Oilers Conquer Penguins But Can’t Solve Blackhawks

Crosby Scores First Goal Against Edmonton

Sidney Crosby Penguins
Sidney Crosby is one of three finalists for this year’s Hart Memorial Trophy. (Icon SMI)

Sidney Crosby finally scored his first goal against the Edmonton Oilers. Crosby played his third game in Edmonton in front of a sold out crowd at Rexall Place in Alberta on Friday night. His first goal against the Oilers came in a bizarre fashion, banking off Sam Gagner’s skate in front of the Oilers net and sliding over the goal line behind Devan Dubnyk. Probably not how the NHL’s leading point scorer imagined that first one against the Oilers going in, but he was probably happy to take it. Crosby is the favourite to win the Art Ross Trophy halfway through the season.

Nugent-Hopkins Scores More Points Than Crosby

(Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

The Oilers may have surrendered their first goal to Sidney Crosby, but it was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who won on the score sheet. Crosby finished the night with one goal and one assist. His two points came up short of Nugent-Hopkins’ three points against the Penguins. Nugent-Hopkins got the scoring started for the Oilers in the third, narrowing the Penguins’ lead to just one goal. Nugent-Hopkins then scored the game winner in overtime on an Oilers power play carrying over from late in the third. He earned his third point assisting on Taylor Hall‘s goal, which tied the score at three. The Oilers would fall behind again but fought back to take the game on the strength of Nugent-Hopkins’ second goal.


Belov Gets His NHL Goal

Russian Olympian Anton Belov scored his first NHL goal to send the game into overtime at Rexall Place on Friday night. It was the second comeback mounted by the Oilers, who scored two in the third period before falling behind again 3-2. Belov’s goal sent the game into overtime after tying the game at three. Belov moved to the NHL after playing in the KHL from 2008-2013. He now has five assists and a goal in his first year in the NHL. Belov will represent Russia at the Olmpics in Sochi this February.

Bizarre Own Goal Can’t Propel Oilers Over Blackhawks

Patrick Kane scored a bizarre goal on his own net to tie the game at two in the second period on Sunday evening. A delayed penalty call on Edmonton left the Chicago net. As Antti Raanta skated to the bench for the extra attacker, Kane cleared the puck in the Edmonton end. Against all odds, the puck continued down the ice and crossed the goal line.

The tie was short-lived. Chicago scored on the ensuing five-on-three. They did not look back, eventually winning the game to hand the Oilers a 5-3 loss to start their four game road trip.

Dubnyk Showing Some Fire

Devan Dubnyk took on Evgeni Malkin Friday night after the Penguins centre knocked his stick away. This marked a turning point in the game. The Oilers, down 2-0, fought back to win the game 4-3 in overtime.

Dubnyk subsequently took two minor penalties in Sunday’s game, one for slashing Andrew Shaw in the second period and another for tripping Michael Handzus in the third. The Blackhawks capitalized on the penalty in the second, scoring on the ensuing five-on-three and nullifying Patrick Kane’s own goal that tied the game at two.

Devan  Dubnyk Oilers
(Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

Although the Oilers may not be happy about their goaltender taking minor penalties, Dubnyk put together some solid work this weekend. The battles with opposing players may show some spark in Dubnyk’s play, who is struggling with a GAA of 3.36 and a poor save percentage of .894. The game against Pittsburgh was Dubnyk’s first start since January 2, when the Oilers lost to San Jose. Dubnyk appears to have lost his starting job to Ilya Bryzgalov, who signed with the Oilers after being bought out by Philedelphia at the end of last season.

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