Oilers Shut Out Defending Champion Ducks
Monday, December 3rd 2007, 6:49 am
By: News On 6
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Dustin Penner showed the struggling Anaheim Ducks what the defending Stanley Cup champions are missing. Penner, allowed to go to Edmonton in the offseason, scored against his former team in the first period as the Oilers beat the Ducks 4-0 Sunday to complete a sweep of the teams' home-and-home series.
It was Penner's second appearance in Anaheim after signing a five-year, $21.5 million offer sheet with the Oilers in August which the Ducks refused to match. The second-year forward had 29 goals for the Ducks last season, second only to Teemu Selanne.
Without Penner and Selanne, who is not playing while he contemplates retirement, the Ducks continue to search for consistent scoring. Anaheim has lost three of its past four games - including a 5-1 defeat at Edmonton on Friday night - while being outscored 16-8.
``We're the only guys, the guys in this room, that are going to turn this around,'' Ducks forward Rob Niedermayer said. ``We just have to stay positive and work our way out of this.''
Raffi Torres, Joni Pitkanen and Tom Gilbert also scored for the Oilers, who have won four of their past five games.
Edmonton goalie Mathieu Garon stopped 25 shots to earn his second shutout of the season and 12th of his career.
``The defense tonight was real good, the guys blocked a lot of shots and it was nice because they wanted to shoot from the point all the time,'' Garon said. ``We always had a guy in front to block.''
In the other NHL games Sunday, New Jersey beat Atlanta 3-2 in a shootout and Minnesota edged Vancouver 2-1.
The Oilers' win on Friday was somewhat costly as the team lost forwards Ales Hemsky (knee bruise) and Geoff Sanderson (back). Neither made the trip to Anaheim for the rematch.
Edmonton was able to get Fernando Pisani back into the lineup for his season debut Sunday after a prolonged battle with ulcerative colitis which flared up this summer. The condition limits his ability to retain food and resulted in extended period of hospitalization. He lost 30 pounds while missing training camp and the first two months of the season.
``A month and a half ago, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to play this year,'' Pisani said. ``I lost a lot of weight, I lost a lot of blood in a matter of a couple weeks and the situation was not looking very good. For me to play hockey was the furthest thing on my mind. I just want to be able to live normal.''
Ultimately, prescription drugs helped the 30-year-old Edmonton native regain his health.
Torres got Edmonton going Sunday, swiping in a rebound of a shot by Zack Storini to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead 9:29 into the game.
Skating on the Oilers' third power play of the first period, Robert Nilsson whisked a pass from the right corner toward the crease. The puck caromed off the stick of Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin and then off Penner's mouth, falling past goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere for a 2-0 Edmonton lead.
``You throw pucks at the net and you never know what happens, it could go off your head, off your leg they all count,'' Penner said. ``It's probably the nicest goal I've had in a while. It's nice to get one any way you can.''
Set up with any early power play in the second, Pitkanen drilled a slap shot in from the left point for a three-goal lead. Just 2:04 later, defenseman Gilbert slid through the Ducks defense and sent a wrist shot past Giguere and it was 4-0.
Devils 3, Thrashers 2, SO
Brian Gionta scored the only goal of the shootout, beating Johan Hedberg with a backhand, as host New Jersey won its seventh straight. Martin Brodeur, who had 23 saves in regulation, preserved the win with a glove save on Ilya Kovalchuk. Sergei Brylin and John Madden had New Jersey's goals in regulation. Todd White and Kovalchuk scored in regulation and Hedberg made 34 saves as the Thrashers lost for the fourth time in five games.
Wild 2, Canucks 1
Aaron Voros and Eric Belanger scored to lead host Minnesota to its fourth straight win. Mike Brown scored for Vancouver, which lost in regulation for just the second time in 13 outings to fall two points behind the Wild in the Northwest Division. Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo finished with 28 saves, and has his shutout streak end at 210 minutes, 34 seconds.