Mighty Ducks fans celebrated the return of hockey to the Arrowhead Pond only to have the party ruined by three Edmonton powerplay goals and one empty netter that gave the visitors the 4-2 victory on Monday night.
Radek Dvorak’s goal with the man advantage at the 8:20 mark of the 3rd period broke a 2-2 tie and was the eventual game-winner. The Oilers finished the night 3-8 on the powerplay while the Ducks were 0-7.
“We can complain about some of the calls, but in the end the ref has the final say,” said Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer. “We need to do a better job of killing penalties and when we get on the power play, we need to score some goals.”
The Ducks out-shot the Oilers 11-4 during the first period. Teemu Selanne got Anaheim on the board first when he slid a shot through traffic in the slot and beat Edmonton goaltender Jussi Markkanen at 6:36 of the 1st period.
Five minutes later, Ducks rookie Corey Perry would score his first NHL goal off a rebound of a Jason Marshall shot to give Anaheim an early 2-0 lead at 11:06 of the first period. With the goal, Perry became the first player in Mighty Ducks history to start his NHL career with a point in three straight games.
The Ducks started the 2nd period down a man when Raffi Torres got the Oilers on the board by tipping home a one-timer by teammate Jarret Stoll to cut the Ducks lead in half to 2-1 at 1:13 of the 2nd period. Marty Reasoner (1, Pronger, Horcoff) drove home a rebound on the Oilers fifth powerplay of the contest to tie the game for Edmonton 2-2 at 13:22 of the 2nd.
Edmonton out-shot the Ducks in the 2nd period 17-8.
"It’s one of those things that you try to guard against," Ducks Head Coach Randy Carlyle said of his team's slow-down in the 2nd period. "We look at it and analyze the games that we’ve played and it’s a trait that we want to eliminate."
"It think it’s a combination of us trying to get too cute in the neutral ice and that leads to turnovers, which leads to defensive zone coverage. When you’re playing defense for five or six straight minutes or four or five shifts in a row, it usually leads to some type of penalty," said Carlyle.
Dvorak would break the 2-2 tie in the third period with his first goal of the season on the powerplay. Torres would add an empty net goal for his fourth on the young season and second of the night to give the Oilers the 4-2 victory.
NOTES: Pre-game festivities for the home opener featured new Mighty Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli dropping the ceremonial first puck between Oilers captain Jason Smith and Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer….Singer Eddie Money performed the Canadian and American National Anthems prior to the game.
NEXT UP: The Mighty Ducks face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday at The Arrowhead Pond at 7:30 PM.