Game stars from an alternate universe:
1) Steve Staios: A brilliiant game from the oldest Oiler, who has been written off around the Oilogosphere as a waste of time and money. Went +3 in a 3-3 tie in which only 2 teammates (Grebeshkov, Stortini) mustered as much as +1. Was the only player on either team to score multiple points (2 assists). Blocked a team-high 5 shots in his team-high 30 shifts, during which time Oilers outshot Ottawa 17-3 (!). That's right, during the 22:44 he was out there Staios made more stops than Deslauriers did! Steady Steve lived up to his moniker on this night, battling like a demon in the corners and slot. A great game from an unlikely source.
2) Ethan Moreau: Oilers captain takes a lot of grief around the 'sphere, but tonight he played a strong game. Led the team with 5 shots (tied with Reddox) and 3 hits (also tied with Reddox! and Pisani), and scored a first-period goal by jumping on a loose puck and driving the net. His line with Cogliano and Stortini had a solid night, generating 9 shots among the three of them (about 8 more than usual) and playing solid two-way hockey. Moreau was a little unfortunate on Ottawa's third goal when he attempted to cover for Visnovsky for which he was pilloried in some corners, but he provided a lot of solid play throughout the game which mostly went uncredited. Well, that just changed.
3) Kevin Lowe: For having the balls to pursue Dustin Penner as a RFA. K-Lowe has taken quite a few slings and arrows around the 'sphere for that and other decisions over his years at the helm ... maybe when things do work out he deserves a little credit.
20) Lubomir Visnovsky: Darling of the Oilogosphere had a dreadful night, making numerous bad plays two of which led directly to goals against. It showed up in the numbers too, as Lubo had the worst goal differential (-2), shot differential (-6), Fenwick # (-7) and Corsi # (also -7) of any skater on either team.
A little tongue-in-cheek up there, but not a lot. To call this an unusual game would be a huge understatement, with many players going against the form chart. Oilers outshot their opposition for the first time since Game 1, and by a convincing margin (34-25). Andrew Cogliano had a strong night in the faceoff circle (8/13, 62%), Liam Reddox was a force in all three zones, Ryan Potulny took a huge defensive zone faceoff in the dying seconds, and Ryan O'Marra played an NHL game.
Oh, and Dustin Penner was close to unstoppable. That much at least was business as usual in 2009-10.