by Lisa McRitchie on 01/16/12 at 02:30 AM ET
Oilers beat the Kings 2-1 in OT
When Dustin Penner saw his return date to Edmonton on this season’s schedule, he could not have known it would be in the wake of the #pennercakes fiasco. While Oilers’ dressing room attendant Joey Moss was excited to see his very good friend return for the sake of seeing him, Penner’s former teammates were excited to make light of the past week’s news. After visiting the Oilers’ dressing room, Penner walked out with a jug of maple syrup, a gift from an unnamed player.
The Oilers would only score Sunday night on the power play, but that was just enough. Josh Green, scoring his first NHL point since 2007 with the Vancouver Canucks, and his first as an Oiler since 2002 put the Oilers on the scoreboard midway through the first period. The Kings would not respond until the third period.
Through the scoreless minutes in-between goals, it was a goalie standoff. Jonathan Quick stood tall for the Kings making save after save, keeping it a one goal game. On the other end, it was Devan Dubnyk seeing more shots than Quick, but feeling just as much, and maybe even more pressure. After all, the Oilers have won only a single game this year up until this point.
Justin Williams would score the game’s tying and only goal with assists from Slava Voynov and Anze Kopitar. But according to Drew Doughty, his team was “brutal the first two periods, and that’s the entire reason why we lost that game.”
At a one goal deadlock, this game would go to overtime. Unfortunately for the Kings’ goal scorer Justin Williams, Williams’ hi-sticking penalty would lead to the Oilers’ game winning goal.
With a blind, behind the back pass in front of the net, Shawn Horcoff found Taylor Hall who batted in the game winning goal a mere 21 seconds into the power play. This goal netted the team their second win of the year.
“It’s an emotional game, it takes passion to play.” Said coach Tom Renney following the game where the head coach also gave high praise to his captain Shawn Horcoff, the same man who has be eliciting much fan disdain lately.
For the Kings, this was their second game in less than 24 hours. The team had an 8pm start against the Flames Saturday night, and then had to get to Edmonton for a 6pm game. And this is one of the first reasons Kings’ coach Daryl Sutter listed for the loss. The team was however, able to take a jet and were in their hotel rooms by 1am, but still, it’s a difficult transition, challenging the mental side of the athletes.
For the Oilers, Smid is continuing his development as a shutdown defencemen and has been one of the most valuable players for this team. Jeff Petry is also slowly coming along and in this outing played an excellent game. Petry should put more of his slap shots on net, but he is hardly the only Oiler that needs to take more shots.
Also needing to take more shots is of course Ales Hemsky. While Hemsky is potentially at a cross roads with the team, to they sign him or trade him, the same can be said of the fans relationship or admiration of the skilled winger. In this game at least, Hemsky was the creative playmaker in need of a finisher that many fell in love with.
Next up for the Oilers, the team will hit the road for a short two game road trip, and the injured players will get ever closer to their return dates which despite the win, cannot get here soon enough.
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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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