Rally falls short; Oilers lose 5-3 to Ducks
|Oilers and Ducks descend on Dwayne Roloson's net during the third period of the game between both clubs March 31, 2009 at Rexall Place. The Ducks went on to beat the Oilers 5-3. (Photo by Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Late goals by Denis Grebeshkov and Zack Stortini
got the Oilers within one of the Ducks, but a game-ending penalty and consequent empty-netter sealed a 5-3 loss for the Oilers Tuesday night. Andrew Cogliano
scored Edmonton's first goal, while Dwayne Roloson made 20 saves.
Anaheim registered the first four shots of the game before Dustin Penner
tested Jonas Hiller with Edmonton's first attempt near the five-minute mark. A shoving match between Stortini and Sheldon Brookbank resulted in roughing penalties shortly thereafter, but it would take a high-sticking minor to Rob Niedermayer to tip the game in Edmonton's favour
With 13 seconds left in the powerplay, Cogliano received the puck from Ales Kotalik and, from a sharp angle, tucked it between Hiller's shoulder and the crossbar to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead.
Oilers fans erupted with the goal and carried the cheer through the two fights that followed: a fierce scrap between Steve Staios and Bobby Ryan near the penalty boxes, and then a gritty grapple involving Stortini and George Parros between the benches.
With eight minutes left on the clock, Brookbank joined Ryan and Parros in the Ducks penalty box for roughing, but the Oilers were unable to tally a second powerplay goal.
Upon completing his two-minute term, Brookbank made his mark on the scoreclock. After receiving a drop-pass from Ryan Getzlaf, the blueliner settled into the face-off circle and snapped the puck past Roloson to tie the game at one.
Anaheim carried the shot lead until the end of the period, and a late Edmonton bench minor for too many men ensured the visitors would also start the second with an extra skater.
630 CHED's Dan Tencer talks to Andrew Cogliano after 20 minutes
One minute into the powerplay and 33 seconds into the middle frame, Scott Niedermayer gave the Ducks their first lead of the game. From the mid-slot, the visiting Captain completed a tic-tac-toe play by snapping the go-ahead goal into the net.
The Oilers penalty woes continued after the goal. Deep in the Ducks zone, defenceman Tom Gilbert
was shoved to the ice and as he fell, his stick lifted up and caught Ryan in the face. The incident resulted in a four-minute powerplay for Anaheim.
1:32 into the extended man-advantage, the Ducks doubled their lead. With help from Scott Niedermayer and Ryan, Chris Pronger slapped the puck through traffic and past Roloson to set the score at 3-1.
A third Edmonton powerplay helped the club crack 10 shots (vs. Anaheim's 21) near the game's midway point, and a fourth powerplay (a four-on-three thanks to earlier coincidental roughing minors to Theo Peckham
and Parros) resulted in a pair of exciting scoring chances.
Unfortunately for the Oil, Hiller kept his gate shut and Rob Niedermayer opened Roloson's at the opposite end of the ice. With 1:25 left in the period, the veteran forward skated up the wing and fooled the Oilers goalie with a sharp-angle shot. The goal gave the Ducks a three-goal, six-shot lead heading into the final frame.
Early in the third, Scott Niedermayer tripped up Patrick O'Sullivan and the Oilers went on the powerplay for the fifth time, but two saves by Hiller and three missed shots kept the home team down by three.
Edmonton continued to dominate after the man-advantage, eventually taking over the shot clock without surrendering a single attempt. With that persistance and a little patience, Hiller's gate opened.
In the final four mintues of regulation, blueliner Denis Grebeshkov registered his club's 28th shot and second goal of the game. Though his initial scoring attempt was unsuccessful, he stayed on the doorstep and snapped back a rebound to get the Oilers within two.
1:16 later, Stortini added a goal to his game resume to get the Oilers within one. With Roloson out of the net, Edmonton's go-to enforcer forced the puck past Hiller to set the score at 4-3.
Oilers Head Coach Craig MacTavish called for a measurement on Teemu Selanne's stick following the goal, but upon completing the request, the referees ruled that the stick was legal and Edmonton was assessed a penalty. Roloson left his net to keep the clubs on even terms, but an empty-netter for Rob Niedermayer smothered the Oilers comeback attempt and sealed a 5-3 win for the Ducks.
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