Drouin-Deslauriers, Hemsky lift Oilers past Rangers - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Drouin-Deslauriers, Hemsky lift Oilers past Rangers

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By Larry Fleisher

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- The Edmonton Oilers have not had a chance

to settle in at home. Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers' recent

performances ensured it will be a somewhat satisfying return.

The rookie stopped all three shots in the shootout and Ales

Hemsky scored in the second round as the Oilers concluded a

season-high seven-game road trip with a 3-2 triumph over the New

York Rangers on Monday.

Erik Cole and Kyle Brodziak scored in regulation for Edmonton,

which won its first shootout of the season. The Oilers were

15-4 in the bonus format in 2007-08.

Edmonton also improved to 26-16 all-time in the shootout when

Hemsky's shot trickled off Henrik Lundqvist's arm.

Drouin-Deslauriers made it stand by making a tremendous glove

save on Markus Naslund.

"Just making the save, knowing the game was done,"

Drouin-Deslauriers said. "It was a really great feeling."

Defenseman Paul Mara netted his first goal in 66 games, captain

Chris Drury also tallied and Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 29

shots for New York, which is 1-3-1 in its last five games.

"It slid on the glove and I thought I had it," Lundqvist said of

Hemsky's tally. "I tried to locate the puck and I saw it went

in behind me. It is a little frustrating to let that one in.

The Oilers concluded their ninth road trip of at least seven

games by winning four of seven (4-3-0). They concluded it with

consecutive victories in New Jersey and New York while also

defeating Philadelphia and Carolina.

Drouin-Deslauriers helped the Oilers get four of their eight

points on this trek. He turned in a 37-save performance Sunday

in New Jersey and then withstood a 20-shot barrage in the

second, allowing just goal by Mara midway through the period.

The goaltender earned his third career victory as he made key

stops on Nikolai Zherdev and Brandon Dubinsky. He nearly gave

up the lead with two minutes in the second after Ryan Callahan's

shot tried to inch past the goal line, but Drouin-Deslauriers

reached back to grab right before it went past the line.

"I just saw the puck stop," Drouin-Deslauriers said. "I looked

back and the puck was going toward me."

If that was not challenging enough for the 24-year-old, he had

to start the third by killing off a Rangers' power play. He

allowed Drury to score off a rebound of a Scott Gomez slap shot

just 46 seconds into the third but finished with 40 saves.

Drury's clutch goal and the play of Lundqvist enabled the

Rangers to get at least a point, but it still meant they had

overcome a stretch of sub-par play.

"When you lose a game, I don't think you necessarily say you

played your best," Dubinsky said. "It was a tough first period.

We found a way to get ourselves back in the game and put a lot

of pressure on them.

While the Rangers were able to rally, the night belonged to

Drouin-Deslauriers, who could not have been sent back to the

minors unless he cleared waivers during the preseason, forcing

the Oilers to keep three goalies on the active roster.

"I thought he just (played) a workman-like game," Edmonton coach

Craig MacTavish said. "He's a big guy and he doesn't venture to

far away from the net unless he's handling the puck. He was

just in the right spot and made a 40-save performance look

pretty pedestrian."

"He's playing well," Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray added.

"That's what you need, you need your goalies to play well and

we've had some games where the goalies have played really well -

but our game hasn't been what it should be in front of our

goalies. Tonight, we played pretty well and last night we

played pretty well and he's making big saves. When you get that

combination, you're bound to get results."

The performance by the former second-round pick improved the

Oilers to 8-6-1, which for them is encouraging considering 12 of

the first 15 contests have been on the road and they have not

been in Edmonton in two weeks.

"We knew it was going to be a unique situation playing this many

games on the road to start off the season," Oilers defenseman

Steve Staios said. "You always look back at one or two that you

may want to get, but overall I think we played some good

hockey."

Cole had Edmonton's other first-period tally on this trip and he

struck again when his left skate tipped Fernando Pisani's

centering pass through the crease past Lundqvist. The play

started when Shawn Horcoff forced a turnover by Scott Gomez in

the neutral zone and Cole ended it by getting his third goal as

a member of the Oilers.

Brodziak's goal came moments after Souray hit the outside of the

net. The Rangers were unable to clear and the puck went to

defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, whose blast from the left point

was deflected by Brodziak past Lundqvist just 3:30 into the

period.

The Rangers made it a one-goal contest just over 4 1/2 minutes

later when Callahan centered the puck for Mara, who put a quick

wrist shot from the left circle in for his first goal since

November 6, 2007.

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