|MTL||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
|EDM||1||2||0||(0 - 0)||3|
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Goals by Mike Comrie, J.F. Jacques, and Patrick O'Sullivan gave the Oilers a 3-0 lead midway through the game, but the Canadiens attempted a comeback by scoring two. Thankfully for the Oil, goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin stood strong and made 33 saves to secure a 3-2 win Saturday night.
The Canadiens came out strong by firing six of the game's first seven shots. Four minutes in, a hooking minor to Matt D'Agostini gave the Oilers the opening powerplay, but the man-advantage sputtered and failed to register a shot on Carey Price.
A second Edmonton powerplay at the period's midway point was more productive, but Montreal penalty killers prevented the opening goal.
But with 1:20 left on the clock and the Canadiens commanding a 13-5 shot lead, Mike Comrie broke the scoreless stalemate. After receiving a stretch pass from Sam Gagner, Comrie embarked on a partial breakaway and snapped the puck over Price's left shoulder to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.
630 CHED's Dan Tencer talks to Tom Gilbert after the first period
The Oilers and Habs traded a pair of shots each before one of those attempts made its way across the line. Poised near the hash marks, J.F. Jacques caught a piece of Ladislav Smid's slapshot and directed it past Price to make it 2-0 Edmonton.
Shortly after the goal, goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made his contribution to the Oilers effort with a pair of big saves at the opposite end of the ice. His skaters responded by carrying the play back into the Canadiens zone, culminating in a quick goal by Patrick O'Sullivan that made it 3-0.
The Canadiens called a time-out after the third unanswered goal, and on the following face-off, Paul Mara initiated a fight with Gilbert Brule near Khabibulin's net. The visiting defender took an extra instigating minor and 10-minute misconduct for his role in the altercation, offering the Oilers their second powerplay of the game. Unfortunately, the Oil were foiled by Price's post and crossbar and dropped to 0-for-2 on the man-advantage.
With five minutes left in the frame, O'Sullivan took a tripping penalty, but the Canadiens powerplay struggled and failed to tally the team's 20th shot of the game.
The Oilers came to within 50 seconds of carrying their three-goal lead to the third period, but a late slapshot by Brian Gionta found its way past Khabibulin to set the score 3-1 after 40 minutes.
Midway through the final frame, Ales Hemsky was called for holding and the Habs got a second chance to narrow the gap, but a powerplay goal eluded the visitors and they remained down by two.
Montreal broke 30 shots shortly after the man-advantage while Edmonton sat at 17. With 3:30 left in regulation, the puck deflected off Oilers Captain Ethan Moreau and slid under Khabibulin. The goalie smothered it, however, and upon video review, it was ruled no goal and the 3-1 game continued . . . for another eight seconds, anyway. At 3:22, Canadiens defenceman Roman Hamrlik hit the crossbar with a slapshot and watched the puck drop into the net, putting his club back within one.
Although the Canadiens went on to post 35 shots through 60 minutes, Khabibulin kept the game-tying goal off the clock and the Oilers held on for a 3-2 win Saturday night.
|Mike Comrie (2) ASST: Sam Gagner (1), Jason Strudwick (1)|
1 - 0 EDM
|Jean-Francois Jacques (1) ASST: Ladislav Smid (2), Ales Hemsky (2)|
2 - 0 EDM
|Patrick O'Sullivan (1) ASST: Ryan Stone (1)|
3 - 0 EDM
|Brian Gionta (3) ASST: Scott Gomez (2)|
3 - 1 EDM
|Roman Hamrlik (1) ASST: Mike Cammalleri (4)|
3 - 2 EDM
|Matt D'Agostini Hooking against Steve Staios|
|Jaroslav Spacek Hooking against Ethan Moreau|
|Gilbert Brule Fighting (maj) against Paul Mara|
|Paul Mara Instigator against Gilbert Brule|
|Paul Mara Fighting (maj) against Gilbert Brule|
|Paul Mara Misconduct (10 min) against Gilbert Brule|
|Patrick O'Sullivan Tripping against Tomas Plekanec|
|Ales Hemsky Holding against Max Pacioretty|
|SA: 19||TOI: 59:02|
|Saves: 16||EV: 14 - 17|
|PIM: 0||PP: 2 - 2|
|SV%: .842||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 35||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 33||EV: 30 - 32|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 1|
|SV%: .943||SH: 2 - 2|