Comrie sends Oilers past Wild in shootout

 

On Fan Appreciation Night, the Edmonton Oilers gave some folks at Rexall Place a trip to the NHL draft in Los Angeles to see if the club takes Taylor Hall or Tyler Sequin, and the fans got a bonus.

 
 
 
 
 

EDMONTON — On Fan Appreciation Night, the Edmonton Oilers gave some folks at Rexall Place a trip to the NHL draft in Los Angeles to see if the club takes Taylor Hall or Tyler Sequin, and the fans got a bonus.

A win, only the club’s fifth in the last 32 games.

The Oilers lost newcomer Ryan Jones to a damaged right knee when Wild tough guy Derek Boogaard caught him with a knee-on-knee hit seven minutes into the game, but hung tough in the chippy game and outlasted the Minnesota 2-1 in a shootout.

Oilers forward Mike Comrie, who scored in regulation, beat Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom for the deciding score on the penultimate shot of the 12-man shootout. Then Oilers goalie Jeff Deslauriers, allowed Guillaume Latendresse to score a second-period goal, denied the Wild winger on the final shootout attempt.

Deslauriers robbed Andrew Brunette twice on a last-ditch overtime power-play try from the slot, then took a deflected Mikko Koivu shot off the melon in the final second.

“Hit me right in the face, but it doesn’t matter. The head, or the toes or the glove, doesn’t matter as long as I stop them,” said Deslauriers, who has won two shootouts in the last five games — the other in Los Angeles just before the Olympic break. He faced 10 Kings shooters in that one, so that’s 16 in the last two wins.

“Doesn’t matter how many shots you get. The shootouts are good for the fans, if I like them or I don’t, I have nothing to say about it. You just want to win them,” said Deslauriers.

Ryan Potulny and Gilbert Brule scored on Backstrom before Comrie got the big shootout goal. It was retribution for Brule, who was beautifully set up by Andrew Cogliano but stoned by the Wild goalie with two minutes left in the third.

“Great pass (to the edge of the crease) by Cogs. He just got his toe on it,” said Brule, who had another strong night, in just 12 minutes’ work.

Comrie didn’t try to shoot on Backstrom, who was the Finnish backup at the Olympics.

“He’s an aggressive goalie. I just tried to get him to go side to side on the play,” said Comrie.

While the Oilers got a rare win, the Wild, trying to get to eighth spot, blew one.

“We looked at an opponent at the bottom of the Western Conference and kind of played down to their level,” said Minnesota winger Owen Nolan, who hit the crossbar on a two-on-one break in the first period.

Jones will undergo an MRI exam on Saturday to determine the extent of his sprained knee.

Boogaard received a two-minute penalty, but will likely face a hearing with the NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell to see if a suspension is warranted.

“He could have blown his knee out,” said Oilers defenceman Jason Strudwick.

Said Boogaard: “I was just trying to make a hit and he slipped out of the way.”

 
 
 
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