ANAHEIM, Calif – Chris Pronger scored twice on the two-man advantage in the third period to lift Edmonton over the Ducks 6-3 on Wednesday night at the Arrowhead Pond.
A late Edmonton goal in the second period, a five-minute major penalty to Vitaly Vishnevski and subsequent minor penalties creating three Oilers 5-on-3 advantages in the third period were too much for the Ducks and helped Edmonton rally from a two-goal deficit.
With the Ducks ahead 3-1 late in the second period, Edmonton took the play to Anaheim with Steve Staios (4, Smith, Horcoff) potting his fourth goal of the season with two seconds remaining in the second period to cut the Ducks lead to 3-2 in what turned out to be the turning point of the contest.
“I’m the one to blame for this one,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. “I think it was my position as coach. I didn’t do the right things, specifically in reaction to the score at the end of the second period. That really sent the momentum their way.
At the start of the third period, Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky (15, Horcoff, Greene) beat JS Giguere over his left shoulder to tie the game 3-3 at 3:41.
The game was knotted at three when Vishnevski was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding Jarret Stoll at 8:50 of the third period. Twenty-three seconds later Scott Niedermayer was whistled for a cross check to give the Oilers a two-man advantage.
Pronger (5, Peca, Pisani) ripped a slap shot from the point to beat Giguere to give Edmonton a 4-3 lead. Following the goal, Giguere confronted Oilers winger Ryan Smyth who slashed the goaltender’s stick hampering Giguere from getting into position to make the stop.
“I was really upset, for more than one reason,” said Giguere. “But that’s unacceptable. I can’t react like that.
Giguere was given a minor penalty creating the Oilers second 5-on-3 advantage. Giguere was then assessed two consecutive minor penalties on an ensuing stoppage in play.
“Sometimes it’s unfortunate to be a goalie,” said Giguere. “It’s not like you can go out and bodycheck somebody. You have to keep your cool. Right now we’re at a point where points are so important. For what I did, I’m sorry to my teammates.”
Pronger (6, Stoll, Peca), with the Oilers on the two-man advantage, tallied his second of the game to give the Oilers the 5-3 lead. Shawn Horcoff (16, Smyth) added an empty-net goal, shorthanded at 19:03 to seal Edmonton’s 6-3 victory.
In the first period, the Ducks took a 2-0 lead on goals by Chris Kunitz (11, Getzlaf, McDonald) and Teemu Selanne (21, McDonald, Salei).
After Edmonton’s Marc-Andre Bergeron (Hemsky, Pronger) cut the lead to 2-1at 5:53 of the second period, Selanne (22, S. Niedermayer) added his second of the game and 22nd of the season at 6:31.
“We played well the first two periods of this game,” said Captain Scott Niedermayer. “Then it fell apart for us. We’ve got to be right back at it tomorrow night. It’s a big challenge, a huge challenge. We have no choice, really.”
The Ducks face the San Jose Sharks tomorrow night at 7:30 PM at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.