WINNIPEG – The Edmonton Oilers were outshot 46-22 but managed to get the game to a shootout. Unfortunately that was where their luck ended, losing 5-4 in the sixth and final game of their road trip on Monday night in Winnipeg.
In the shootout, the lone goal was scored by Blake Wheeler. On the play, Viktor Fasth injured himself and had to be helped off the ice. Richard Bachman replaced him and managed to keep the Jets off the scoresheet for the remainder of the shootout. However, Eberle, Roy and Yakupov were all denied by Jets starting goaltender Michael Hutchison.
“It was pretty entertaining, wasn’t it? That’s a good hockey team over there. They play with a lot of pace. But our boys hung in there," said Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson. "Viktor played well and we capitalized on some of our opportunities. I liked the response from our hockey team. Especially after the last game we had.”
Bachman was thrust into duty after Fasth's injury and said that he just tried to get warm as quick as he could.
“You just try to get as warm as possible, as quick as possible while trying to stay even keel and be as mentally prepared as you can be in a situation like that,” Bachman began, adding that he's never been involved in a cold goaltender entering a shootout.
“I’ve never seen it really, luckily, with an injury except for tonight, obviously. I’ve seen it where a coach will switch goalies if, say, one has a better shootout record or something like that but I’ve never been a part of a situation like that.”
Bachman added that he felt he avoided any jitters that could have come with being in such a situation.
“I was trying to stay even-keel. Mentally ready and try to get loose quickly. Sometimes when you get thrown in those situations your adrenalin gets going and your heart starts racing and you can overplay a lot of situations so I just tried to stay calm out there.”
Nail Yakupov led the way with a pair of goals and five shots on net.
“It was definitely one of his better games," said Nelson. "He was skating well tonight and once he got that first goal he felt confident. He’s moving in the right direction. He’s on a point streak right now and feeling good about it. I liked what I saw tonight."
With Keith Aulie in the box for tripping, Winnipeg got on the board first after Bryan Little scored on the rebound in front. Benoit Pouliot was without a stick on the play, giving the Jets multiple opportunities to score on the power play before they finally did. Shots were 9-2 Winnipeg after the goal.
Three minutes after the goal, Aulie went back to the box -- this time for interference -- sending the Jets back on the PP. However, the Oilers penalty killers were able to stave Winnipeg off this time.
With 6:11 to play in the first, the Oilers tied the game when Nail Yakupov turned on the jets skating into the Winnipeg zone, taking a feed from Derek Roy then driving to the net where he slipped the puck past Jets starting goalie Michael Hutchison to make it 1-1.
30 seconds after the Yakupov goal, Andrew Ladd received two minutes for hooking to send the Oilers to their first power play of the game.
Edmonton capitalized less than a minute into that man advantage. Anton Lander picked up the puck at the top of the crease, spun and slipped it past Hutchison to give Edmonton the 2-1 lead.
Right after the goal, Luke Gazdic and Anthony Peluso dropped the gloves for an epic bout. The two threw some heavy punches with a handful landing. Like Saturday's fight with Chris Neil, neither combatant was knocked to the ground.
Shots on goal after one period were 16-6 for the Jets but it was Edmonton escaping with a 2-1 lead.
A minute into the second period, Mark Scheifele collided with Fasth in the crease, shaking up the Oilers netminder but he stayed in the game.
The Jets then pulled even nearly nine minutes into the middle frame. At the left circle, Bryan Little took a feed from Ben Chiarot, paused, then wristed it past Fasth to make it 2-2.
With 7:14 to go in the second, Dustin Byfuglien blindsided Luke Gazdic with a shoulder-to-shoulder hit. Gazdic's neck snapped back after the hit and the Oilers enforcer then hit the ice. Gazdic had to be helped off the ice and did not return to the game. Nelson said that he will be fine, however.
“Luke’s good. He just had a big gash on his chin and he just didn’t return to play,” Nelson remarked.
Period two came to an end with shots on goal 12-6 for Winnipeg. Overall, the shots were 28-12 after 40 minutes.
Only 1:08 into the third, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was sprung on a breakaway by Jeff Petry. Nugent-Hopkins used his speed to create some separation between himself and the Winnipeg defender before rifling it glove side, giving Edmonton a 3-2 lead.
Less than three minutes later, the Jets got back on even terms. Tyler Myers blasted a shot from the point that beat Fasth blocker side just above the ice to tie the game.
Fasth made a nice pad stop on T.J. Galiardi, who skated in on a breakaway a couple of minutes later, keeping the game knotted up at 3-3.
Fasth got clipped behind the net by Michael Frolik and received two minutes as a result. The Oilers received a late third-period power play with a chance to regain the lead and they did just that.
With 4:46 to play, Nail Yakupov converted a feed across the slot by Benoit Pouliot past Hutchison on the short side for the goal. But 42 seconds later, the Jets made it a tie game after Andrew Ladd scooped up Blake Wheeler's rebound and backhanded it by Fasth to make it 4-4.
Jets killed off a late third-period power play to send the game into overtime. At the end of regulation, shots were 42-19 for Winnipeg.