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Oil Patch

3 Out of 4 Is Great

Oilers lose to Canucks 3-2 in shootout
Whatever Tom Renney said or did with his team on Sunday, it certainly is having a lasting effect. For the second night in a row, the Oilers held in took the game to extra time. Also for the second night in a row, Devan Dubnyk started for the Oilers. Overall, Dubnyk once again looked good in net.

Of course it was a Sedin who opened the game’s scoring. Daniel Sedin scored on a wrist shot midway through the first period from Alex Burrows and Dan Hamhuis. This seemed as though it would be the beginning of the end for the Oilers, but somehow they stuck with it and played a disciplined period, not taking a single penalty.

 

Ryan Whitney made his most recent return to the line-up against the Canucks and fortunately for the Oilers, he looked pretty great.
Through the second period, Shawn Horcoff’s mid-period goal would be the only one. The scoring was certainly well spaced, but this goal was especially interesting if only because it was the Oilers that scored and tied the game.

The third period saw scoring from both teams as the Canucks took the lead for the second time with a goal from David Booth. Devan Dubnyk nearly had the save, but didn’t quite know where the puck was. As Dubnyk turned, the puck came out from between his legs and Booth capitalised, tapping the puck over the line.

The Oilers only had one opportunity on the power play, but that was all it took for Taylor Hall to once again tie the game, this time at 2. And it wasn’t only the power play that was perfect for the Oilers through 60 minutes, but also the penalty kill. While the Canucks have the best power play in the league, the Oilers successfully killed both of their penalties. These are the types of improvements that should give some comfort.

Overtime wouldn’t solve anything for either team, and Devan Dubnyk made some stellar saves as he stopped all 8 shots compared to Roberto Luongo’s 3.

The shootout had its moments for each team as the momentum swung both ways. In the end, it would be Cody Hodgson who would score the game winning shootout goal.

The Oilers managed to keep up with the Canucks in terms of shots, despite the fact that this was their second game in as many nights, and the team had to travel for this game. Perhaps it is the promise of the All Star break, but something inspired the Oilers to play the full 65 minutes. Ales Hemsky once again picked up his game and made some excellent passes to his own teammates and not any Canucks. Magnus Paajarvi played grittier, something he needs to do every night.

Jordan Eberle seemed to have picked up exactly where he left off before his injury. Eberle continues to make amazing no look passes, always finding his intended target. Eberle didn’t earn a shot on net, but you still felt that he was close to a goal.

Taylor Hall led the team in shots with 4. He still wears a bandage over his cut, has a swollen head and a black eye, but you would never know it just watching him play. In the absence of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Hall has certainly stepped up.

3 of 4 points is not bad at all, for any team, let alone the Oilers. What is interesting is that the Oilers have taken 4 of their last 8 games to overtime and they have only won 2 of those same 8 games.

The Oilers will now enjoy a week between games, with the exception of Jordan Eberle who will participate in the All Star weekend.

 

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink
 

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About Oil Patch

Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.

Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.

Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.

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