Deslauriers stops 36 as Oilers shutout Coyotes 4-0
| Ryan Potulny and Ethan Moreau celebrate Moreau's first-period goal vs. Phoenix Monday night at Rexall Place. The Oilers went on to beat the Coyotes 4-0. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
For the Oilers and their fans, Monday night was one to remember: Sheldon Souray
and Ales Hemsky
registered the two fastest goals in Oilers franchise history (seven seconds apart), Hemsky's goal was the 100th of his career, and goaltender Jeff Deslauriers
-- who spent much of the season in the shadow of star netminder Nikolai Khabibulin
-- stole the spotlight by stopping Phoenix's 36 shots to earn his first career shutout.
Ethan Moreau, Sheldon Souray
, and Shawn Horcoff
scored Edmonton's other three goals, with Souray, Horcoff, and Lubomir Visnovsky leading all players with two points each.
The Coyotes came out snarling, firing four shots on Oilers goalie Jeff Deslauriers
before watching their teammate Paul Bissonnette drop his gloves vs. Zack Stortini
. The scrap was short but furious and ended with fighting majors to both players.
Phoenix carried the shot clock through the first eight minutes of the game, but Edmonton was the first to make one count. Crisp passes between Lubomir Visnovsky, Ryan Potulny, and Ethan Moreau set the captain up for a rush up the right wing. Moreau powered past defender Sami Lepisto and across the crease to beat goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for the opening goal.
In the following three minutes, the Oilers added two more shots and two more goals. At 11:07, Sheldon Souray
got lucky when the puck took an odd bounce near the Coyotes net and crossed the line.
Oilers fans had little time to soak up the 2-0 lead because on the following center-ice face-off, the home team scored again. Seven seconds after Souray's goal, Dustin Penner
and Ales Hemsky
surprised the 'Yotes with a give-and-take up the middle that finished with a textbook Hemsky backhander. The goal, Hemsky's 100th NHL marker, gave the Oilers a 3-0 lead.
A spectacular pad save by Deslauriers preceeded a hooking penalty to Phoenix's Robert Lang, but the Oilers were unable to add a powerplay goal to their first-period tally and headed to the second period up 3-0.
The man-advantages flip-flopped early in the middle frame when Steve Staios, Sami Lepisto, and Lubomir Visnovsky took consecutive infractions. The best scoring chance of the stretch belonged to Shane Doan during four-on-four, but Oilers forward Patrick O'Sullivan came to the rescue by blocking the open net with his stick.
The Coyotes hit 20 shots in the tail end of the second while the Oilers sat four shy. A late penalty to O'Sullivan gave the visitors their third powerplay, but the club couldn't beat Deslauriers and continued to trail by three.
A remarkable case of deja vue swept over Rexall Place in the final second of the frame when Shawn Horcoff
's slapshot was tipped into the net at the buzzer. During Saturday's game vs. Chicago, the last-second goal was disallowed; this time, however, officials ruled that the puck had crossed before time expired, giving the Oilers a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes.
The Coyotes stepped up their attack at the start of the third, but blocked shots, missed nets, posts, and big saves by Deslauriers frustated the visitors.
With five minutes left, Phoenix hit 34 shots but suffered a setback when winger Vernon Fiddler took a tripping minor. Despite trailing significantly, the visitors' PK put up a fierce fight and kept the Oilers from tallying a shot on the powerplay.
But the defensive display couldn't break the Coyotes' goose-egg, and the Oilers held on for a perfect 4-0 win Monday night.
|Three star selections