Leafs stayed on top of the shot clock after the injuries but Dwayne Roloson turned away each attempt. With eight minutes left in the frame, Zack Stortini
and Ben Ondrus traded shots of their own in a brawl near Martin Gerber's net.
Toronto was invigorated by the fight and managed a few odd-man rushes that required Roloson -- as well as forward Andrew Cogliano
-- to make a pair of stunning saves.
The saves continued until the end of the period. An interference minor to Tom Gilbert
at the buzzer ensured the Maple Leafs would be up two shots and one man to start the second period.
One minute into the period-opening powerplay, the Leafs hit the scoreclock. Immediately after a face-off to Roloson's right, Alexei Ponikarovsky aggressively backhanded the puck into the net to score the first goal of the game.
But the 1-0 lead wouldn't last long. Only 21 seconds later, Ales Hemsky
received a feed from Shawn Horcoff
and embarked on a partial breakaway. The Oilers sniper snapped the puck past Gerber to tie the game at one.
At the six-minute mark, coincidental roughing minors to Sheldon Souray
and Ondrus forced two minutes on four-on-four. Although both goalies prevented further scoring, the Leafs used the opened-up ice to attain 20 shots while the Oilers sat at nine.
Despite having registered less than half of Toronto's shots, Edmonton required only one more to assume their first lead of the game. Like Hemsky did earlier in the period, Kyle Brodziak got a breakaway and beat Gerber five-hole to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead.
Two minutes later, the visitors scored their third goal on their fifth shot of the period. With the Oilers set up in the Leafs zone, the puck flew from Cogliano to Denis Grebeshkov and then cross-ice to Fernando Pisani, who wristed it past Gerber to put his club up 3-1.
After 40 minutes, the Oilers were up two goals but trailing 27-12 on the shot clock.
The Oilers benefited from their first powerplay early in the third when Ponikarovsky was called for high-sticking, but the visitors were unable to increase their lead on the man-advantage.
Like the Oilers, the Leafs suffered a scoreless powerplay with seven minutes left in regulation, shortly before Sheldon Souray
and Pavel Kubina received coincidental roughing and slashing minors.
The Leafs pulled Gerber in the final two minutes, but the extra attacker failed to result in extra goals. With the net sitting empty, Brodziak registered his second goal of the game and sealed a 4-1 win for the Oilers Saturday night.
|Three star selections