Ottawa's Jesse Winchester scores on Edmonton's Devan Dubnyk during second period action on Nov. 17, 2011 at Rexall Place. The Senators cruised to a commanding 5-2 win. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club.)
With the loss (the Oilers' 4th straight), the team drops to a 9-7-2 record and remain in 8th place in the NHL's West.
The Oilers' quick two-game homestand continues and wraps up Saturday night vs. the Chicago Blackhawks. Game time is 8:00 p.m. MT and it can be seen on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.
Goals by Ottawa's Colin Greening and Kaspars Daugavins nine seconds apart in the opening period spurred the Senators attack, propelling the enemies to an early 2-0 lead; three more were added as the visitors cruised to a commanding 5-2 win over the Oilers Thursday night.
Nikolai Khabibulin got the start in goal, posting four saves on seven shots. Devan Dubnyk played the remaining two periods, making seven saves on nine shots. Anton Lander registered his first-career NHL goal, while the Oilers' other tally was potted by Ryan Jones.
1:30 into the game, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins located a streaking Jordan Eberle down the middle, but No. 14's one-time attempt from the crease's lip disconnected at the last moment, sending the puck wide.
Four minutes later, the same sequence by the same two players was orchestrated, showcasing some unreal vision by Nugent-Hopkins, but again, the chance was turned aside by Ottawa's Craig Anderson.
On the Senators' first shot at 7:30, Milan Michalek broke in on a 2-on-1 with Colin Greening; the rookie's one-time shot connected, denting the mesh on Nikolai Khabibulin's short-side, under the bar.
Nine seconds later, Ottawa went up 2-0 when another rookie sniped home the marker. Kaspars Daugavins burst down the same wing, picking the corner on the Oilers' netminder to put the visitors up by a pair at 7:39. At this time, the Oilers held a slim 4-2 edge in shots, but the Sens 'tender stopped them all, while Khabibulin was unable to concoct an answer on the visitors' two shots.
12 minutes into the period, Khabibulin made a remarkable post-to-post save to preserve the 2-0 disadvantage and inspire his bench. A cross-crease pass located Stephane Da Costa's stick, but the 38-year-old veteran's pad said no in emphatic fashion.
With 3:21 to play, Magnus Paajarvi was assessed an erroneous tripping minor when Bobby Butler slipped and careened into the side-boards near the penalty boxes, putting Ottawa's 23.4-percent power-play to work. The Senators closed the gap on the shot clock to an 8-6 Oilers lead, but were unable to cash another on the scoreboard.
That changed moments later, mind you. With 56.8 seconds on the clock, a scrambled draw in the orange and blue's end allowed Michalek to pounce and, without a moment's hesitation, snipe home the 3-0 goal.
With 20 minutes in the books, Ottawa led 3-0 while the Oilers held a small 8-7 advantage in shots.
Stopping only four of the Senators' seven shots in the opening period, Khabibulin was replaced with Devan Dubnyk to start the middle stanza.
Theo Peckham was charged with holding at 1:05, putting the Oilers' 1-for-1 PK to work. 1:09 into the Senators' advantage, Lennart Petrell sprung Anton Lander on a promising rush. No. 57 wasted no time in releasing a bullet of a snapshot upstairs on Anderson, bar-in, to record his first-career NHL goal.
The shorthanded tally was the home side's second of the season.
While the visitors' three-goal lead was erased to a two-goal advantage, but the Senators soon got it back again. With Filip Kuba cutting down the puck carrier, Jordan Eberle deep in the Ottawa zone, Jesse Winchester picked up the loose puck and skated in alone on a breakaway. The 28-year-old looked for a passing option but then thought better of it, snapping a shot up over Dubnyk to make it a 4-1 game at 7:44.
With 3:45 on the clock, Taylor Hall was assessed a tripping minor when he hauled down Anderson behind the Senators' cage in pursuit of the puck. The Oilers executed another successful kill, keeping the game locked in a 4-1 score.
The home side was granted a power-play chance at 18:51 when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was crushed from behind by Brian Lee. Zenon Konopka and Theo Peckham were also assessed roughing minors on the play, as the Oilers looked to mark the scoreboard late in the period.
The Oilers led 11-10 in shots, but the Senators' 4-1 lead, along with 50 power-play seconds for the home side, carried into the third period.
The Senators extended to a 5-1 lead 3:17 into the period when Kenopka hacked and whacked at a loose puck, shoveling it past Dubnyk at the near side, along the ice, on Ottawa's 11th shot.
As the period's 10-minute mark passed, the Oilers led 18-14 in shots but were unable to stage a comeback on the scoreboard. Scoring chances in general were scarce, as the third was dominated by even-strength neutral zone play.
With 4:33 remaining, Dubnyk made his most memorable save on the ninth shot he faced. Jason Spezza dished to a wide-open Colin Greening in the slot, and his quick-attack one-time shot was snagged by the sophomore's catcher with a dazzling, deep-in-his-crease save.
Senators D man Filip Kuba was charged with tripping at 17:51, putting the Oilers on their second man-advantage attempt. 1:21 into the power-play, Eric Belanger's point blast pinalled in, redirecting off the skates of Ottawa's Zack Smith and Ryan Jones, as the puck dribbled across the line.
Alas, it was too little too late as the Oilers dropped their fourth straight in a 5-2 loss to the Senators.