Oilers-Kings: Another Shootout Victory for the Oilers

Martin MaleAnalyst IDecember 4, 2007

IconThe Edmonton Oilers faced the Kings in Los Angeles Monday night for the second time this season.

The Kings won the first game in Los Angeles earlier this year. Edmonton was looking to even the season series with the last two games being in Edmonton later. They were also looking to win their third straight game for the first time this season.

Both teams came out hard and physical as bodies were flying all over the ice with hard-hitting, end-to-end action. Does it get any better than that?

The Oilers had their first chance in the second minute on a breakaway but Jean-Sebastien Aubin was able to make the save. They had another chance with Raffi Torres being set up in the slot but Aubin blocked it again.

The end-to-end action finally resulted in a goal at 5:29 as Anze Kopitar broke into the Oiler’s zone with only Joni Pitkanen back. His shot deflected off the Edmonton defenseman’s stick and fooled Mathieu Garon over the left shoulder. 1-0 Kings.

One minute after the goal the Oilers got a penalty for having too many men on the ice, giving the Kings a great chance to increase their lead. They had good puck movement and a couple of shots but were unable to beat Garon.

Halfway through the period, the Oilers were robbed of a goal as Zack Stortini stuffed the puck by Aubin on a wrap-around. Referee Paul Devorski lost sight of the puck and claimed to have blown the whistle before the puck went in. Replays clearly showed the puck in the net well in advance of any whistle. It was a bad call by a referee who was obviously in the wrong position.

The Oilers then had a good chance to tie the game as they ended up with two straight power plays. They had lots of possession, great puck movement, and several good shots but were unable to beat Aubin.

The Kings had a great chance to increase their lead with just under two minutes to go as Sam Gagner made a bad line change allowing Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar to break in two on one. Oiler defenseman Tom Gilbert took the pass away on the break giving Brown a shot as his only option. Garon made the save with his pad.

The period ended much as it started with some more hits and end-to-end action. Shots were 9-6 in favor of Edmonton.

The Oilers came out strong to start the second period and were rewarded early as Torres found a wide-open Joni Pitkanen in the left side circle and he absolutely blew his shot past Aubin. 1-1 at 1:34.

The Kings then decided to act as generous hosts as they took three straight penalties, the third one finally costing them. After 14 seconds of the power play, Joni Pitkanen shot a high puck into the Kings' zone. The puck started to go around the glass and, as Aubin moved behind the net to stop it, it hit a divider in the glass and bounced in front of the net where Dustin Penner was able to stick it in. It was a fluke goal on the power play but the Oilers will take those bounces.

A minute after the Oilers had taken the lead, Torres was called for holding. The second power play was successful for the Kings as Dustin Brown banged a rebound off a Mike Cammalleri shot past Garon. He had made a good save on the original shot but Brown was in the right spot. 2-2 at 10:31.

The Kings continued to press and with 6:30 to go, Mathieu Garon made a huge split save as Ladislav Nagy set up Brad Stuart cross ice and he ripped the shot.

The Oilers then made a break with their fourth line on the ice as Robert Nilsson stole the puck just inside the Kings blueline. His shot was deflected doen through the legs of Aubin by Patrick Thoresen, who was cruising across the front of the net. That was great hand-eye coordination. 3-2 Oilers at 14:49.

The Kings had a great chance to tie the game a minute after the goal as Brian Willsie was alone in the slot and his shot forced Garon to make a spectacular arm save. The rebound was centered out front again to Willsie and again Garon made a big save.

The Kings got a break with 40 seconds left in the period as seven of their players on the ice escaped the eye of the officials. That should easily have been called for too many men. They had another chance to tie the game as Kopitar had a blast at the buzzer that Garon caught in his midsection. Shots in the period favored the Kings, 13-10.

The Kings came out flying in the third period with an early penalty, but the Oilers were unable to capitalize. It was all the Kings and Garon.

After seven minutes, Joni Pitkanen was leveled in the corner by Dustin Brown. The hit was so hard it knocked his helmet off. Pitkanen showed his mettle though as he picked up the loose puck and cleared the zone.

Three minutes later, Patrick Thoresen tried to split the Kings defense and was spun around and leveled. He got up and stapled John Zeiler to the boards behind the Kings net.

The Kings continued to press for the equalizer, forcing Garon into several spectacular saves. Their hard word was finally rewarded with 1:28 to go as a puck bounced off Rob Blake, then off Nagy, and into the net. Garon made the save on the original shot by Armstrong, but the rebound bounced off Blake as he was falling into Garon. The goal was reviewed to see if Blake had interfered, but it was determined that the goal counted.

Neither team was able get the winning goal in regulation so for the eighth time this season the Oilers went to overtime. They had yet to win in the overtime session this year but they have also not lost. Shots in the third period favored the Kings 12-2.

The best chance of the overtime went to the Kings as Patrick O’Sullivan rang a shot off the crossbar after two minutes. There was some great end-to-end action but neither team could score. The Oilers played well, but through the third period and overtime they appeared to be running out of gas. Shots in the overtime favored the Kings 3-2.

With neither team able to score in OT it was off to the shootout. It was the eighth time for the Oilers the fourth for the Kings this season.

The Kings chose to take the first shot. Cammalleri’s shot went off the crossbar. Gagner deked and scored. Brown’s shot was saved. Nilsson deked and Aubin made the save. Kopitar deked and Garon made the save to win the game. It was a league leading seventh shootout victory or the Oilers.

It was a successful road trip for the Oilers as they picked up all four points in southern California the last two nights. It was their third straight win—the first time this season they have managed that feat. There is no rest for blue and copper as they head home to play Sid “the Kid” Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.


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