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Under the Scope: Oilers at Flyers

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers

With a three-game winning streak on the line against one of the league's most talented teams, the Oilers came into Tuesday night's game looking to make an impression and continue to play spoiler against the struggling Flyers. Philadelphia had another plan, breaking out eary and out-shooting the visitors by a 17-1 count. Along with that wide discrepancy, the home side carried a seemingly commanding 2-0 advantage into the first intermission.

The Oilers would respond throughout the final two periods, peppering Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky with 24 shots in the final 40 minutes, but the damage had already been done. The Flyers would add another tally, giving Jeff Carter a two-goal evening and a 3-0 Philadelphia lead in the second period.

J-F Jacques scored his fourth of the season to record the lone Oilers goal, while Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves on the 26 shots he faced in his unsuccessful bid for a third consecutive win.

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

At 12:57 of the opening period, Ladislav Smid took a boarding infraction after crunching Darroll Powe into the boards from behind. With the Oilers already down 1-0, the need for a strong kill was imperative as Smid began to serve his five-minute charge. The Oilers came desperately close, but Philadelphia eventually cashed on the advantage with only 17 seconds remaining in the penalty. The Oilers had the chance to gain momentum, but by the 17:40 mark of the period, found themselves down 2-0 without a single shot attempt directed the way of Sergei Bobrovsky. From this point, the hill was too steep.

38 The Oilers were successful on only 38% of the draws tonight. Colin Fraser produced the best outing, with a 5-5, 50% evening in the dot.
25 In a game that was sure to bring about a high level of physical intensity, Edmonton was leading the charge. The Oilers accumulated 25 hits on the night, while the Flyers nearly equaled that total with 24.
18 Edmonton showed great committment to the defensive side tonight. In total, the Oilers blocked 18 shots; a tremendous display of athleticism and willingness to compete.
1 The Oilers were only able to produce one shot on goal in the game's opening period, while the Flyers produced 17. For Edmonton, this single-period output was a season-low.

Jeff Carter
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 +1 5

Danny Briere
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 E 2

Magnus Paajarvi
G A P +/- Shots
0 0 0 -2 3

Sergei Bobrovsky
25 24 1 60:00 .960

Devan Dubnyk
26 23 3 59:22 .885

Chris Pronger - D

23:27 - 0P, +1 rating

Tom Gilbert - D

27:32 - 0P, E rating

Early in the second period, it appeared as though Edmonton had gained control of the pace. The shot discrepancy began to even out, and the chances at both ends were tame compared to the opening period onslaught. However, 7:05 into the period, Philadelphia regained control by extending the lead on the scoreboard. After dancing around the Oilers' defence and fooling Devan Dubnyk out of position, Kimmo Timonen fed a wide-open Jeff Carter at the top of the crease. The Philly sniper tapped the puck home into the gaping cage, upping the Flyers' advantage to 3-0 with a beautifully orchestrated play.

It's not quite a career season for Jeff Carter, but the 26-year old centre continues to put up impressive numbers as the Flyers look to return with a deep post-season run. Carter notched his 29th and 30th goals of the season vs. Edmonton, in the process taking over the Flyers team lead in goal-scoring. In his 17:05 of ice-time, Carter was also able to register five shots on goal, one hit and a plus-one rating. In a game that saw Philadelphia top Edmonton by three, Carter's pair certainly pushed his team over the top.

Steady defenceman Tom Gilbert had an excellent evening for the Oilers. While the two-way blueliner was unable to record anything offensively, his underlying numbers were superb in the 4-1 loss. Gilbert played a total of 27:32, including a team-leading 5:01 shorthanded, all the while dominating the defensive stat charts. Gilbert accumulated three hits, three blocked shots, two takeaways, and one of the team's rare even ratings on the night. Overall, a tremendous evening for number 77.

Although Daniel Carcillo is typically the one engaging the physical game, his opening period attempt to hammer Tom Gilbert resulted in an embarrassing moment for the Flyers forward. After Gilbert dished the puck from his own zone, Carcillo tracked the rearguard into the corner where a violent collision seemed inevitable. At the last moment, Gilbert saw the incoming Flyer, sidestepped the course, and avoided contact altogether. The same could not be said for Carcillo and his vicious meeting with the corner boards.

Philadelphia outshot Edmonton 17-1 in the game's opening period. While the visitors came dangerously close to going the entire period with a shot on goal, the lone attempt was recorded at the 18:45 mark of the period. The Oilers have failed to record a single shot on goal four times in franchise history: Minnesota (1991), Florida (2001), Detroit (2004 and 2006).

"You've got to find a way to be mentally ready and prepared for every [game]. You can't go into a game waiting for them to do what they do. We have to play our way and not worry about anything else. If we can learn to do that going forward, it's going to pay huge dividends for us."

Sam Gagner on the loss to Philadelphia

Wednesday, March 9 at Washington
  5:00pm MST (TSN / 630 CHED)

Edmonton's five-game road trip continues with a stop in Washington to take on the Capitals. Game-time is 5:00pm MST and can be seen on TSN's Wednesday Night Hockey.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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