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Arcobello's second goal gives Oilers win in OT

by Alain Poupart

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Edmonton Oilers snapped out of their offensive funk Tuesday, and the goals came from some unlikely sources.

Mark Arcobello and Taylor Fedun each scored his first NHL goal in regulation before Arcobello added a second goal 1:55 into overtime to give the Oilers a 4-3 victory against the Florida Panthers.

For good measure, defenseman Philip Larsen scored his first goal of the season.

Arcobello connected in overtime on a power play when he one-timed a pass from Ales Hemsky past goalie Jacob Markstrom.

"I just tried to hit the net," said Arcobello, who had 10 assists in Edmonton's first 15 games after appearing in one game last season. "I knew he'd be moving with a pass coming across. I wanted to get there as fast as I could. It just topped off a good night and we had a big win.

"Just to help the team win, that was big. It's nice to be able to contribute tonight."

Fedun, who came back from a severe leg injury sustained in a preseason game in 2011, was playing in his first NHL game.

"It was awesome to get out there in the first place, get my legs under me and have my first game," Fedun said. "The opportunity to jump up in the play and ultimately get the first one out of the way [is] special. It was a special evening."

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Boyd Gordon each had two assists for the Oilers (4-10-2), who squandered a 3-1 third-period lead but ended a five-game losing streak. Goalie Devan Dubnyk made 20 saves in his return to action after missing all but 39 seconds of the past four games with an ankle injury.

The Oilers came in having been shut out in their past two games, 4-0 against the Toronto Maple Leafs and 5-0 against the Detroit Red Wings.

Edmonton defeated Florida for the eighth time in nine meetings and extended its winning streak at BB&T Center to five games.

Scottie Upshall scored his first two goals of the season for the Panthers, including the game-tying goal with an extra attacker on the ice with 57.6 seconds left in the third period. But it was Upshall who was in the penalty box for tripping when Arcobello scored the game-winner.

"When things don't go your way, it seems like the world is kind of crashing down," Upshall said. "It was nice to chip in. I love playing on our line. [Jesse Winchester] is gritty and [Nick] Bjugstad is a big body. I find I usually play more successful with guys that bang and check and go to the net hard, and it's kind of the way we've been playing. It's not good enough, but it's getting there."

Marcel Goc had a goal and an assist for the Panthers (3-8-4), who have lost six in a row and nine of 10. Four of the losses during the streak have come in overtime or a shootout.

"Those are points that are slipping away," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "We are at a level that if we're serious about our preseason goal, which is to take a run at the playoffs, these are points that we have to have and we had to leave everything on the ice. We had a good push-back in the third period, but we need a more complete effort."

Things don't get easier for Florida, which will play eight of its next nine games on the road, including three in four days: against the Boston Bruins on Thursday, the Ottawa Senators on Saturday and the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Edmonton began a four-game road trip and also plays three games in four days: against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

With Panthers goalie Tim Thomas missing his fifth consecutive game because of a lower-body injury, Markstrom started and made 23 saves.

Upshall tied the game when he got a loose puck at the top of the left circle and fired a wrist shot past Dubnyk.

"I did give it the, 'Jeez, what's it going to take?'" Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "I thought we had a good third period. This wasn't a third period where we had two massive breakdowns and we played on our heels. I highly doubt they had more than three scoring chances in the whole period. ... After they scored the second one, I thought our guys were good on the bench. We called the timeout. Our guys were focused, saying all the right things. I liked it."

Upshall made it 3-2 at 10:04 of the third period with a nice individual effort. After falling to the ice to steal the puck at the Edmonton blue line, he skated to the high slot before taking a feed from Winchester and beating Dubnyk with a wrist shot.

Edmonton scored twice in 33 seconds early in the second period to break a 1-1 tie.

Markstrom was caught deep in his net and giving up the top when Arcobello beat him with a sharp-angle shot at 2:06.

"It was big for confidence there," Arcobello said. "I've had my fair share of chances so far this year. I've been squeezing the stick a little bit too tight. To finally get that first one was big."

Fedun, recalled from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League on Monday, made it 3-1 when he redirected a feed from Nugent-Hopkins on a 2-on-1 at 2:39.

"I don't know if I knew what just happened," Fedun said. "It happened so fast I don't think I processed it right away. I didn't even know what to do."

Larsen was playing in his second game of the season after being recalled from Oklahoma City on Friday. He tied the score at 16:59 of the first period on a goal similar to Fedun's, also redirecting a feed from Nugent-Hopkins across the net.

Larsen's goal snapped the Oilers' scoreless streak at 172:46. They had been shut out since Nail Yakupov scored at 4:12 of the second period of a 2-1 shootout loss against the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 27.

Goc opened the scoring 10:35 into the game when he took a centering feed from Jonathan Huberdeau after jumping on the ice and skating into the offensive zone and beat Dubnyk with a wrist shot to the glove side.

The Oilers welcomed back veteran forward Ryan Smyth, who had missed the previous six games because of a groin injury.

"I thought we took some baby steps in the right direction," Eakins said. "Defensively we went in with a fairly detailed plan but with some simple, simple goals we wanted to accomplish and our guys did that.

"We were rewarded with some odd-man rushes that we were able to convert. … I liked that we stayed in the fight. You're up 3-1 and playing a great third period and they end up with a goal. To tie it up, it's a broken play, a fluttering, curving puck, it was more bad luck. I liked our third period and the way our guys dug their heels in."

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