Once he got an unexpected chance to shoot, he made the most of what he saw.
Fowler’s goal in the 10th round lifted Anaheim to a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers after the Ducks blew a two-goal lead in the third period on Tuesday night. He won the game with a simple snap shot instead of going for a fancier move.
The rookie defenseman, in his 24th NHL game, turned 19 on Sunday.
“I wanted to shoot,” Fowler said. “I didn’t want to risk putting a move on because Khabibulin had already made some really nice saves on guys that have way better moves than me. I thought my best chance was to go in and pick a spot. Luckily it found the back of the net.”
The Ducks had a chance to win the shootout in every round after the first, but couldn’t score until Fowler got his shot past Khabibulin.
This one didn’t come easily.
“Any coach will take a win, it doesn’t matter how you get it,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We’re not going to critique a win from our standpoint. After being shut out two games in a row, it was nice to get a couple. We actually missed some other opportunities.”
Edmonton coach Tom Renney stressed the importance of getting one point when it looked as though the Oilers were headed for a loss. Getting to overtime was even more impressive, considering that captain Shawn Horcoff(notes) was injured early in the game.
The Oilers (10-12-5) have the fewest points in the Western Conference.
“You have to find ways to win and overcome adversity,” Renney said. “We want points so that we can make the playoffs. You never know what point or points it is going to be so we’re going to make this a valuable point.”
“I felt it kind of pop right away,” Horcoff said. “We’ll know how bad it is when I get the MRI.
“It’s going to be tough to sit out. Hopefully the team plays well and makes it easier.”
Edmonton outshot Anaheim 10-8 in the scoreless first period, but the Ducks grabbed the lead just over five minutes into the second. Selanne made a nice pass as he crossed the blue line to Koivu, who picked the corner to Khabibulin’s glove side for his 10th of the season. The goal was the first for the Ducks in 146 minutes, 5 seconds.
Edmonton made it a one-goal game four minutes later when Ryan Jones tucked a shot under Hiller’s arm for his third goal in three games.
Notes: The Oilers won the first of four meetings between the teams, 4-2 at Anaheim on Nov. 21. … Selanne returned after missing two games and five of seven because of a groin injury. … Oilers forward Ales Hemsky(notes) is expected to be out for at least a month due to a groin injury. … Lupul played just his second game of the season. The former Oilers forward was sidelined for nearly a year because of a back operation and a subsequent blood infection. … Hall was chosen as the NHL’s third star for last week after scoring four goals in four games.