Well that was a good news, bad news affair, but the bottom line is another regulation loss. A winnable game, as the host Attlanta Thrashers had played Thursday night, Friday night and again Sunday afternoon while the Oil had been resting up since Wednesday. After a slow start the Oil dominated the second period and were 30 seconds away from going to the room with a well-deserved 2-1 lead when they got greedy on the penalty-kill and somehow gave up a clear breakaway with 10 seconds left in a penalty they had killed brilliantly to that point. Yet another Ethan Moreau offensive zone penalty, I might add.
Oilers welcomed Shawn Horcoff and Sheldon Souray back to the line-up today. Unfortunately the first line generated nothing in the way of sustained pressure, although Horcoff and Penner did score the goals, one on a line change. But otherwise Horpensky generated nothing at even strength and not much more on the powerplay. The big line also got burned for the game-winner.
Meanwhile the other lines peppered Johan Hedberg with shots but couldn't get anything past the Swedish veteran. Even strength shots breakdown by line (in order of shots for), after the jump:
Player -- ES TOI -- SF / SA
O'Sullivan -- 10:00 -- +14 / -5
Gagner -- 8:58 -- +12 / -2
Comrie -- 7:51 -- +12 / -2
Cogliano -- 11:51 -- +11 / -15
Moreau -- 11:53 -- +10 / -14
Stortini -- 9:38 -- +6 / -13
Brule -- 10:44 -- +7 / -1
Potulny -- 10:10 -- +5 / -3
Reddox -- 9:46 -- +5 / -4
Penner -- 14:25 -- +2 / -6
Hemsky -- 14:15 -- +2 / -5
Horcoff -- 14:31 -- +1 / -5
Horcoff did get 3 shots on the powerplay and Penner 1. Ales Hemsky played 19:46 including 5:31 on the powerplay and failed to generate a single shot on goal. Meanwhile, Patrick O'Sullivan co-led the team with 5 shots, but somehow managed to miss the target twice from point-blank range, including a slapshot from no more than 8 feet directly in front in the dying minutes,
In a game that Oilers outshot Atlanta 36-30 and won the battle at evens 2-1, it was their special teams that once again were the difference, allowing 2 Atlanta powerplay goals while not getting a sniff themselves on five PP opportunities. After a long run of getting outshot every game, the Oil have now outshot their opposition in three straight games and lost them all, with but a single Bettman point to show for it. They should have got at least that much from this game, but lack of finish and critical mistakes left them coming up empty for the 8th time in 11 games (2-8-1).