Sunday, October 9, 2011

Post-game: Game #1 Oilers 2 Penguins 1 (SO)

Scoring Summary
1st Period
PIT Kris Letang 1 (PP) (Steve Sullivan, Tyler Kennedy) 3:13

2nd Period
No Scoring

3rd Period
EDM Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1 (Taylor Hall, Jeff Petry) 15:05

OT Period
No Scoring

EDM Jordan Eberle shootout goal
PIT Kris Letang shootout saved
EDM Ales Hemsky shootout goal
PIT James Neal shootout goal
EDM Linus Omark shootout miss
PIT Steve Sullivan shootout saved

Shots On Goal - Pittsburgh 35 Edmonton 36

Game Notes:
- A feel good game for the Oilers. A game where the Oilers were going to walk out with nothing, they came away with two points. It was goaltending dual for the whole game. Both goaltenders coming up with save after save. Dubnyk and Johnson were fantastic. Feel good story, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins potted his first goal of his career, and it couldn't come at a better time. It tied the game late in the third period and sent the game to a shootout. He certainly didn't look out of place and further forged himself as a player that looks to be an Oiler all year. Pittsburgh, even without their stars are still a tough team to play against. They are careful with the puck and take what opportunities are presented to them, they don't force the issue. A real good test that the Oilers did so-so on. The Oilers were real dull through two periods but really turned it up in the third, taking advantage of a fatigued Penguins team. Some real nice individual efforts tonight, but the forward lines are a mess and need some cohesion. The defense on the other hand were shot blocking machines, getting sticks and bodies in shooting lanes. Really did a nice job with gap control tonight keeping most of the action in front of them. Solid work from Smid, Peckham, Sutton, Gilbert, Petry and Barker tonight on the defensive side. Having strong center play helped everyone out tonight. A fantastic result for a first game, on to Game #2.

Player of the Game:
- Devan Dubnyk. As much as I would like to give it to the Nuge for his feel good story, this game was going nowhere unless Dubnyk thrwarted the Penguins at every turn. For Dubnyk to establish himself, its all about the next game. the next period, the next shot. He has to have a nice streak of games where he can be as good as he was tonight, and then we can talk about starters' gig. He could have bailed on the game after the first Penguins' goal, but didn't and battled even harder from keeping the 2nd one out. Goaltending is a tough gig on the body and the brain, thats why there are few elite ones. Dubnyk has started his journey towards that. We'll see how he does in time.

Goat of the Game:
- Ryan Smyth. Smyttie battled hard but got little done tonight. The five minute elbowing penalty after the Oilers tied it, really put them behind the 8-ball. The Oilers managed to gut out one more penalty kill to get the game to a shootout, but if the roles were reversed and the Oilers were playing 3 games in 4 nights, the outcome could have been much different. To be fair, it was a bit of a bogus call, but Smyth was careless with his arms and his stick on that play.

Next Game - Thursday Oct 13 2011 vs. Minnesota Wild @ Minnnesota on Sportsnet West 7 PM MT.

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