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Under the Scope: Oilers vs Senators

by Karmela Arocena / Edmonton Oilers
As a part of the Hockey Day in Canada celebrations, the Oilers continued their six game homestand Saturday afternoon against a struggling Ottawa Senators team that had lost 13 of their last 14 games.  Though the Senators were without captain Daniel Alfredsson, and had recently traded veteran forward Mike Fisher, the Oilers didn't want to take the team lightly and brought their A-game against the Eastern conference team.  However, a few bad bounces and penalty troubles during the matinée game led to a 5-3 Senators victory.

The game started off rather quickly, where three goals were scored in just 7:27 played.  Senators call-up Bobby Butler opened the scoring with his first NHL goal to put the opposition up 1-0.  But just 54 seconds later, Andrew Cogliano was able to slip the puck past a sprawling Brian Elliott to tie the game.  Unfortunately, a bad bounce around Nikolai Khabibulin led to another Senators goal at 7:27, this time from Alex Kovalev.  The rest of the period remained tame as the score remained frozen entering the second.

The second period saw Dustin Penner score the tying goal with a quick one-timer off the post and in at 4:11 of the second.  About midway through the middle frame, things started to get chippy.  Ladislav Smid and Jason Spezza got into it behind the Oilers net, while Milan Michalek and Colin Fraser also started to get physical in the corner.  Even though 16 minutes in penalties were handed out in that scuffle, just two minutes later another commotion happened, again near the Oilers net.  Khabibulin, Chris Neil, and Theo Peckham all got into a tumult, where more penalties were handed out.  Though Khabibulin was assessed a 4 minute double minor for roughing and tripping, the Oilers successfully killed off the penalties, allowing them to end the period tied at two.

In the third period the Oilers got into a bit of penalty trouble again, which resulted in the Senators going up 3-2 with a powerplay goal from Milan Michalek.  However, quickly after the Senators took the lead, they got into penalty trouble themselves and the Oilers received a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage.  However they weren't able to capitalize, and the Senators took the momentum from there on and eventually won the game 5-3.

Khabibulin was back between the pipes tonight, stopping 20 of 24 shots against him.

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

After the Senators regained a one goal lead 8 minutes into the third after a powerplay goal from Milan Michalek, the Senators put themselves into a vulnerable position by taking two quick penalties, giving the Oilers a 59 second 5-on-3 advantage.  Unfortunately, powerplay troubles still stymie the Oilers and they weren't able to capitalize on the golden opportunity.  A few minutes after the Senators killed off the 2 man advantage, Peter Regin scored to increase the Senators lead to 2 goals.  The Eastern Conference team were eventually able to take the game 5-3.

48 In this matinée game, the Oilers were able to win 48% of the faceoffs.  Andrew Cogliano was relied upon in the faceoff dot and answered to the responsibly handsomly by going 9-5; a 64% efficiency rate.
28 Being unable to hold onto the puck cost the Oilers in this game.  The team had 28 giveaways this afternoon.
5 Ryan Jones made a point to play physical in this game.  He threw 5 hits this afternoon, the most of anyone on the team.
4 Tom Gilbert continues to show his willingness to sacrifice his body.  The Oilers defenceman is 9th in the league in blocked shots, and record 4 tonight against the Senators.

Bobby Butler
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +2 4

Dustin Penner
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 +1 3

Alex Kovalev
G A P +/- Shots
2 1 3 +3 2

Brian Elliott
18 15 3 59:55 .833

Nikolai Khabibulin
24 20 4 57:56 .833

Erik Karlsson - D

  25:28 - 1P, +2 rating

Tom Gilbert - D

26:19 - 3 hits, -2 rating

Being down by only one goal in the second period, the Oilers were just one shot away from tying the game. It only took one shot from Dustin Penner to do just that.  With both Ales Hemsky and Penner racing to the net, Penner received a pass from his Czech linemate and fired a one-timer off the post and in, tying the game at two.

Though many trade rumours surround him, Dustin Penner is still providing offense for the Oilers when needed.  The power forward recorded two goals this afternoon, one of which was a tying goal, and another that brought the Oilers within one.  He was also +1 at the end of the night, and threw three hits in his 19:40 of ice time.

Ryan Jones simply keeps getting better and better.  Though he didn't register a point on this afternoon, the Oilers forward created many scoring opportunities.  He was relied on in the penalty kill and wasn't afraid to sacrifice his body by laying five hits and blocking two shots by the end of the game.

Just after Nikolai Khabibulin stopped an excellent powerplay chance for the Senators, the teams got chippy behind the net.  Jason Spezza and Ladislav Smid started to push and shove, while Colin Fraser and Milan Michalek also threw a few punches in the corner.  The melee at 11:34 of the second resulted in 16 minutes in penalties (4 minutes each for roughing for Spezza, Smid, Fraser, and Michalek).

With his assist on the Oilers opening goal by Cogliano, defenceman Kurtis Foster recorded his 100th career NHL assist.

"Some games hurt more than others.  This one definitely hurt more than the Chicago game.  I think we were in this game more so than we were the other night, so it stings."

-  Oilers forward Dustin Penner on the frustrating loss to Ottawa

Sunday, February 13 vs. Ottawa
  6:00pm MT (SNET-W / 630 CHED)

The Oilers continue their homestand and go right back into action Sunday evening against an Anaheim Ducks team that has won three straight games.

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