Clipped by Caps: Oilers lose 4-2 Saturday night
|Edmonton's Dustin Penner & Washington's Tyler Sloan battle for the puck at Rexall Place Saturday night. The Capitals went on to beat the Oilers 4-2. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
If you ask the Oilers and their fans, Saturday night's game was 20 minutes too long. The home team was in good shape with a 2-0 lead heading into the final frame, but four third period goals for the Capitals -- including two by Alexander Ovechkin -- quickly killed the party.
Despite making 38 saves -- including a handful of highlight-worthy grabs -- goalie Jeff Deslauriers
was unable to salvage a win and Edmonton finished with a 4-2 loss, their third in a row.
The Oilers and Capitals both had a pair of good scoring chances in the first five minutes of the game, but the best belonged to Alexander Semin, who broke in on Jeff Deslauriers
but was stoned by the goalie's right pad.
Washington owned the shot clock as the period progressed, but stellar stops by Deslauriers kept the home team in the game.
In the frame's final three minutes, Dustin Penner
was called for holding and the Caps benefited from the game's first powerplay, but Deslauriers and his penalty killers resisted Alex Ovechkin & Co., pushing the scoreless game into the second period.
Less than a minute into the middle frame, Steve Staios and Chris Clark dropped their gloves in Edmonton's zone. The short scrap ended when both players fell to the ice and were promptly hustled to the penalty boxes to serve fighting majors.
Inspired by the veteran defenceman's gumption, Shawn Horcoff
and Patrick O'Sullivan barrelled into the other end of the ice. Although goalie Michal Neuvirth stopped O'Sullivan's initial shot, Horcoff prodded home the rebound to give the Oilers the first goal of the game.
The Caps cracked 20 shots shortly after the goal, but Deslaurier's swift glove kept the visitors off the clock. Sam Gagner
took a hooking penalty on the play, but the Oil ensured another unproductive powerplay.
Edmonton matched Washington shot for shot after the return of five-on-five and the persistence paid off at 16:42. From a sharp angle, Andrew Cogliano
's shot from the corner snuck through Neuvirth to make it 2-0 Oilers after 40 minutes.
The Capitals were a bit late returning to the ice after the second intermission, but the extra-long peptalk proved to be a good thing for the visitors. Only 32 seconds in, Ovechkin got the puck at the corner of the net and jabbed it across the line to get Washington on the board and back within one.
Three minutes later, the Oilers' powerplay unit made its debut when Tom Poti took a hooking minor, but the club couldn't negate Ovechkin's goal and held on to a slim lead.
After Poti returned to play, Ovechkin made the lead disappear. Deslauriers stopped the sniper's initial shot but he couldn't catch the rebound and the Oilers found themselves back on even terms with the Caps.
Edmonton went down two men for nearly two full minutes after the goal, and Washington went all-out to take their first lead of the game. But a heart-stopping save by Ladislav Smid
and consecutive blocked shots by Steve Staios frustrated the Capitals and maintained the tie game.
Although the Oilers stood strong through the five-on-three, they keep it up for long. At 13:13, Tomas Fleischmann teed up and drove the puck past Deslauriers to put the Capitals up 3-2.
Three minutes later, Nicklas Backstrom tallied Washington's 40th shot and fourth goal by beating Deslauriers with a wrister.
Edmonton opted for six skaters in the final two minutes, but the extra attacker couldn't add an extra goal and Washington wrapped 60 minutes with 42 shots and a 4-2 victory.
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