for this game

Gagner, Roloson help Oilers thump Thrashers

Jan 20, 2008 - 10:57 PM
By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Rookie Sam Gagner and Dwayne Roloson helped the Edmonton Oilers avoid another embarrassing loss, while adding to the Atlanta Thrashers' misery in the process.

Gagner put Edmonton ahead for good with a tally in the second period and Roloson stopped 29 shots to lead the Oilers to a 4-2 win over the Thrashers on Sunday afternoon.

Dustin Penner, defenseman Tom Gilbert and Robert Nilsson also tallied for Edmonton, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

"Every game is like a playoff game for us right now," Gagner said. "We're fighting for our lives. I think everybody realizes that."

The sixth overall pick in last June's draft, Gagner helped Edmonton recover from a disappointing loss to Carolina on Friday. In that one, the Oilers allowed a season-high seven goals in their first trip to Raleigh since Game Seven of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals.

What a difference a few days made.

"We put the pressure on ourselves to go out and play well," Roloson said. "We're still battling to get into the playoffs. It was a bad game against Carolina. Sometimes it's better to forget and play the game you want to play. We did that tonight."

The only bright spot in Friday's 7-2 loss was the emergence of the Oilers' young line of Gagner, Nilsson and rookie Andrew Cogliano. Playing together for the first time against the Hurricanes, the trio accounted for both goals and five points.

"They looked good," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said of his young line, which had just two years of NHL experience prior to the start of the campaign. "They've sure looked like they were playing together so far. They got a couple of goals against them tonight, which was the difference in the game."

After a scoreless first period, Penner opened the scoring at 6:38 of the second. Ales Hemsky slid a cross-crease pass to Penner, who deposited the puck in an open left side of the net for his 15th goal of the season.

Vyacheslav Kozlov tied the contest at 1-1 with 5:11 left in the session with his 14th tally. But Gagner snapped the deadlock with a pretty goal 66 seconds later.

Gagner beat the defense to the slot before deking Kari Lehtonen with strong move to his left, causing the goaltender to fall down. He then moved back to his right and deposited the puck past the sprawled Finn to give Edmonton a 2-1 edge.

"I knew I had lots of time," said the 18-year-old Gagner, who is the youngest player in the league. "A lot of room opened up for me. It looked pretty much like I had an open net."

Gilbert gave the Oilers a two-goal lead with a one-timer from the right faceoff circle at 4:20 of the third, and Nilsson capped the scoring for Edmonton with a tally from the left circle with 6:03 remaining.

Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff and defenseman Steve Staios had two assists apiece, while Nilsson added one for the Oilers.

It was another disappointing setback for the Thrashers, who allowed a franchise-worst 10 goals in a loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

"We obviously needed to bounce back with a win, and we didn't get it," Thrashers coach Don Waddell said. "We made two huge mistakes that cost us goals."

While the defense was marginally better in this one, the Thrashers' offense once again had trouble finding the net, failing to convert on all six power-play opportunities.

"We played horrible against Buffalo, but I think we played one of our best games of the year (defensively) today," Lehtonen said. "Edmonton maybe had five or six scoring chances all game. ... I hope we can score goals next game and I need to get better."

All-Star Marian Hossa netted his 21st goal off a rebound with 80 seconds remaining, but it was too little, too late.

Fellow All-Star Ilya Kovalchuk continued to struggle, failing to tally for a season-high fourth straight game.

Kovalchuk, the league's leading goal-scorer with 37, had a golden opportunity to add to his total one minute into the final period.

Mark Recchi lofted a knuckling shot off the right shoulder of Roloson. The puck trickled off the netminder, into the crease and onto the stick of the dangerous Kovalchuk.

But the Russian superstar's bid to end his drought failed when his weak redirect attempt rattled off the left goalpost.

Eric Perrin set up both tallies and Lehtonen turned aside 20 shots for Atlanta, which has lost three straight.






  • 10
    roots
    DanSportsfan Added 5 roots

    Oilers vs. ThrashersJan 22 11:06 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    EDMONTON 0 2 2 4
    ATLANTA 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: EDM - (PP) DUSTIN PENNER 15 (ALES HEMSKY, SHAWN HORCOFF)
    6:38
    ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 14 (ERIC PERRIN, JOEL KWIATKOWSKI)
    14:49
    EDM - SAM GAGNER 4 (STEVE STAIOS, ROBERT NILSSON) 15:55
    3RD PRD: EDM - TOM

    Jan 20 4:28 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 4
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 21 (TOBIAS ENSTROM, ERIC PERRIN) 18:40

    Oilers vs. ThrashersJan 20 4:25 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 4
    ATLANTA 1
    3RD PRD: EDM - ROBERT NILSSON 6 (ANDREW COGLIANO, STEVE STAIOS) 13:57

    Oilers vs. ThrashersJan 20 4:17 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 3
    ATLANTA 1
    3RD PRD: EDM - TOM GILBERT 8 (ALES HEMSKY, SHAWN HORCOFF) 4:20

    Oilers vs. ThrashersJan 20 3:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    EDMONTON 0 2 2
    ATLANTA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: EDM - (PP) DUSTIN PENNER 15 (ALES HEMSKY, SHAWN HORCOFF)
    6:38
    ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 14 (ERIC PERRIN, JOEL KWIATKOWSKI)
    14:49
    EDM - SAM GAGNER 4 (STEVE STAIOS, ANDREW COGLIANO) 15:55
    SHOT

    Jan 20 3:34 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 2
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: EDM - SAM GAGNER 4 (STEVE STAIOS, ANDREW COGLIANO) 15:55

    Oilers vs. ThrashersJan 20 3:29 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 1
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 14 (ERIC PERRIN, JOEL KWIATKOWSKI)
    14:49

    Oilers vs. ThrashersJan 20 3:27 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 1
    ATLANTA 0
    2ND PRD: EDM - (PP) DUSTIN PENNER 15 (ALES HEMSKY, SHAWN HORCOFF) 6:38

    Oilers vs. ThrashersJan 20 3:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    EDMONTON 0 0
    ATLANTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    EDM 7 7
    ATL 12 12
    GOALIES: EDM - DWAYNE ROLOSON
    ATL - KARI LEHTONEN

    Jan 20 2:40 PM
  • 5
    roots
    OddyOh Added 5 roots

    Oilers vs. ThrashersJan 20 11:12 AM