Oilers collect two points from Canadiens
|Edmonton's Ryan Jones flips the puck over Montreal's Carey Price Thursday, Feb. 17 at Rexall Place. The Oilers won the game 4-1. (Photo courtesy of Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
Strong performances at both ends of the ice, including 36 saves from Nikolai Khabibulin
and two goals from Ales Hemsky
, helped the Oilers defeat the Canadiens 4-1 Thursday night.
Under the Scope
The Canadiens tallied the first three shots of the game, but the Oilers soon got their legs going and posted two of their own by the five-minute mark.
On their third shot, Edmonton took the lead. Following an offensive-zone face-off, Hemsky escaped to the slot, descended on the net, and tucked the puck into Carey Price's top right corner for the opening goal at 8:15.
The Oilers assumed the shot lead eight minutes later and finished the frame up one goal and three attempts.
Montreal was masterful in the early minutes of the second period. In just over four minutes, the club doubled its shot total and capitalized on a scramble in the blue paint, with Jeff Halpern slipping the puck across the line to tie the game at one.
A couple of odd-man rushes for both teams had the Habs leading the Oilers 20-15 in shots by the game's midway point. Three minutes later, Dustin Penner
took the first penalty of the game -- a hooking minor -- and the Canadiens hit 24 shots on the resulting power-play. Khabibulin kept the visitors from tallying a go-ahead goal, however, and the 1-1 tie stretched into the third period.
Despite trailing on the shot clock, the Oilers regained their lead early in the final frame. After receiving a pass from Taylor Hall
on the left wing, Jordan Eberle
cut towards Price and flipped the puck over the goalie, setting the score 2-1.
Only 15 seconds later, Jean-Francois Jacques
got the puck to Ryan Jones
, who settled into the mid-slot and snapped the puck five-hole to make it 3-1.
Montreal pressed to make up lost ground, eventually hitting the 35-shot mark; Khabibulin stymied their efforts. At 13:10, the visitors took the first of two consecutive penalties, but Edmonton couldn't convert the power-plays into more goals.
With 1:35 remaining in regulation, Shawn Horcoff
and Benoit Pouliot got fed up with eachothers' faces and initiated on a brief scrap in the Habs zone. Both players earned cross-checking and fighting majors, as well as game misconducts.
The Canadiens pulled Price in the final minute of regulation, and Hemsky promptly put the puck in the net to seal a 4-1 win for the Oilers, their second in as many games.
|Three star selections