ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Edmonton Oilers got a much-needed
road win despite tying a franchise record for penalty-killing
Raffi Torres scored the go-ahead goal with 5:29 remaining and
Radek Dvorak had two assists in the Oilers' 3-2 victory over
Anaheim on Sunday night.
Cory Cross and Jason Chimera also scored and Ty Conklin made 15
of his 28 saves in the third period, helping Edmonton win for only
the second time in its last 11 games.
"It's about time," coach Craig MacTavish said. "They really
took it to us, especially in the third. It was setting up like it
was going to be another rough night, especially after the
power-play goal, but we kept battling and were able to get the win.
Raffy made a terrific play to get us the winning goal."
Torres beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere to the stick side from short
range for his ninth goal and second game-winner of the season,
after cruising down the slot with a pass from Dvorak.
"The game was in our control, but we let it slip away,"
Anaheim captain Steve Rucchin said. "We just continue to shoot
ourselves in the foot. We give the other team the puck and have
huge defensive breakdowns consistently. And whenever we do that,
teams exploit it and score on us."
Edmonton's problem lately has been its penalty-killing unit,
which entered with an NHL-worst 73.2 percentage.
The only time they were short-handed against the Mighty Ducks
was when Cross was sent off for interference with 1:24 left in the
second period. But Petr Sykora scored 34 seconds after
intermission, and with two seconds left on the penalty -- the 12th
straight game in which the Oilers allowed a power-play goal.
It was the second time during this streak in which the Oilers
were burned on their only short-handed situation of the game. It
also happened in a 2-1 home loss to San Jose.
"Penalty killing is the toughest job in the game, especially
with the caliber of players who are out there who can more the puck
around on the power play," Torres said. "We know we've been
struggling, so we're trying to do whatever we can to stay out of
the penalty box. I don't think the problem is our work ethic. It's
just a couple of bad breaks."
Andy McDonald also scored for the Ducks and playoff MVP
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 26 saves after a three-game benching.
Giguere was lifted in each of his previous two starts after
surrendering four goals at Detroit and another five in Atlanta.
"It felt better than the last two I played," said Giguere, who
was awarded an assist on Sykora's goal. "There were a lot of
positives in my game and I was seeing the puck a little bit better,
but in the end, a loss is a loss."
The Oilers, who won all four meetings with Anaheim last season,
had two potential goals waved off by instant replay. The second one
would have snapped a 1-1 tie at 16:44 of the first period -- but
Shawn Horcoff was ruled to have directed the puck with his skate
toward the front of the crease, where it caromed off the skate of
Anaheim defenseman Ruslan Salei and under Giguere's left leg.
But Chimera beat Giguere with a 20-foot slap shot from the left
circle at 14:58 of the second period to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead.
McDonald opened the scoring at 3:16 with his sixth goal. Giguere
stopped five shots during Edmonton's 5-on-3 advantage, after Sergei
Fedorov was sent off for hooking Steve Staios and Steve Rucchin was
banished 13 seconds later for high-sticking Mike York. But the
Oilers pulled even at 11:21 of the first.
Giguere, expecting Dvorak to circle the back of the net with the
puck, hugged the right post. But Dvorak slammed on the brakes and
passed in front to Cross, who had a gaping hope to shoot at for his
second goal in 19 games and fourth this season.
The Ducks are 3-for-27 on the power play in their last nine
games. ... A trade that would send unsigned Edmonton C Mike Comrie
to Anaheim is being held up by Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe,
who wants Comrie to pay the club $2.5 million first. Lowe and Ducks
GM Bryan Murray agreed to the deal last Monday -- before Comrie's
agent informed Murray of the extra stipulation. "There's no time
frame at this moment, but it may get to that," Murray said before
the game. ... The Ducks recalled 21-year-old D Mark Popovic from
Cincinnati of the AHL. ... Adam Oates, who helped the Ducks get to
the Stanley Cup finals in his only season with the team, faced them
for the first time since signing a one-year, $1.95 million contract
with the Oilers on Nov. 17. Anaheim had declined to pick up his
$3.5 million option.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Honda Center Location: Anaheim, California
Referees: Dave Jackson, Michael McGeough Linesmen: Andy McElman, Mark Wheler
Attendance: 12,426 (72.4% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Andy McDonald (6)
Assists: Vitaly Vishnevski, Garrett Burnett
Cory Cross (4)
Assists: Radek Dvorak, Ryan Smyth
Jason Chimera (3)
Assists: Jason Smith, Zack Stortini
Petr Sykora (10)
(Power Play) Assists: Sergei Fedorov, Jean-Sebastien Giguere