Oilers battle back for 2-1 shootout win over Predators
|Oilers congratulate Jim Vandermeer on his first-period equalizer Tuesday, March 1 vs the Predators. The Oilers won the game 2-1 in a shootout. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
After being out-shot 30-13 through 40 minutes, the Oilers picked up their game in the third, dominating the Predators in the remainder of regulation and through five minutes of overtime. Early shootout success for both sides put the game-winner in Linus Omark
's hands, and the skilled rookie didn't disappoint, fooling Pekka Rinne with a sneaky shot to secure a 2-1 shootout win for Edmonton Tuesday night.
The Predators assumed a 10-3 shot lead in the game's first 10 minutes, but the few Oilers attempts -- including a breakaway by Ales Hemsky
-- were quality chances. In the next three minutes, the visitors added three more shots and a goal.
With help from Ryan Suter behind the net, Blake Geoffrion surprised Martin Gerber
with a snap-shot to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.
But only 41 seconds later, Edmonton countered. From the left point, Jim Vandermeer
teed up and wired the puck through traffic and past Rinne, tying the game at one.
With 4:32 remaining on the clock, another rocket did some damage, this time to Tom Gilbert
's face. From the right point, Preds blueliner Cody Franson hit Gilbert's cheekbone with a slap-shot, instantly dropping the Oiler and prompting head athletic therapist T.D. Forss to give an on-ice medical assessment. Gilbert then headed to the dressing room for treatment.
Edmonton's blueline was further depleted when Ladislav Smid
took an interference minor. The challenge was temporary, however, and after two minutes, the Oilers were back at even strength and closed the period on even terms with the Preds.
With Gilbert patched up and back on the Oilers bench, the second period got underway.
It didn't take long for the penalty box doors to start swinging. Three minutes into the frame, Shane O'Brien was called for slashing, but Edmonton couldn't sink its lone power-play shot and the 1-1 game continued.
An Oilers bench minor for too many men reversed the man-advantage near the 12-minute mark. That two minutes was also deftly killed, along with two more courtesy of a holding minor to Nashville's Jarred Smithson.
With 1:11 remaining on the clock, a wayward shot broke the glass behind Rinne. Rather than pause the game for a repair, finish the period, and then take a break for intermission, officials decided to end the period early and tag the time onto the third.
As such, after a shorter-than-usual middle frame, the Oilers and Predators were even 1-1 with the home team trailing 29-13 in shots.
After playing 1:11, switching sides, and then playing nearly two minutes of the third, a slashing minor to Sam Gagner
gave the Predators their third power-play. Like the game's previous penalties, this one passed without a goal.
Edmonton switched from penalty-killing to goalie-testing when the two minutes were through, but Rinne kept a go-ahead goal off the clock.
The Oilers efforts narrowed the shot gap considerably but no winner was decided after 60 minutes and the game headed to overtime.
The Oilers managed two shots and the Preds got one during OT, but goaltenders continued to reign. A shootout ensued.
and Martin Erat scored five-hole goals on the first shootout attempts for both clubs. Gerber and Rinne then made two saves each to force a fourth round of the breakaway relay.
At that point, a skillful -- and most-importantly, successful -- dangle from Linus Omark
gave Edmonton the edge, and Franson couldn't match, resulting in a 2-1 come-from-behind shootout win for the Oilers.
|Three star selections