by Lisa McRitchie on 03/18/12 at 01:00 AM ET
Oilers lose 3-2 to Coyotes
It was close, so close. The Oilers nearly had their first victory over the Phoenix Coyotes of the season, even if it was during their last meeting of the season. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. After taking a two goal second period lead, the Oilers finally succumbed to the Yotes in the third period and lost in the shootout.
The Oilers certainly didn’t get off to the best of starts, there was 10:38 played in the first period before the Oilers got their first shot. By that point, the Coyotes had outshot the Oilers 6 to 1. By the end of the first, the Oilers would add 8 more shots to their total, but it was a fight between Lennart Petrell and Keith Yandle less than 2 minutes in that was far more memorable.
Petrell came to the Oilers camp never having played an NHL game. With the Oilers, Petrell has proven to be a physical and adaptable player and an overall great pickup by the club.
By the second period, the Oilers seemed to have found their offence. Two quick goals just over a minute apart from Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky put the Oilers on the board. With this goal, Eberle now has 32 goals and 70 points in his sophomore season, and yes with the 29th place Edmonton Oilers.
While we all know Eberle for his scoring prowess, his physical play may escape you. In this matchup, Eberle tied Jeff Petry for the most Oilers’ hits with 4. Eberle also led all Oilers’ forwards for ice time. No, there is nothing that this young man cannot do it seems.
The Yotes whittled away at the Oilers lead, first with a goal from Ray (not Ryan) Whitney and a late third period goal from ex-Oiler Raffi Torres, assisted by another ex-Oiler Gilbert Brule. It’s always a goal from the ex-Oilers that seems to do the most damage.
Devan Dubnyk had another fairly solid game. Dubnyk turned away 40 shots through 65 minutes of play as well as a penalty shot. Still, the Oilers need consistency from Dubnyk, but he seems to be getting better, putting together longer strings of great play.
Ladislav Smid had another excellent game as well, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it. The defenceman had 2 of the team’s 38 shots, blocked 2 and had a solid hit on Ray Whitney.
Overall, the Oilers’ weren’t all that bad and could have just as easily, yet surprisingly, taken this game. This loss does their neighbours to the south no favours, but then again, the Flames did also lose to the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday night.
The Oilers will next travel to Nashville to play their final meeting of the season. Just like that, the Oilers have only 10 more games to determine their final placement and continue preparations for this summer’s draft. And only 10 more games for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to prove that he is the 2012 rookie of the year.
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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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