Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the shootout winner and added an assist and Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves plus stopped all four shooters in the shootout as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Florida Panthers 2-1 at BankAtlantic Center on Friday night.
Shots on goal 7:24 into the game were 6 to 2 for Florida but neither team really had a bona fide scoring chance.
The first penalty of the night went to Ales Hemsky, who was sent off for holding. Florida had some sustained pressure in the Edmonton end during the man advantage but the Oilers were able to kill it off, allowing only two shots.
It was Edmonton's turn to go on the power play after a hooking penalty to Dmitry Kulikov at 13:21. Once again, not much was accomplished during the two minutes.
Linus Omark took a hoding penalty with two minutes to go in the opening frame, giving the Panthers their second man advantage of the period.
Shots after one period were 9 to 5 for Florida.
1:37 into the middle frame, the Oilers struck for the game's first goal. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Jones skated up ice on a three-on-two. Nugent-Hopkins dished it up to Eberle who fired it across to a streaking Jones down the left wing side. Jones made no mistake, firing it glove side past Theodore.
Several minutes later, Florida tied it up as Jason Garrison came in trailing on the play and received a nice pass across from Tomas Fleischman. Garrison let a wrister go from the left faceoff circle that beat Dubnyk along the ice.
Shots on goal midway through the period were 12 apiece as the Oilers continued to pressure and get pucks to the crease of Panthers netminder Jose Theodore.
Florida nearly took the lead in the latter half of the middle frame as Stephen Weiss raced up ice to grab the loose puck in the Edmonton end. However, Devan Dubnyk charged out of his net and slid to knock it out of harm's way.
Shots after 40 minutes were 15 to 14 for Florida, although Edmonton had a 9 to 6 edge in the second.
A too many men penalty to the Oilers early in the third put Edmonton behind the eight-ball early in the final frame. Florida had already blasted the period's first four shots on goal through the opening five minutes of the third.
The Panthers had one shot during the power play, a Mikael Samuelsson slapper from the top of the right circle was kicked away by a screened Dubnyk in what was Florida's best scoring chance.
Florida went back up a man midway through the period after Omark was ticketed for hooking. the Panthers had two great chances to score and Dubnyk came up big both times. The best chance came when Weiss blasted the puck from the high slot.
Nugent-Hopkins nearly put Edmonton in the lead after one-timing a feed from Jones but it just missed the mark. Later in the period, Eric Belanger's shot was denied by Theodore but trickled through the crease.
Shots at the end of regulation were 25 to 20 for Florida.
Florida had the best chances in the extra frame as first the Panthers skated in on a three-on-one but Dubnyk made the save. With seconds remaining, Kris Versteeg had a breakaway and Dubnyk first made the initial stop then when Versteeg tried to put in the rebound, the puck slid straight across the goal line and out the other side.
At the end of 65 minutes of play, the shot count was 27 to 21 for Florida.
Mikael Samuelsson - stopped
Sam Gagner - stopped
Wojtek Wolski - stopped
Jordan Eberle - stopped
Dmitry Kulikov - missed
Ales Hemsky - stopped
Stephen Weiss - stopped
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - scored