by Lisa McRitchie on 10/28/11 at 03:00 AM ET
Oilers hand Capitals their first loss of the season 2-1
Exactly what has happened to the Edmonton Oilers, I can’t say. This team was not supposed to have a good year; playoffs, forget about it. For a while it looked like this team would struggle with goaltending, defence and then even offence. Then, something changed. The Oilers lost games by a single goal, some in the shootout, and then they won a couple. But this? The Oilers have now won their third game in a row and most inexplicably, were the team to hand the red hot Washington Capitals their first loss of the season.
The Capitals opened the scoring from Karl Azner with his first of the season. It appeared as though this would be the first of many, but shockingly enough, Jordan Eberle with a perfect pass in front of the net to Taylor Hall on the power play less than two minutes before the end of the first period helped tie the game. The final goal of the game came once again from the Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle line as well, this one from Jordan Eberle who has once again found his scoring touch it seems. If only Magnus Paajarvi could find his.
The Oilers can attribute this win especially to special teams and most importantly goaltending. As the crowd chanted Khabi between calling “Nuuuuuuge” (please Edmonton, can we go back to chanting Nugent-Hopkins?) it became quite apparent that Oiler fans are willing to forgive and forget the past two seasons. Forget at least for the time being, or the next string of difficult losses.
The Oilers successfully killed five penalties and both goals came on the power play. The Oilers had several opportunities through sixty minutes, but two power play goals especially against the Washington Capitals was quite acceptable.
The Oilers didn’t have a great night in the faceoff department, but considering their competition going nearly 50% is fantastic. Anton Lander is still searching for his first NHL, still striving to make enough of an impression to carve a spot for himself on the team but at least is starting to have better success on the dot.
Corey Potter is continuing to make fans wonder why he didn’t catch on in the NHL before now. Coach Tom Renney having worked with the New York Rangers has a history with Potter, or at least followed the defenceman’s play when he was in Hartford. Potter played an integral part of both Oilers goals and hopefully many more to come.
Still no decision with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins according to head coach Tom Renney Nugent-Hopkins could be a game time decision. When Renney says “Could be, you never know,” you do have the suspicion that they do have a decision ready. Renney goes on to say “I haven’t even spoken to the player about what I’m going to do” and that he would like to speak with the Nugent-Hopkins before the press. “I’m hoping I can have a chat with him before we go too far.”
On Ryan Whitney, it sounds as though he will be out three weeks with the knee injury. This is not exactly good news for the Oilers, but very likely Jeff Petry will be called up from Oklahoma City to Denver for tomorrow night’s game versus the Colorado Avalanche. Word this afternoon is that Devan Dubnyk will get the start in net.
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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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