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Oilers 3, Islanders 2 (OT)

The SportsXchange

EDMONTON, Alberta -- In a meeting of former NHL powers, the Edmonton Oilers beat the New York Islanders 3-2 in overtime Thursday on left wing Taylor Hall's goal in the extra period.

Two organizations that once met in back-to-back Stanley Cup finals -- the Islanders winning in 1993 and the Oilers in 1994 -- are now wallowing in frustration.

The Oilers came into the game with the 29th-best record in the NHL; the Islanders 26th. Edmonton will miss the playoffs for the eighth straight year, the Islanders for the sixth time in seven years.

In other words, it was a fair fight.

The Islanders jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and held on for as long as they could, but the Oilers scored two in the third period to force overtime.

Hall ended the game with a 13-foot wrist shot 2:29 into the extra period. Center Sam Gagner had stolen the puck before assisting on the goal, which was Hall's 21st of the season.

It's been a rough few weeks for the Islanders. First they lost captain and leading scorer John Tavares to a season-ending injury at the Olympics, then Thomas Vanek was dealt to Montreal at the trade deadline for nothing that can help them right now.

They out-shot Edmonton 13-4 in the first period and opened the scoring when center Frans Nielsen picked the top corner behind starting goalie Ben Scrivens on a shorthanded two-on-one. Eight minutes later, the Islanders went up 2-0 when center Anders Lee scored on a goalmouth deflection during a delayed Oilers penalty.

New York took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission while the Oilers headed to their dressing room amid boos.

The Islanders, who despite all of their recent hardships, were 11-3-0 in their previous 14 road games, were up 20-9 in shots midway through the second period and took their 2-0 lead into the second intermission.

The Oilers finally came to life in the third period, with left winger Ryan Smyth scoring nine minutes in to cut the lead to 2-1. Then defenseman Philip Larsen tied it with three minutes to play.

NOTES: The Oilers recalled D Philip Larsen from Oklahoma City to fill the spot vacated by D Nick Schultz, who went to Columbus for a fourth round draft pick at the NHL trade deadline. ... G Viktor Fasth arrived in Edmonton on Wednesday night after being acquired from Anaheim earlier in the day. He backed up G Ben Scrivens on Thursday. He will get his first start for the Oilers on Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings. ... LW Ryan Smyth told the Oilers he would be OK with being moved to a contender at the deadline, but GM Craig MacTavish could not find a fit. ... The Islanders first goal of the game was the league-leading 11th short-handed goal given up by the Oilers. ... The Islanders have seven rookies on their roster. ... D Thomas Hickey is the only Islander to play in every game this season. ... After trading LW Matt Moulson, a first-round pick and a second-round pick to get LW Thomas Vanek earlier this year, Islanders GM Garth Snow sent him to Montreal for a second-round pick and a prospect.
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