According to reports coming from the Edmonton Oilers, rookie Taylor Fedun, who looked like he might have a shot at making the team, suffered a horrible injury while racing to touch the puck for an icing call. Eric Nystrom was careless with his stick and Fedun tripped on it and went crashing into the boards. The Oilers are saying it's a complex fracture of the femur, which could have career ending implications.
It's hard to look past the injury, but it's hard to not be impressed with how the Oilers performed tonight. Not only did one of their teammates suffer a terrible injury, but they lost 2 other defensemen to injuries as well. Ladislav Smid suffered a shoulder injury and Taylor Chorney suffered a knee injury. This was a very Jekyll and Hyde type of game, with players who struggled at one moment and were brilliant at another.
At times this looked like it would end up like every other Oilers - Wild game since the day before forever. The Wild were able to thwart every attack, and their few counter punches found the mark. The kids were making mistakes. Anton Lander took 3 holding penalties, 2 of which lead to goals for the Wild. Ales Hemsky struggled with the puck all night long. Linus Omark was basically invisible for shifts at a time. Devan Dubnyk gave up 2 goals he probably should have stopped. It was a textbook example of Oilers vs Wild.
The first period was rather uneventful, with neither team generating many quality chances. Dubnyk and Backstrom made a couple of nice saves each, but aside from that it was pretty uneventful.
The next 30 minutes were pretty rough. Ladislav Smid and Eric Belanger both got crossed up, which allowed Mikko Koivu to walk in undetected and beat Dubnyk. Anton Lander took a penalty then drew a penalty shot as he was hooked on a breakaway just after he came out of the box. Lander made a nice move, faking the wrist shot then going backhand high to tie the game.
Lander went on to take 2 more penalties, both of which led to Wild goals, both of which Dubnyk should have stopped. Minnesota lead 3-1 by the midpoint of the 3rd period and 27 seconds was all it took to change that. Linus Omark scored to get the Oilers within a goal then promptly combined with Jeff Petry to set up Ryan Jones 27 seconds later to tie the game at 3. The Oilers killed a late PP to send the game to OT and then a shootout.
In the shootout, Dubnyk looked strong, stopping all 3 Wild shooters, including knocking a puck away after fighting off a Devin Setoguchi slap shot from the hashmarks. Anton Lander scored the only goal the Oilers needed. After faking the shot and going backhand on his penalty shot earlier, he mixed it up and walked right in an just shot the puck this time, beating Backstrom high. It was a gutsy win, especially with everything that happened in the game.
News and Notes
- Ales Hemsky struggled most of the night with the puck. Several times he waited far too long to shoot the puck and it either ended up as a turn over or with him on his ass. This sort of rust is expected, especially with less than a week of practices under his belt. He and Belanger looked lost when on the PP together, as they ran into each other several times.
Anton Lander showed why it's hard to rely on kids. He took 3 holding penalties and 2 of them ended up in the back of the Oilers net. He also scored a goal and helped on another, which kind of gives you a good idea of what to expect from young players. Sometimes you get the good, sometimes you get the bad.
- The power play struggled to create much of anything. Hemsky seems a step behind in terms of seeing the play develop and it's causing him to run into teammates or skate the puck into the pressure areas of the ice. The penalty kill performed well despite giving up 2 goals. Both were shots Dubnyk probably should have stopped.