PHILADELPHIA – Ales Hemsky is rounding into form and the Edmonton Oilers are winning again.
Hemsky had two goals and an assist, and the Oilers held on to end the Philadelphia Flyers’ four-game winning streak with a 5-4 win Sunday.
“He played unreal,” Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said after the Oilers won their second straight after dropping five in a row. “Those are all-world goals that he scored.”
Hemsky put the Oilers ahead 2-1 at 12:27 of the first period on a nifty forehand-to-backhand move after skating in from centre ice. Then at 4:26 of the second, Hemsky skated in from the blue-line and went backhand-to-forehand to score again.
They were the first goals in 19 games dating back to last season for the sixth-year right-wing.
“I wouldn’t have minded a couple of garbage goals, but I didn’t get mentally down and the goals came,” Hemsky said.
Sheldon Souray added a goal and assist, Erik Cole and Dustin Penner also scored, and Tom Gilbert had three assists for the Oilers.
Mike Knuble and Simon Gagne each had a goal and assist, and Braydon Coburn and Jeff Carter also scored goals for Philadelphia, which outscored its opponents 19-7 during the streak.
“We just let them skate,” Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. “There were some severe breakdowns. We also have to do a better job of checking.”
Dwayne Roloson stopped 22 shots as the Oilers built a 5-2 lead. He denied Scott Hartnell on a breakaway with 9:07 left in the third period and Edmonton leading 5-4.
“The Flyers are a great offensive team,” Roloson said. “Their power play was firing pretty good today. They took advantage of some mistakes.”
Martin Biron, who had 23 saves, said that the Flyers made it too easy for the Oilers’ offence.
“We gave them a lot of room to execute their give-and-goes, their passes, and their 3-on-2s,” the goaltender said.
Edmonton went ahead on Cole’s wrist shot from the right circle at 9:10 of the first period.
The Flyers tied it on a power play 1:42 later. Gagne hit the post on a rebound attempt and the puck bounced back to Knuble who poked it in from the front of the net.
After Hemsky’s scores, Coburn and Souray traded goals with slap shots on the power play from inside the blue-line at 8:10 and 10:21 respectively, Penner hammered in a rebound to make it 5-2 at 11:52.
Carter extended his goal-scoring streak to seven goals in seven games with a wrist shot through a screen on a power play to get the Flyers closer with 1:17 left in the second period.
Gagne’s rebound goal made it 5-4 20 seconds into the third period.
Notes: The Flyers have lost five straight at home against Edmonton, even though the Oilers’ last win in Philadelphia was 4-1 on Nov. 9, 2000, at the Spectrum. … Flyers C Carter also has three assists during his scoring streak. … Knuble extended his goal-scoring streak to five games and also has two assists in that span. … Edmonton played the third of a season-high seven consecutive road games. … Edmonton D Tom Gilbert had his first-career three-point game. … The Flyers were 3-of-6 on the power play.