Oilers suffer 2-1 setback in St. Louis
|Edmonton's Fernando Pisani and Shawn Horcoff wrestle with the Blues Sunday, March 28 in St. Louis. The Blues went on to beat the Oilers 2-1. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)
Although the Oilers landed the first punch in Sunday's game in St. Louis, the Blues countered with two more to win the bout 2-1. Patrick O'Sullivan scored Edmonton's only goal of the game, while Devan Dubnyk
posted 29 saves in the losing effort.
The Blues dominated the first few minutes of the game, firing four shots on Dubnyk while limiting the Oilers to one on Chris Mason. At 6:17, the Oilers pulled themselves together and drew the first penalty of the game, a high-sticking minor for Erik Johnson, but the powerplay sputtered.
Although the man-advantage wasn't advantageous, O'Sullivan made an impact during five-on-five two minutes later. After snagging the puck from Barret Jackman, O'Sullivan broke in on Mason and slipped the puck home to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead.
A second visiting powerplay helped the Oilers assume their first shot lead later in the period, but the club was unable to convert the attempts into a second goal.
Shortly after Jay McClement's two minutes expired, Johnson plowed Ryan Potulny near the penalty boxes, prompting the wrath of Dean Arsene and fighting majors to both players. The brawl capped a frame in which Edmonton produced one goal and a 10-7 shot advantage.
Five minutes into the middle frame, St. Louis got experienced the sunnier side of a man-advantage when Edmonton was called for too many men, but the Blues couldn't beat Dubnyk to get on the scoreboard.
At 8:51, a tripping minor to Arsene gave the Blues a second shot, and this time they got the job done. From the point, Johnson teed up and wired the puck through traffic to even the game at one with a powerplay goal.
A third Blues powerplay helped the home team assume a 23-16 shot lead, but a pair of Oilers shorthanded scoring chances and big saves from Dubnyk stalled St. Louis' efforts to jump ahead. As such, the 1-1 tie stretched into the third period.
Edmonton was gifted two man-advantages early in the final frame, but St. Louis' penalty killers were oppressive and kept the puck away from Mason.
The tables turned at 5:30 when Aaron Johnson took a hooking minor, and though the Blues couldn't secure a powerplay goal, they got the same result seconds into five-on-five. With Johnson racing out of the penalty box, Brad Winchester got the puck at the point and slapped it back on net. Keith Tkachuk caught a piece of the rocket and deflected it past Dubnyk, putting the Blues ahead for the first time.
With nine minutes left in regulation, Marc Pouliot and Carlo Colaiacovo decided to spice things up by dropping their gloves in front of the Oilers bench. Colaiacovo sent Pouliot's helmet flying early in the fight, but the Oiler countered by connecting on a pair of punches before tumbling to the ice.
The Oilers were desperate to get back on even terms in the final minutes, pulling Dubnyk for six skaters with 1:33 left to play, but the club's efforts fell flat and the Blues walked away with a 2-1 come-from-behind win.
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