Oilers clipped by Thrashers
|Oilers netminder Nikolai Khabibulin slides across to make a save on Thrashers centre Marty Reasoner (photo: Getty Images)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Slava Kozlov's third period goal was the difference as the Atlanta Thrashers clipped the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 at Philips Arena on Sunday afternoon. Shawn Horcoff
and Dustin Penner
scored the goals for Edmonton.
The beautiful Sunday afternoon started not so beautifully for the Oilers as Steve Staios took a slashing penalty only three minutes into the contest. Although the visiting penalty killers stifled the Thrashers for most of the man-advantage, the second shot of the game -- a slapper courtesy of blueliner Zach Bogosian -- fooled Nikolai Khabibulin
and set the score 1-0.
A second Oilers penalty helped keep the team shotless through the opening nine minutes, but shortly after Atlanta's Todd White concluded his hooking minor, Mike Comrie was finally able to test keeper Johan Hedberg.
Two more Thrashers infractions in the latter half of the period put the Oilers up six shots to five, but Hedberg turned away each attempt to maintain his team's lead heading into the second period.
39 seconds after the following puck drop, the Oilers found shot number seven and goal number one. Poised at the top of the Hedberg's crease, Shawn Horcoff
caught a piece of Staios' slapshot and redirected it into the net to tie the game at one.
The Thrashers swept in on Khabibulin following the goal and swarmed the Oilers goalie. Although Atlanta managed to quickly tally four attempts on the assault, they were unable to finish the job and failed to find the go-ahead goal.
Edmonton broke 20 shots with six minutes left on the clock, but it would take 23 to break the stalemate. On a feed from Andrew Cogliano
, Dustin Penner
powered his way up the slot and snapped the puck past Hedberg to put the Oil up 2-1.
A late penalty to Ethan Moreau put the Oilers back on the penalty kill to close out the period, but led by Andrew Cogliano
, the club took control and broke into the Thrashers zone. The shorthanded surged backfired, however, when Maxim Afinogenov snagged the puck from Sheldon Souray
and concluded his breakaway with a goal.
After 40 minutes, the Oilers had a 24-18 shot lead but were tied with the Thrashers 2-2.
Atlanta had the best chance to score early in the third period. From the side boards, Tobias Enstrom found Todd White at the top of the right faceoff circle. His point-blank blast went off Khabibulin's blocker and into the crowd.
Continued great forechecking from the line of Potulny, Reddox and Brule got Edmonton their fourth powerplay of the afternoon. Atlanta's Anssi Salmela pinned Potulny to the boards deep in the Thrashers end.
The Thrashers took the lead with eight minutes to play in the third. White backhanded a pass to Slava Kozlov in the high slot. His one timer beat Khabibulin glove side to make it 3-2.
The Oilers had some great chances on the man advantage as they carried the play but could not convert. Their best opportunity came on a goalmouth scramble but they could not push the puck past the mass of bodies across the line.
The Oilers had a mad flurry of activity at the end of the game, but could not solve Hedberg. Edmonton ended up outshooting Atlanta 36 to 30.
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