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Under the Scope: Oilers at Ducks

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers

Ales Hemsky scored the game-winning goal and added an assist to lead the Oilers to a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks Sunday night.

Former Ducks Dustin Penner and Ryan Whitney came up big for their current club, recording a combined three points and a plus-four rating. Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner and Tom Gilbert scored the other markers for Edmonton, while Saku Koivu and Bobby Ryan tallied for the hometown Ducks.

All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:

In the end, the situation didn't change the outcome of tonight's game. It did, however, completely change the complexion of the game midway through the second. The Oilers had established a 2-0 lead when Theo Peckham was charged for delay of game. In that instance, however, Peckham's clearing attempt went through the photographers' window in the glass. Anaheim scored on the powerplay and added another in quick succession to tie the game. It was a bizarre situation that nearly affected the overall outcome.

40 For the second consecutive game, the Oilers gave up more than 40 shots. Devan Dubnyk came up big and denied 38 of them.
43 The Oilers continue to be consistent in their faceoff numbers. Only 43% of the draws were won by Edmonton tonight. Andrew Cogliano led the way for the Oilers, as he recorded a team-high 75% efficiency rate.
16 It was a clean game tonight with plenty of flow without turning into a special teams battle. Combined, the two teams only accounted for 16 penalty minutes.
80 The Oilers' penalty kill came up big tonight, helping to firmly procure the victory. Edmonton's efficiency rate was an impressive 80% tonight.

Ales Hemsky
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +1 2

Jason Blake
G A P +/- Shots
0 1 1 E 6

Taylor Hall
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +1 6

Jonas Hiller
25 22 3 59:22 .880

Devan Dubnyk
40 38 2 60:00 .925

Toni Lydman - D

25:35 - 0P, E rating

Ryan Whitney - D

26:45 - 1A, +3 rating

After yet another excellently orchestrated play by distributor Ryan Whitney, Taylor Hall found himself with the puck as the Oilers led a three-on-two into the offensive zone. As Hall approached the middle of the faceoff circle on the far side, Hall pulled the puck to the inside in a quick movement as he fired a shot that beat Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller. That quick toe-drag changed the angle and used former Windsor Spitfires teammate Cam Fowler as an excellent screen; a crafty play by an incredibly talented young player.

Ales Hemsky is not only the MVP of tonight's game, but of the past few as well. His offensive confidence has skyrocketed and his defensive game continues to be a highlighted improvement of his overall play. Hemsky scored the game-winning goal tonight and added an assist to lead the way offensively. The timing couldn't be better either, as his goal came with 6:31 to play which silenced the Ducks for one last time and ended Edmonton's six-game losing skid.

Once again, the Oilers started strong but were unable to carry their momentum through the entire opening frame. The Ducks opened up a dominant 19-4 first period shot advantage and carried the play for much of the opening 20-minutes. Unfortunately for the Ducks, Devan Dubnyk was up to the task. He kept the game scoreless and provided his team with a lift as they entered the middle frame. When all was said and done, Dubnyk recorded 38 saves and more importantly, the win.

With the Oilers being out-shot by a heavy 19-4 margin in the opening frame, a tone needed to be set early in the second period. Ryan Whitney did just that with a crushing hit on Ducks forward Jason Blake in the corner of the defensive zone. Blake centered the puck and pivoted to the middle of the ice where he was met by the shoulder of Whitney. For a defenceman not necessarily known for his outward physical play, it was a plesant surprise to see Whitney impose his physical will.

In one of the more unusual stretches in recent memory, Edmonton has had a difficult time with former players doing damage against them, with 14 goals being notched courtesy of ex-Oilers. Tonight, the role was reversed as two former Ducks, Ryan Whitney and Dustin Penner, came to feast. The pair combined to record three points and a plus-four rating.

"They put the pieces of the puzzle together and they came out with it was shot out, which we all know now in seeing in the replay that it was not the correct call."

- Bob Hall (NHL Senior Officiating) on the delay of game penalty

Tuesday, November 23 at Phoenix
  7:00 p.m. MT (TSN / 630 CHED)

With the win tonight, Edmonton ends a six-game losing streak. The team now prepares to take on the Coyotes in Phoenix Tuesday night to wrap-up the brief two-game trip.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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