EDMONTON, ALBERTA (TICKER) —The “Bulldog Line” produced another timely breakthrough for the Edmonton Oilers.
Fernando Pisani scored his first NHL goal in the third period and fellow rookie Ales Hemsky got the game-winner 2:33 later as the Oilers rallied for their eighth straight home win over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, 2-1.
The Oilers have not lost to the Ducks at Skyreach Centre since February 24, 1999.
“We got a couple of goals from some fairly unlikely sources,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. “But that’s a sign of everybody chipping in in a timely fashion.”
Nicknamed the “Bulldog Line” since they were promoted from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League earlier this season, the trio of Pisani, Brian Swanson and rookie Jason Chimera produced the equalizer Thursday as Edmonton grabbed a point at Vancouver.
In this one, Swanson was involved in the buildup and Pisani put in a rebound with 11:59 left in regulation to forge a 1-1 deadlock.
“It feels pretty special,” Pisani said. “It was a good goal for me and it was a big goal for the team, and it changed the outcome of the game. It was one that got us back into (the game) and changed the momentum.
“As each game goes on, we get a little more confident and we get a little more creative offensively. And if we continue to do that, we’ll put up some numbers, too.”
While Pisani and Swanson each collected a point, Chimera had his four-game points streak snapped.
Hemsky, who missed the previous three games due to an abdominal strain, fired a high shot from the slot past the stick side of goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere. It helped the Oilers extend their unbeaten streak to three games (2-0-1).
Tommy Salo made 12 of his 25 saves in the second period for Edmonton.
“This was an important game,” Salo said. “The Ducks were right behind us (in the standings) and we couldn’t afford to have a bad start to this stretch of games.”
“Tonight was a chance to close the gap. We failed to do that,” Ducks coach Mike Babcock said. “They’ve had our number and we’ve got to turn that around.”
Petr Sykora netted a power-play goal midway through the second, but he had a blast during a two-man advantage stopped by Salo late in the third as the Ducks had a three-game winning streak snapped.
“We lost the game. It wasn’t a question of getting beaten, and that’s what makes it disappointing,” said Ducks captain Paul Kariya, who assisted on Sykora’s tally. “We still had a 5-on-3 with two minutes to go and we couldn’t score there, so it wasn’t the kind of finish we wanted. Every point is important and this was a must-win game. It seems like every game since October has been like that.”
Edmonton moved within six points of first-place Vancouver in the Northwest Division and is 8-3-2-1 over its last 14 games.
The Oilers have won the first three of four meetings with the Ducks this season to improve to 22-22-2 in the all-time series.