After building a seemingly comfortable 4-1 lead on the Carolina
Hurricanes, only to cough it up over the final 30 minutes, the
Oilers recovered to pull out a 5-4 overtime victory Tuesday at
Blowing a huge lead made the Oilers all the more desperate heading
into the extra period.
"It wasn't our prettiest win, but we dug deep in overtime and got a
big goal," said Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, after right
winger Jordan Eberle scored the winner at 1:48 of overtime.
"In a game like that, you have to find some push-back when they take
away the momentum like that. It's not the way we want to do it every
night, but nevertheless ..."
Nevertheless, the Oilers are 7-3-1 in their past 11 games, making
good on a challenge they issued a month ago not to lose two games in
"At the end of the day, we found a way to win," Eberle said. "It was
a weird game. The crowd was with us, then against us, then they were
back with us."
The Oilers took command in the first period when left winger Taylor
Hall scored at 1:33, right winger Nail Yakupov at 11:04 and center
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at 18:14, giving Edmonton a 3-1 lead on three
first-period goals from three consecutive first overall picks.
Left winger Tuomu Ruutu scored the only Carolina goal of the first
When left winger Jesse Joesuu gave Edmonton a 4-1 lead just 1:40
into the second period, it looked as if the rout was on.
Carolina went on the attack and had a 10-1 lead in second-period
shots when center Jordan Staal closed the gap to 4-2 at 9:37.
"I think we played pretty good hockey up to that point, when we
scored the fourth goal," Joensuu said. "Then we kind of took our
foot off the gas pedal, and it showed."
The Hurricanes pulled within 4-3 on a short-handed goal from center
Eric Staal at 7:47 of the third period but had their momentum halted
when former Oilers center Riley Nash hit defenseman Corey Potter
from behind — an ugly play that sent the Edmonton defenseman to the
dressing room and drew a five-minute major and game misconduct.
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However, even that wasn't enough to stop Carolina's comeback.
Edmonton's power play didn't generate a thing, and shortly after
the five minutes expired, forward Jeff Skinner tied the score on
a point shot at 14:46 to force overtime.
"Obviously it was not the start we wanted at all, we kind of
played right into their hands," Staal said. "But we showed a lot
of resiliency coming back and getting it to 4-4 and having some
good chances to win it there in regulation despite all the
penalties we had to kill."
Carolina coach Kirk Muller was thrilled that his club didn't
quit even though it was behind by three goals on the road in the
second of back-to-back games.
"We're a pretty resilient team," he said. "We have to look at
the positives, we got a point. We got outplayed in the first and
came back in the second. We had a really good second and third.
We got a really big point and possibly could have had two.
"They got good skill and they were skating, we kind of just sat
back and kind of weren't moving. I think we finally took a
break, and after the first period, we said, 'We're a lot better
than this,' and got to playing our game again.'"
NOTES: Edmonton LW Ryan Smyth, bothered by a sore neck that he
hoped would ease up enough for him to play, was a last-minute
scratch. LW Jesse Joensuu, a healthy scratch the previous two
games, took his place. ... Carolina LW Jeff Skinner was selected
the NHL's first star of the week on the strength of five goals
and one assist in three Hurricanes wins. Oilers LW Taylor Hall
was chosen the NHL's second star of the week on the strength of
four goals and two assists in three games. ... Carolina RW
Alexander Semin still isn't quite ready to return from his
concussion, but the Hurricanes say he is close. ... D Mike
Komisarek (lower body) and LW Drayson Bowman (lower body) also
sat out for Carolina. ... The Hurricanes played the second game
of a back-to-back set after losing Monday to the Canucks in
Vancouver. They endured two sets of back-to-back games in a span
of five days.
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