Sharks Put Oilers To Bed In Shootout

Where would this team be without the OTL point?

A hustle there and a bustle there.  Oilers went to the third period with a chance to pull this one out in regulation time.  Things were looking good when the Oilers secured a two goal lead in the third period, when The Ghost of Third Periods Past made another appearance at Rexall Place.

Here’s what I saw.

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had the flu and was a late scratch, causing all sorts of line movement.  Ryan Smyth got the pleasure of playing centre between Jordan Eberle and Ryan Jones.  Nearly 15 minutes of ice time for Smyth at C.  Teemu Hartikainen got suited up on the fourth line and played four minutes.  Team is already moving Smyth out of position to cover for Eric Belanger.  If any other centre goes down for whatever reason, the team is promoting Smyth to centre on a higher line.
  • Let’s talk about a goal.  A good goal.

  • Nick Schultz hops out of the penalty box and does a right job at getting the puck over to Shawn Horcoff. This goal put the Oilers up 2-1, and the game remained relatively close (the Oilers weren’t getting terribly outchanced) at that point.
  • Ryan Jones got his first goal of the year on a nifty wraparound that caught Antti Niemi asleep at the wheel.  Sam Gagner opened scoring, pushing his impending contract up by a few hundred thousand.
  • Don’t know who writes it, but the Oilers need to purchase the book on third period play and sleep on it.  Osmosis.  Something.  After two periods (shots:  17-13 Sharks), the Oilers scored a third period goal and packed it in, getting beat up in shooting chances.  It’s an old, tired cliché, but sixty minutes is a difference maker.  Sharks scored two goals in the third to send this one to OT.
  • Although they didn’t score a goal, the Oilers looked very good in overtime.  Why not more of this?
  • Devan Dubnyk catching a lot of flack about the Tommy Wingels goal last night.  All of that should die down if anyone has recollection of the first San Jose goal.
  • San Jose takes the skills competitoin.  The Oilers are 2-3 so far this year in the shootout.
  • Oilers grab a point when they should have had two.  They’ll play their final game of this homestand on Saturday versus the St. Louis Blues.
  • For whatever reason, I can’t get Rush’s “Ghost of a Chance” out of my head while writing this.

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