ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Edmonton Oilers got a much-needed road win
despite tying a franchise record for penalty-killing futility.
Raffi Torres scored the go-ahead goal with 5:29 remaining and Radek Dvorak
had two assists in the Oilers' 3-2 victory over Anaheim on Sunday night.
Cory Cross and Jason Chimera also scored and Ty Conklin made 15 of his 28
saves in the third period, helping Edmonton win for only the second time in its
last 11 games.
"It's about time," coach Craig MacTavish said. "They really took it to
us, especially in the third. It was setting up like it was going to be another
rough night, especially after the power-play goal, but we kept battling and
were able to get the win. Raffy made a terrific play to get us the winning
Torres beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere to the stick side from short range for
his ninth goal and second game-winner of the season, after cruising down the
slot with a pass from Dvorak.
"The game was in our control, but we let it slip away," Anaheim captain
Steve Rucchin said. "We just continue to shoot ourselves in the foot. We give
the other team the puck and have huge defensive breakdowns consistently. And
whenever we do that, teams exploit it and score on us."
Edmonton's problem lately has been its penalty-killing unit, which entered
with an NHL-worst 73.2 percentage.
The only time they were short-handed against the Mighty Ducks was when Cross
was sent off for interference with 1:24 left in the second period. But Petr
Sykora scored 34 seconds after intermission, and with two seconds left on the
penalty -- the 12th straight game in which the Oilers allowed a power-play goal.
It was the second time during this streak in which the Oilers were burned on
their only short-handed situation of the game. It also happened in a 2-1 home
loss to San Jose.
"Penalty killing is the toughest job in the game, especially with the
caliber of players who are out there who can more the puck around on the power
play," Torres said. "We know we've been struggling, so we're trying to do
whatever we can to stay out of the penalty box. I don't think the problem is
our work ethic. It's just a couple of bad breaks."
Andy McDonald also scored for the Ducks and playoff MVP Jean-Sebastien
Giguere made 26 saves after a three-game benching. Giguere was lifted in each
of his previous two starts after surrendering four goals at Detroit and another
five in Atlanta.
"It felt better than the last two I played," said Giguere, who was awarded
an assist on Sykora's goal. "There were a lot of positives in my game and I
was seeing the puck a little bit better, but in the end, a loss is a loss."
The Oilers, who won all four meetings with Anaheim last season, had two
potential goals waved off by instant replay. The second one would have snapped
a 1-1 tie at 16:44 of the first period -- but Shawn Horcoff was ruled to have
directed the puck with his skate toward the front of the crease, where it
caromed off the skate of Anaheim defenseman Ruslan Salei and under Giguere's
But Chimera beat Giguere with a 20-foot slap shot from the left circle at
14:58 of the second period to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead.
McDonald opened the scoring at 3:16 with his sixth goal. Giguere stopped
five shots during Edmonton's 5-on-3 advantage, after Sergei Fedorov was sent
off for hooking Steve Staios and Steve Rucchin was banished 13 seconds later
for high-sticking Mike York. But the Oilers pulled even at 11:21 of the first.
Giguere, expecting Dvorak to circle the back of the net with the puck,
hugged the right post. But Dvorak slammed on the brakes and passed in front to
Cross, who had a gaping hope to shoot at for his second goal in 19 games and
fourth this season.