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Panthers Wrap-Up: Oilers 4, Panthers 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 1 0 0 1
Oilers 1 2 1 0 4
FLA - S. Upshall (4)
EDM - PPG - J. Eberle (7), S. Gagner (1), PPG - D. Perron (8), EN - J. Eberle (8)

EDMONTON —  ( - The Edmonton Oilers extended their winning streak to three games Thursday with a 4-1 win against the Florida Panthers.

It's the first time this season the Oilers have won three consecutive games.

"The key was the energy. We didn't have any. That's the key. If your energy is better, if you come out with a workman attitude, I think that everything improves. The whole game improves from our standpoint because I think right from the beginning of the game you could see that their work ethic wasn't there, the legs weren't there, the compete level wasn't there. That made us struggle."

- Panthers interim head coach Peter Horachek.
1. Early Deficit: In the last two games, the Panthers had taken advantage of strong first periods to jump on the board first but in Edmonton they found themselves trailing and trailing early and it came thanks to the man advantage. Just 28 seconds into the game defenseman Tom Gilbert was whistled for tripping. The Oilers took advantage of the call 29 seconds into the power play as Jordan Eberle batted in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins inital shot past Tim Thomas. 

2. Injury Bug Hits: The Panthers have been pretty healthy in regards to the season. Captain Ed Jovanovski has yet to play a game but entering the game Florida had 70 man games lost on the season. That total could go up as it didn't look good with two of their most consistent forwards went down with injury and did not return. In the first, Tomas Kopecky and defenseman Belov went hard into the boards. Kopecky left with what looked like a wrist injury. Jesse Winchester also left due to injury. The forward missed the first nine minutes of the second period, returned for four shifts in the second and did not return in the third period. That caused the Panthers to roll three lines at least half the night..

3. Special Teams The Difference: Edmonton took a 2-0 lead thanks to Sam Gagner's first of the season as he finished of the one-timer on the rush 6:10 into the second. The Oilers then made it 3-0 with their second power play goal of the night. With Scottie Upshall in the box for slashing, David Perron tipped home Justin Schultz's point shot with 9:06 remaining in the period. Upshall would get that goal back with a goal on the wrap-around with 3:26 left in the period but the Edmonton special teams made the difference. The Oilers finished with 2-of-5 on the man advantage while keeping the Cats off the board on all five of their opportunities. Trailing by two in the third, Florida had a golden opportunity to get closer with three straight power plays but couldn't get any closer. Eberle ended the game with an empty net goal, ending the Panthers winning streak at two.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@penelopekill:@FlaPanthers ...what just happened? This was not the same time I saw last game

@goldieonice: Energy wasn't there tonight for #flaPanthers. Need to bring it in Calgary tomorrow

@toreykrugs: u broke my heart @NHLBruins @FlaPanthers

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Mark Zola: Waay to many missed chances..gotta make those easy shots..they keep shooting way wide

Mandee Berger: Meh

I hope Kopecky and Winchester are ok.

Adam Bacine: Bad effort tonight. PP has been abysmal. Team Loss.

Kelvin J. Fonseca: Better luck next time! They were outplayed tonight.

Lars Bernotat: It's still a long season, but if you want to get back into the picture, you have to string some wins together. Passing was key tonight, lot of unconnected passes.

3. Scottie Upshall certainly loves playing the Edmonton Oilers. The forward has scored four goals on the season and three of them have come against the Oilers as his fourth of the year made it a 3-1 game with 3:26 to play in the second period.

14. Edmonton has certainly been on an offensive role. Dating back to the third period of Saturday's game against Calgary, the Oilers scored 14 straight goals before Upshall's second period goal. The Oilers had scored four straight against the Flames, won 7-0 against Columbus and the third three against Florida.

16. Edmonton's duo of David Perron (nine shots) and Sam Gagner (seven shots) as they both recorded goals on the night. The team also finished with 16 blocked shots compared to Florida's eight.

28. A high-scoring second period as the two teams combined for three goals on 28 shots in the second 20 minutes of play. Edmonton held the 15-13 shot advantage in the frame.

88. The Oilers had the puck for most of the game and it all started in the face-off circle. The team finished, winning 54% of their draws, in large part due to Boyd Gordon who was 15-of-17 for a 88% success rate.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
The former first overall pick helped set up three of the Oilers four goals, including the first assists on two of them. Won 60% of his draws.

3 Assists, 3 Points, +1, 2 Shots, 18:52 TOI
The Cats are right back at it as they look to make the road trip a winning one (2-2-0) with a game in Calgary Friday night (9:00pm ET). The Flames are currently 13th in the Western Conference, picking up 18 points (7-11-4) in 22 games. Calgary most recently lost a 2-1 overtime affair to Columbus on Wednesday night and is 1-5-2 in their last eight games. Offensively, they're led by former Red Wing Jiri Hudler (21 points in 22 games) and rookiee Sean Monahan (14 points in 22 games) while it has been a platoon in goal with Reto Berra, Karri Ramo and Joey MacDonald all seeing seven to eight games of action. All three have GAA above 3.17 and SV% in the .880 range.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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