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Oilers blank Isles, 4-0

Tuesday, 01.08.2008 / 1:48 AM / Roundup

By Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Oilers goaltender Mathieu Garon stopped all 35 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season as Edmonton won in regulation for the first time in 17 games with a 4-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Monday night.
The Edmonton Oilers just might ask the NHL to add more games against teams from New York next season.
   
Mathieu Garon (35 saves) picked up his third shutout of the season and Shawn Horcoff scored his 100th career goal as the Oilers won in regulation for the first time since Dec. 2 – a span of 17 games – with a 4-0 victory over the Islanders at Rexall Place on Monday night.
   
Two days before his 30th birthday, Garon was all smiles about the fact that he has wrestled the No. 1 job away from Dwayne Roloson. Monday was his fourth consecutive start for the Oilers, who beat the Rangers in a shootout on Saturday night.
   
"I'm feeling really good and very confident right now," Garon said. "But the way we were playing, it always helps a goalie. Defensively, we are playing huge. Having a chance to play a lot of games is even better for me, and I just want to make sure I make the most of this chance. It felt good to get the shutout."
   
Marty Reasoner and Jarret Stoll also scored for the Oilers, who improved to 2-for-2 on their five-game homestand. They’ll look to make it three in a row on Thursday night against the surging Phoenix Coyotes. Much like Monday night, they’ll also look to win the game in no more than 60 minutes. Craig MacTavish’s team won six games after the third period over the last month.
   
"To win one by a couple goals, it's been a while since we've done that," the Oilers’ coach said. "It's never a good sign when you can't remember the last time in regulation, it's been so long.
   
With the lackluster loss, the Islanders (20-17-4) remained tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Their five-game road trip continues on Tuesday night at Vancouver, when Rick DiPietro will likely face Roberto Luongo in a battle of the Isles’ former first-round draft picks.
   
Islanders coach Ted Nolan was steaming after the game, highly disappointed with the effort – or lack thereof – that his team put forth in its third straight loss. New York has scored only four times in its last three games.
   
"It's frustrating when you expect your team to compete," Nolan said. "You can't have 12 guys playing and eight guys not playing. We need a consistent effort from all our guys, not from 70 percent. We need them all."
   
Edmonton certainly had all hands on deck. The Oilers broke a scoreless tie 71 seconds into the second period, when Ales Hemsky’s low shot went through the legs of both Brendan Witt and DiPietro ( 700K ). Horcoff made it 2-0 just 5:20 later on his 100th career goal ( 700K ), as he took a pass from Dustin Penner and backhanded a shot past DiPietro.
   
The lead increased to three when Reasoner scored at 11:22 of the second ( 700K ). After Stoll outworked Mike Comrie for control of the puck, he fed Reasoner for the open shot. It was his fifth goal of the season.
   
“It seemed like whenever they got an odd-man rush, they found a way to put it in the net,” DiPietro said. “That’s something we talked about at the beginning of the game – we didn’t want to allow them too many chances on transition to beat us.”
   
Stoll rounded out the scoring with a power play goal with 3:51 to play in the third period ( 700K ).
   
“I don’t have the answer,” DiPietro said of the Isles’ offensive woes. “I think we’ve got to continue to get shots to the net. At the same time, we need to get some more traffic. We’ve got to cause the goalie to be a little uncomfortable in there and drop some rebounds down. We’ve got to get some the hard way.”

Ducks 5, Predators 2 | Video

The Ducks exploded in the second period with four goals and went on to hand the Nashville Predators their seventh straight loss in Anaheim.
It’s usually not a good sign for the opposition when Nashville scores first. After all, the Predators entered Monday’s action with a record of 17-2-1 when they break a scoreless tie.
   
But Anaheim exploded in the second period at the Honda Center, as the Ducks scored four times in the middle frame en route to their third win in four games. Corey Perry, Chris Kunitz and Ryan Getzlaf all had a goal and an assist, handing the Predators their seventh straight loss in Anaheim.
   
The Ducks were pleased to see the red light go on more than twice in a game – a feat they had accomplished only twice in their last 12 games.
   
"It’s nice and hopefully it continues," Perry said of the outburst. "It was one of those games where the puck bounced and went in for us. We needed a game like that to take the monkey off our back. It’s just those fractions of an inch either way. Finally tonight, we started getting the bounces." 
   
It was also a change of pace for Predators goalie Dan Ellis, who saw his personal four-game winning streak come to an end. He allowed four goals on 10 shots during the wild second period.
   
''They're a team that has lots of veteran leadership and they've got good players. So when you give them good opportunities, they are going to find the back of the net,'' Ellis said. ''Their young forwards are superstars in the NHL -- Getzlaf, Perry and Kunitz. We had a really strong first period, but I think they outmuscled us in the second period and we got thrown back on our heels.''
   
After Nashville’s Marek Zidlicky scored a power-play goal in the opening period ( 700K ), Moen ended a 41-game scoring drought just 42 seconds into the second period ( 700K ). Moen hadn’t found the back of the net since the NHL Premier Series in London back on Sept. 30.
   
"Our game is simple: It’s chipping the puck deep, putting a body on someone and shooting pucks on net with lots of people in front," Moen said. "That’s what we did in the second and third. The power play helped us. We got a couple of power play goals and it was huge. Our power play stepped up for us. We just got things rolling."
   
Kunitz ( 700K ), Pronger ( 700K ) and Perry ( 700K ) all beat Ellis before the midway point of the second as Anaheim jumped out to a 4-1 lead. J.P. Dumont extended his goal streak to five games with a power-play goal 4:11 into the third ( 700K ) to cut Anaheim’s lead to 4-2, but Getzlaf put the game away with his 17th goal of the season at 13:43 ( 700K ).
   
''It was nice to see each line chip in tonight, and that's what we need going forward,” Ducks forward Rob Niedermayer said. “When we get every line contributing, it makes us a lot harder team to play against, from top to bottom. When we're playing well, we're rolling four lines.''

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
Quote of the Day

I feel that responsibility, I've felt it for the last two years. We core guys get a lot of minutes, we get a lot of opportunity out there. Our teammates, the organization and fans look to us to be the guys to put the puck in the net and to create momentum out there.

— Jordan Eberle on taking his game and the Edmonton Oilers to the next level