Oilers net 11th shootout win with 3-2 victory over Rangers
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)—When it comes to wins, the Edmonton Oilers only care about how many they have—not how they get them.
It was only the second win in nine games for the Oilers, who started a five game homestand.
“Right now we aren’t in a situation to be picky about how we get wins,” Horcoff said. “Beggars can’t be choosers. We are certainly very comfortable in the shootouts though. When we go to them we don’t feel it is a negative thing.”
Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish reserved most of his praise for Mathieu Garon who made 21 saves and improved to 7-0 in shootouts this season.
“I love the aggressiveness that he demonstrates in coming out and challenging the shooters,” MacTavish said. “I don’t know why more goalies don’t employ that strategy. The shooters get a lot of the credit, but the way he has been playing all we need is one goal out of the three and usually that is enough.”
It was the third straight start for Garon, slated to be the go-to guy during the homestand.
“It’s a critical stretch here,” MacTavish said. “It’s not a reflection of the way Dwayne has played, it is a reflection that Matty has played.
“You want to give yourself the best chance. It is not a big difference between the two, but I really feel Matty is deserving of the opportunity.”
It was the third loss in a row for the Rangers, who went 0-2-1 on their trip to Western Canada. They are winless in seven games against the Western Conference this season.
“In our three road games here somehow the puck seems to bounce the wrong way for us,” Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. “We are playing well, but we aren’t getting the results. And that’s what matters right now. We need the points. We need to keep working hard and hopefully it turns around.”
With the game tied 1-1 with 9:07 to go, Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg was given a major penalty and was ejected for checking Horcoff from behind. Martin Straka went off for holding soon after to set up a 5-on-3 Oilers power play.
The Oilers took advantage and grabbed a 2-1 lead as Ales Hemsky sent a pass through the top of the crease to Horcoff, who scored his 17th goal.
But the Rangers forced overtime with Drury’s clutch goal in the closing seconds. With Lundqvist off for an extra skater, Jaromir Jagr found Drury at the side of the net and he scored while on his knees.
Both teams had failed power-play opportunities in overtime.
Gagner scored the only goal in the shootout, and Garon made three stops.
Edmonton scored the game’s first goal 11 minutes into the second period as Stoll’s power-play point shot deflected off Drury’s stick and turned into a knuckleball, fluttering past Lundqvist.
New York came close to getting the equalizer as sustained pressure almost paid off late in the middle frame. A shot by Sean Avery got past Garon but rang off the post.
The Rangers were able to tie the game with 8:07 to go in regulation, snapping a drought of 108 minutes, 21 seconds without a goal. Girardi picked up the puck at the blue line and sent a high shot that fooled Garon.
Rangers LW Brendan Shanahan, who had returned from missing his first game of the season due to muscle spasms in his neck, left the game midway through the third with a knee injury after a collision with Edmonton’s Dustin Penner. … Oilers’ opponents have earned at least one point in 16 straight games. The Oilers are 6-7-3 in that stretch. … Edmonton RW Ales Hemsky returned after missing five games because of a knee injury. D Sheldon Souray rejoined the lineup after sitting out one game because of a nagging shoulder injury. Souray missed two months with a separated shoulder earlier this season. … The Rangers, who were shut out in Vancouver on Thursday night following a loss at Calgary, hadn’t visited Edmonton since Jan, 2, 2002.