NJ Ilya Kovalchuk 17 (SH) (Unassisted) 8:35
EDM Ales Hemsky 4 (PP) (Corey Potter, Taylor Hall) 8:32
NJ Zach Parise 15 (PP) (Patrik Elias, Ilya Kovalchuk) 1:06
4:07 New Jersey tripping - 2 min Z. Parise drawn by R. Jones
6:44 New Jersey interference - 2 min D. Clarkson drawn by R. Smyth
18:38 New Jersey hooking - 2 min Z. Parise drawn by J. Petry
2:20 New Jersey interference - 2 min R. Carter drawn by S. Gagner
3:07 Edmonton interference with goaltender - 2 min R. Smyth drawn by J. Hedberg
8:23 New Jersey tripping - 2 min P. Elias drawn by R. Smyth
19:24 Edmonton tripping - 2 min C. Potter drawn by A. Larsson
Shots On Goal - Oilers 23 Devils 25
- Tough loss for the Oilers. It would be nice if the loser point might have mattered, but it this case it really doesn't. It was a solid, gritty effort from the Oilers tonight, the only problem that left in the forward ranks is relunctance to shoot. To spend that amount of time in the Devils zone tonight and only end up with 23 shots is a travesty. Too many cute passes tonight when the best option is trying to pound the puck through the goaltender. The Oilers aren't good enough to be cute. Simple effective plays are the way to go. When the shot is there you have to take it. Milan Kyntar was a late fly-in from Stockton when Ryan O'Marra came down with a lat case of the flu. Kyntar looked OK and kept things moving along. I'm sure its a moment he'll remember for the rest of his life. The power play was dreadful tonight. Once again, reluctance to shoot was a big culprit. The Oilers really miss Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins here. The lines for the first time in awhile looked alright tonight. Hall-Gagner-Hemsky looked pretty good tonight, getting the best oppurtunities. Smyth-Horcoff-Jones grinded like they should. Paajarvi-Belanger-Lander played OK, but is a mismatched unit. I'm sure Paajarvi would like to get away from Belanger. Eager-Kyntar-Hordichuk banged bodies and brought energy, can't ask more from them. All in all, its the best game they have played in awhile, still came up short in the end.
Player of the Game:
- Nikolai Khabibulin. The offense was real dry tonight and it forced Khabibulin to be sharp from start to finish. Didn't have a chance at either goal. The team in front of played pretty good tonight defensively. Centers were backchecking and the D were keeping the front of the net clear. All this allowed Khabibulin to see pucks and make saves. The fact the Oilers hemmed in the Devils for extended periods tonight, allowed Khabibulin to be fresh throughout the game. Its an important note if the Oilers are interested in winning more games this year.
Goat of the Game:
- Jeff Petry. Hate to give it to him because he had one of his best game of the year. But that play he made on giving up the Kovalchuk shorthanded goal was a travesty of a play. Tried to get cute and chip it pass Kovalchuk and he rolled right through him on his way to a breakaway goal. Petry needed to sell out a little harder on that play. Push him, tackle him, do something. Another thing that bugged me about Petry tonight is him getting cute with his shots. Just pound the puck as hard as you can on net. Petry has one of the hardest shots on the team. Don't be afraid to use it.
Next Game - Friday January 13, 2012 vs Ducks @ Rexall Place on Sportsnet West 7:30 PM MT.