by Lisa McRitchie on 01/07/12 at 08:30 PM ET
Oilers lose 4-1 to Stars
Things are going from bad to worse for the Edmonton Oilers. What started out as an amazing season, the Oilers at one point led the western conference has now turned to what appears to be another basement finish
The Oilers are still without top defenceman Ryan Whitney, lost Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Tom Gilbert on Monday and after a game with the Dallas Stars may be without Jordan Eberle for an uncertain amount of time. Eberle suffered a knee injury early in the game and did not return. There has been no official word on the extent of the injury, but this cannot be a good thing for the already ailing team.
What may be the most amazing result of this whole situation is that the farm team, the Oklahoma City Barons are still winning despite the steady stream of players going to Edmonton to reinforce the troops.
Taylor Hall scored the Oilers’ lone goal in the first period with a shot that bounced off an unlucky Dallas defenceman. The same kind of luck affected the Oilers as the game wore on.
Jamie Benn scored the Dallas Stars’ tying goal in the second period following another unfortunate incident for the Edmonton Oilers. Anton Lander suffered a head shot from Steve Ott, sending the rookie centreman sprawling on the ice. After examination by the Oilers’ training staff Lander was cleared to resume play.
In the third period, the Stars went for the jugular. Benn scored his second goal of the night as his brother and recent Stars call-up Jordie Benn watched from the stands. Mike Ribeiro’s goal was an unlucky play for the Oilers. Riberio’s shot was initially stopped by Khabibulin’s padding, but as Khabi slid right across his crease, the puck bounced backwards into the net. The shot would have been stopped directly in front of the Oilers netminder had he not been on the move, but Khabi was just trying to cover his net.
An empty net goal, his second of the night for Mike Ribeiro sealed the deal for the Stars.
With this loss, the Oilers have lost 3 of their last 4 and have only a single win in the New Year. “We came up a little short for whatever reasons; there are no questions about that.” Says Renney on his team’s recent roadtrip.
Despite the injuries and being outscored, the Oilers were perfect in their penalty kill and until the third period had matched the Stars for shots on net.
“It’s not an individual sport; others will have to step up,” said Oilers’ head coach Tom Renney following Saturday’s game.
Others that may have to step up may include winger Magnus Paajarvi who was recently sent down to the Barons. Teemu Hartikainen was a recent call-up from the Barons and was a healthy scratch for this game. With Eberle’s injury Hartikainen may be one of the players seeing more ice time. Hartikainen adds physical presence to the Oilers’ line-up and perhaps a little scoring. In 23 games with the Barons, Hartikainen had 8 goals and 7 assists.
Jordan Eberle has certainly made a case for himself to earn a trip to the NHL All Star game later this month. With this recent injury, Eberle may miss the game, just like Ales Hemsky has.
Well it looks as though Teemu Hartikainen will not be one of the players stepping up due to recent injuries according to a recent tweet by the Edmonton Oilers
The #Oilers have assigned Teemu Hartikainen and Josh Green to the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL.
The Barons have an afternoon game Sunday in Hamilton, while the Oilers do not play again until Wednesday against the New Jersey Devils. We may see players going back and forth between the two clubs.
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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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