for this game

Phaneuf, Leafs start road trip with win over Oilers

Dec 15, 2010 - 5:50 AM
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf scored his first goal of the season, and the Maple Leafs opened their three-game western Canada road trip with a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.

Phil Kessel and Kris Versteeg both posted a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs, who have won two straight and four of their last six games overall. Jean-Sebastien Giguere was sharp with 23 saves, while Mikhail Grabovski also scored in the victory.

"I knew that the first 10 minutes of the game would be crucial," said Giguere. "We knew the Oilers would come out and shoot everything at the net, so I had to make sure that I was ready and I felt pretty good all game."

Jordan Eberle scored the lone goal for the Oilers, who have dropped two straight after the club had earned at least one point in the previous six games (5-0-1).

Nikolai Khabibulin allowed four goals on 34 shots in the losing effort.

"It was a lot things put together (that contributed to the loss), and that's disappointing," said Edmonton's Ryan Whitney.

At the 5:55 mark of the opening period, Phaneuf gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead. Kessel passed to Phaneuf, whose one-timer from the right point lit the lamp with help from a screen by Colby Armstrong.

Eberle's seventh goal of the season -- courtesy of a nifty maneuver at the top of the crease after a blind backhand pass by Sam Gagner -- at 11:45 of the first stanza knotted the score.

A kneeing minor called on Zack Stortini 6:38 into the middle session led to Toronto's second goal. On the ensuing power play, the Leafs got the best of Khabibulin with 10 seconds remaining on the minor. From the right side, Clarke MacArthur wound up as if to shoot but instead sent the puck to the bottom of the left circle, where Grabovski tallied with a redirection one-timer.

The visitors moved ahead by two with 2:22 remaining before the second intermission on Versteeg's 10th goal.

Midway through the final frame, Kessel's power-play tally capped the scoring. Following a holding minor on Edmonton forward Magnus Paajarvi, Versteeg held control along the goal line to the right of the net and sent a pass through the crease for a successful snap shot one-timer by Kessel from the left post.

"We knew this was a big trip and we talked about it before the game on how we wanted to start on the right foot," said Phaneuf. "I think we played a solid game and we capitalized on some opportunities. It was a big win."

Game Notes

The Leafs were 2-for-5 on the power play, while the Oilers ended scoreless on their four chances with the extra skater...Toronto has won 10 of its last 15 games at Edmonton...Kessel has 12 goals this season...Attendance was 16,839.