Oilers outlast Kings, win 3-2 in shootout
|Edmonton's Mike Comrie struggles to get the puck past Los Angeles goalie Erik Ersberg Thursday night. The Oilers went on to win 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)
Thanks to goals by Denis Grebeshkov and Dustin Penner
, the Oilers owned a 2-0 lead after 50 minutes Thursday night in L.A., but the Kings countered to tie it up and force extra time. Five minutes of sudden death failed to figure out a winner, followed by nine rounds of shootout.
But in the 10th round, Oilers defenceman and former King Lubomir Visnovsky ended the breakaway relay by beating Erik Ersberg to secure a 3-2 win for the Oilers. At the opposite end of the ice, Jeff Deslauriers
finished with 41 saves plus seven in the shootout.
The OIlers kept pace with the Kings through the first five minutes, but consecutive penalties to Ethan Moreau and Robert Nilsson stalled the visiting team's offensive efforts for the better part of five minutes. Edmonton continued the impressive penalty killing they showcased Wednesday night in Anaheim by limiting L.A. to one powerplay attempt.
With under eight minutes left in the frame, the Oilers experienced the other side of the man-advantage but saw the same result.
Overlapping interference minors ensured both clubs would start the middle frame with four skaters, seven shots, and no goals.
The Kings dominated the Oil to start the second, a situation that intensified when Marc Pouliot sat out two minutes for hooking. But a pair of big saves by Jeff Deslauriers
helped Edmonton kill their fourth penalty of the game.
Despite posting one shot to every two Kings attempts through the frame, the Oilers were the first to make one count. At 13:38, Denis Grebeshkov capitalized on a screen and perfect deflection off defenceman Matt Greene's stick to beat Erik Ersberg for his sixth goal of the season and the first of the game.
The Oilers held on to their slim lead through to the second-period buzzer.
Seven minutes into the third, a holding minor to Anze Kopitar put special teams back on the ice. Only 28 seconds into the man-advantage, Dustin Penner
fooled Ersberg with a sharp-angle shot to double Edmonton's lead.
The Kings reconvened after the goal and attacked. Although Deslauriers withstood the first few shots, a perfect backhander by Dustin Brown tucked under the crossbar to get L.A. back within one.
Four minutes after that, the home team erased the gap altogether. With Deslauriers sprawled on the ice attempting to smother the puck, Ryan Smyth cut in and flipped it into the open net, tying the game at two.
In the dying minutes of regulation, the Oilers net was dislodged and the whistle blew but Drew Doughty took the shot anyway. The puck flew into the net and Deslauriers took exception, pouncing on the young defenceman. The surprising brawl resulted in unsportsmanlike conduct and roughing minors and two minutes of four-on-four.
The opened-up ice gave both teams a taste of what was to come, as the tie game surpassed 60 minutes and headed to overtime.
Former King Patrick O'Sullivan was the star of sudden death when he got a partial break on Ersberg, but the goalie stifled the shot to postpone the game-winner and force a shootout.
Deslauriers and Ersberg frustrated the first shooters, allowing only one goal each on their first six shots faced. At that point, the puck started to go in, but the one that counted belonged to Lubomir Visnovsky. The defenceman's 10th round shot sealed a 3-2 win for the Oilers.
|Three star selections