EDMONTON - Two goals in the second period, two more in the third, and a tonne of shots lifted the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 5-2 win over the Hurricanes Saturday night at Rexall Place.
The Edmonton Oil Kings came out of the gate gunning for the Hurricanes in this game. Edmonton jumped into a 1-0 lead when former Hurricane Mark Reners scored on a power play. Brandon Anderson was a busy guy in the Lethbridge goal. Despite giving up one goal he was excellent between the pipes, facing more than 20 Edmonton shots. That would be the only offence in the first period. The Oil Kings out shot Lethbridge a whopping 24-6 as the Hurricanes got off to another flat start.
In the second, the Oil Kings jumped into a two-goal lead very early. Less than two minutes into the period, Kristians Pelss tapped in a rebound off Brandon Anderson to give the home team a 2-0 lead. Before the end of the period, Edmonton would take a 3-0 lead. Adrian Van de Mosselaer tipped home a pass by Anderson to give the Oil Kings a little bit of extra insurance heading into the final period. Edmonton continued to heavily out shoot the Hurricanes 18-6 in the period and 42-12 overall through 40 minutes of play.
In the third, the Hurricanes would break the shutout bid for Edmonton's Laurent Brossoit. Cam Braes scored his team-leading 30th goal of the season on the power play to cut the Oil Kings lead to 3-1, but just a few minutes later Edmonton would get that one back on a delayed Lethbridge penalty call. Michael St. Criox banged home the loose puck and that gave the home team 4-2 lead. The Oil Kings would get one more before the end of the game. Adrian Van de Mosselaer, with a beautiful end-to-end rush put home a rebound past Anderson to make it 5-2 and that's the way this game would end. The Oil Kings would get a little payback after the Hurricanes beat them 6-3 the night before. Vancouver handily out shot Lethbridge 51-21 according to the shot clock anyway. The Oil Kings went 1 for 5 on the power play and the Hurricanes 1 for 3.
The Oil Kings clearly carried the play in terms of time of poessession in the attacking zone in this game and really didn't allow the Hurricanes to get anything going offensively. You have to give Edmonton some credit here too. They responded big time after the loss Friday, especially with their Captain and number one defencemen out of the line-up.
If you can take anything possitive out of this loss, it's the fact that the Hurricanes didn't lose any ground to Prince Albert. The Raiders lost in Medicine Hat Saturday, so with 9 games to for both teams in the regular season, P.A. and Lethbridge remain deadlocked at 55 points and tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes were slow starters again in this game, but weren't able to recover after finding a bit of jump in the third period. They will have to find a way to get out the gate a lot quicker in their remaining games.
The Oil Kings were without the services of their Captain and top defenceman Saturday night. Mark Pysyk was scratched due to an upper body injury he suffered in Lethbridge on Friday. The Oil Kings were missing five regulars Saturday because of injury. The Hurricanes are healthy right now and have been for the last week. One of the longest stretches this season that Lethbridge has had a full line-up without having to sit players due to injury.
The Hurricanes are hoping March comes in like a lion. Lethbridge will head out to B.C. this coming week for three games in four nights starting Wednesday in Chilliwack against the Bruins. On Friday, the Canes' will look for a little payback in Kamloops and then next Saturday they'll drop by Kelowna to take on the Rockets. The Hurricanes return home March 9th to host Moose Jaw. Lethbridge has nine remaining in it's 2010-2011 regular season schedule. Six are on the road and three at home.
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