Oilers snipers stymied by Blues goalie, lose 5-0
|Edmonton's Dustin Penner and St. Louis' Roman Polak keep keen eyes on the puck Friday, Feb. 25 at Rexall Place. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
In one of those rare contests in which shots and goals tell two totally different stories, the Oilers out-shot the Blues 39-22 but were shutout 5-0 Friday night. In only his eighth career NHL game and third start of the season, big Blues goaltender Ben Bishop stole the show by keeping the Oilers off the board.
Under the Scope
Two minutes after opening puck drop, the Blues lit the lamp. Devan Dubnyk
stopped Patrik Berglund's initial shot, but he couldn't keep Chris Stewart from lifting the rebound top shelf, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Despite trailing by a goal, Edmonton maintained a slim shot lead as the period progressed.
Near the 16-minute mark, Ales Hemsky
clipped Barret Jackman in the face with his stick, drawing blood and a double minor for high-sticking. Exactly midway through the four-minute infraction, Berglund deflected Alex Steen's point shot past Dubnyk to double the Blues lead.
The Oilers soon got a chance for power-play revenge, however, as Roman Polak was called for holding only 19 seconds later. Edmonton added two shots to its tally, for a period total of 13, but St. Louis stopper Bishop turned them all away to push his club's 2-0 lead into the middle frame.
Edmonton aggressively pursued a goal early in the second period, but a cross-checking minor to Shawn Horcoff
stalled their efforts. With 15 seconds remaining in the infraction, Stewart slipped the puck five-hole for his second goal of the game and a 3-0 Blues lead.
The Oilers cracked 20 shots near the game's midway point but still couldn't crack Bishop. At 14:45, Jean-Francois Jacques
and BJ Crombeen started a shoving match in the Blues crease, prompting a player pile-up and coincidental roughing minors.
Shortly after those penalties expired, Jordan Eberle
followed in Hemsky's unfortunate footsteps by getting his stick up on TJ Oshie for another double high-sticking minor. The Oilers outlasted the clock and carried 1:36 of penalty kill and a three-goal deficit into the third period.
The Oilers got two shorthanded shots on Bishop without allowing a single power-play attempt in the first minutes of the third. By the seven-minute mark, the club had registered 33 shots compared to the Blues' 19.
Edmonton's frustrations came to a head as time continued to tick down. A mid-ice hit from Colin Fraser
on Kevin Shattenkirk triggered another group altercation at 10:53, and the resulting infractions consisted of a cross-checking minor to Fraser, slashing minor to Shattenkirk, and 10-minute misconduct for Theo Peckham
, who was among the players to join the fray.
The Oilers nearly doubled the Blues in shots after the penalties were assessed, but the advantage continued to have little effect on the score. At 15:59, Polak snapped home St. Louis' fourth goal of the game, and two minutes later, Matt D'Agostini slipped a fifth past Dubnyk.
At that point, veteran defenceman Jason Strudwick
gave fans something to cheer about by dropping his gloves with Cam Janssen at center ice.
The spirited scrap couldn't improve the score, however, and the Oilers suffered a 5-0 shutout loss Friday night.
|Three star selections