The Edmonton Oilers were back home on Friday night to face the Anaheim Ducks.
This was the first game of a home-and-home with the Ducks, as the teams will meet again in Anaheim on Sunday. The teams will meet each other four more this season. The Oilers won the first meeting by a score of 3-2.
Dwayne Roloson and Jean-Sebastien Giguere were the starting goaltenders.
Both teams started with play in the neutral zone until one minute was gone, when Ales Hemsky broke in to the Ducks' territory and got a quick shot away, which Giguere easily handled.
On the ensuing face-off the Ducks' Sean O’Donnell was called for cross-checking Andrew Cogliano. The Oiler power play went to work quickly, as Hemsky set up Shawn Horcoff, whose shot rang off the post.
The Oilers maintained possession, and a great give-and-go between Hemsky and Horcoff allowed Hemsky to find the back of the net from just outside of the crease.
1-0 Oilers at 2:12.
The Oilers continued to pressure the Ducks, and with three minutes gone Giguere had to make a glove save off a shot from the point by Ladislav Smid. The Oilers came back moments later, when Gagner sent Horcoff into the zone. Horcoff centered to Hemsky, but the puck hopped over his stick before he could pull the trigger.
With five minutes gone, the Ducks finally managed to get some good pressure of their own, and Roloson was forced to make a couple of saves off of shots from Francois Beachemin and Chris Kunitz. However, the Ducks' pressure didn’t last long, as the Oilers came right back with a shot by Hemsky that gave Giguere a few problems.
The Ducks right back the other way, and the Oilers turned the puck over deep in their zone when referee Kerry Fraser got in the way of a clearing pass. Ryan Getzlaf picked up the loose puck and wheeled a pass across to George Parros, but it hit the skate of Joni Pitkanen and went through the legs of Roloson.
1-1 at 7:03.
After the ensuing faceoff, Denis Grebeshkov was tripped by Rob Niedermayer, giving the Oilers had their second power play of the game. Unlike the first power play, the Oilers were unable to get anything going on the man advantage. With 7:30 to go, the Oilers had a good chance as Brodziak was set up in the slot but his shot hit O’Donnell in the face. Ouch!
The teams went end to end for the next few minutes with few chances on either side of the ice.
With 4:30 left in the period, Anaheim's Corey Perry was called for slashing Raffi Torres, giving the Oilers their third power play of the period. The Oilers had a good chance halfway through the power play as Cogliano went cross ice to Pitkanen and his shot had Giguere looking behind, but the puck was stuck under his pads.
The Ducks killed the rest of the penalty, which ended with a Kyle Brodziak shot from the slot that Giguere kicked out to the corner.
With under a minute to go, a three-way passing play between Penner, Hemsky and Horcoff resulted in a shot that forced Giguere to make a big save. The teams produced little else the rest of the period, and finished the first tied 1-1.
The shots in the period favored the Oilers, 11-6.
The second period started with some sloppy play by both teams. The first shot of the period was from the stick of Anaheim's Todd Bertuzzi, but it was a weak one that Roloson easily handled.
The Oilers came back the other director. Brodziak took a pass in the high slot and sent it in on goal, forcing Giguere to make a good save.
The Ducks then got some good pressure from the line of Getzlaf, Perry, and Kunitz—but nothing in the way of scoring chances. The teams exchanged some end-to-end action, but with no results.
With five minutes gone, the Ducks were finally able to maintain a minute of sustained pressure, but the Oilers eventually cleared the zone. The Oilers came back immediately and Torres, Stoll, and Stortini came close as they jammed the net.
After the whistle blew, Ryan Getzlaf was called for cross checking.
The fourth Oiler power play put some early pressure on Giguere, with both Stoll and Hemsky getting shots on net. The Ducks killed the penalty again, but the Oilers continued the pressure even after the Ducks returned to full strength.
The Ducks finally cleared the zone and got a long shot of their own, which Roloson that is easily saved. The Ducks came back with a high shot by Kunitz, and Roloson flashed the leather in making the grab.
The Oilers then had a chance with 11 minutes to go, as Hemsky stole the puck from Moens. Hemsky fed Gilbert at the point, and his shot was deflected by Penner, forcing Giguere has to change directions to make a big save. The Oilers continued with good puck movement, with Gilbert, Pikanen, Hemsky, Horcoff, and Penner all firing the puck around the boards.
However, on that possession, Shawn Horcoff was called for interference. A horrible place to take a penalty—in the offensive zone.
The Ducks did a good job of passing the puck around on the power play and with 40 seconds gone in the penalty, Marty Reasoner was called for hooking. The Ducks were quacking with an 80-second five-on-three advantage.
Getzlaf had a great chance from the right side, but a huge leg save by Roloson kept it even. Corey Perry then got the rebound, but his shot from the slot is smothered by Roloson.
The Oilers killed the five-on-three—but as the Reasoner penalty was ending, Pitkanen stapled Kunitz to the boards and was called for boarding.
The third power play of the period for the Ducks took time to get going, and once it did, the Oilers did a good job of clearing the zone. After another fantastic penalty kill, the fans took up a chant of "Let's Go Oilers."
Unfortunately, with just over three minutes to go in the period and the Oilers again in the Ducks' zone, Jarret Stoll was called for holding Chris Pronger’s jersey, sending the Ducks went on their fourth straight power play.
While on the power play, Bertuzzi ran over Smid and Roloson, but outrageously no call was made. Luckily, when Roloson was taken down, the puck was nowhere near the net.
The Oilers again killed the penalty with a minute to play in the period. They broke out of the zone, and Stoll took the puck as coming out of the box. He went deep into the Ducks 'zone and fed the puck back to Penner. Penner's shot was wide, but the rebound bounced off the boards and back to Horcoff, who ripped a shot over the shoulder of Giguere.
2-1 Oilers at 19:23.
The Oilers dumped the puck back into the Ducks' zone after the face-off. Reasoner picked up the puck from behind the net and found Brodziak alone in front, whose shot again sailed over Giguere’s shoulder.
3-1 Oilers at 19:49.
Two goals in 26 seconds, after killing four penalties in a matter of six minutes—that is the kind of play the Oilers need if they are to win games.
Shots in the period were 15-10 for the Ducks, due mostly to the four straight power plays.
The Oilers again came out flying to start the third period, with Jarret Stoll taking a shot from the right circle with 30 seconds gone. The Oilers then broke up the Ducks' passing, and Gilbert threaded the needle to Cogliano, who made no mistake as he beat Giguere to the stick side.
4-1 Oilers at 1:33.
After that goal, the Ducks replaced Giguere with Jonas Hiller. The Ducks and Oilers spent the next couple of minutes going end to end, with neither team able to generate any good chances.
With 3:30 gone, the Oilers finally had Nilsson and Gagner out on the ice at the same time. With all the penalties the Oilers, neither player saw a lot of ice time in the second period.
We received word at this point that Geoff Sanderson left the game with back problems, and Ales Hemsky was in the dressing room with an undisclosed injury.
The Oilers again came with pressure with just under seven minutes gone. Robert Nilsson sent Steve Staios in alone on the right side with a behind-the-back pass, and Staios' rocket beat Hiller over the shoulder.
5-1 Oilers at 6:49.
Both teams then started to get physical. At 13:22, multiple penalties were handed out, as the Ducks' Getzlaf and Sotherby were called for boarding and roughing, respectively, and the Oilers' Stortini was called for roughing.
The Oilers went on their fifth power play of the game—but this time they had no Ales Hemsky. With 1:49 gone in the man advantage, Mathieu Schneider was called for hooking Penner, which gave the Oilers an five-on-three for 11 seconds, which the Ducks killed by icing the puck.
The Oilers had some good pressure during the following man advantage, with a shot by Torres saved by Hiller. With 24 seconds left on the power play, Marty Reasoner was called for holding, giving the Ducks their fifth power play.
On the Ducks' power play, a blast from the point by Schneider hit Bertuzzi in the back, and he was in some discomfort as he made his way to the bench. Again, the Oilers did a good job killing the penalty.
The Oilers came right back after the penalty kill and a shot by Nilsson was saved by Hiller, even though the goalie appeared not to know where the shot was. A video replay was called for after that play, as the Oilers seemed to think the puck was over the line. However, the replay was inconclusive and it ruled was no goal.
After the face-off, Shane Hnidy knocked the stick out of the hands of Zack Stortini, and got 2 minutes. George Parros began yapping at Stortini after the while, and after the lineman sent Parros to bench, Parros refused, resulting in a game misconduct which sent him to the showers for the night.
The Oilers kept up the pressure on their power play. As Hiller made a save, Moen was called for roughing Stortini, giving the Oilers a five-on-three power play for 53 seconds. Horcoff took a shot from the right side, and Hiller made a big save. The Oilers had all sorts of pressure as the first penalty expired.
The Ducks killed the second penalty too, and as they returned to full strength, Getzlaf broke into the zone with a shot that Roloson blocked to the corner. That was the first shot of the period for the Ducks—with less than four minutes remaining.
The teams ran the last 3:35 off the clock with neither team able to do much until Roloson grabbed a deflected shot with one-tenth of a second remaining.
The Oilers were a totally different team than the one that showed up to play the Avalanche on Wednesday.
Friday's game was a solid team effort—the kind that wins games.
Everyone contributed and the only negatives were the four straight penalties in the second period.