EDMONTON – Cam Fowler saw Nikolai Khabibulin stop his teammates time and again. Then, with a veteran savvy, the 19-year-old rookie used his observations to his advantage.
Fowler scored in the 10th round of lengthy a shootout as the Anaheim Ducks snapped a two-game losing streak, edging the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 Tuesday.
Fowler’s goal ended the prolonged shootout session, which had only three goals, as the young defenceman went with a snap shot instead of attempting something fancier.
“I wanted to shoot,” said the 12th overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. “I didn’t want to risk putting a move on because Khabibulin had already made some really nice saves on guys that have way better moves than me. I thought my best chance was to go in and pick a spot and luckily it found the back of the net.”
Fowler’s goal came seven rounds after Taylor Hall, the first overall pick in 2010, scored to tie the shootout at 1-1 and keep Edmonton in the game.
Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne also scored in regulation for the Ducks (14-13-3) who had been shut out in their two previous outings and had lost eight of 11.
The Ducks had a 2-0 lead through two and half periods and allowed the Oilers back into the game, but Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle said he’ll definitely take the two points.
“Any coach will take a win, it doesn’t matter how you get it,” he said. “We’re not going to critique a win from our standpoint. After being shut out two games in a row, it was nice to get a couple. We actually missed some other opportunities.”
Ryan Jones and Dustin Penner replied for the Oilers (10-12-5) who saw a four game winning streak come to an end.
Oilers head coach Tom Renney focused on the positives of his team’s ability to gain the single point, especially after losing captain Shawn Horcoff to injury early in the game.
“You have to find ways to win and overcome adversity,” he said. “We want points so that we can make the playoffs. You never know what point or points it is going to be so we’re going to make this a valuable point.”
Horcoff left the game with an injury to his right knee on a first period hit by Corey Perry and is expected to be out of the lineup for eight weeks.
“I felt it kind of pop right away,” Horcoff said. “We’ll know how bad it is when I get the MRI.
“It’s going to be tough to sit out. Hopefully the team plays well and makes it easier.”
Anaheim opened the scoring just over five minutes into the second period as Selanne made a nice feed crossing the blue-line to Koivu, who picked the corner glove-side on Khabibulin for his 10th of the season. The goal was the first for the Ducks in 146 minutes and five seconds after being shut out in their two previous outings.
The Ducks took a 2-0 lead six and a half minutes into the third as Selanne picked up the rebound from an Andy Sutton shot and sent a backhand shot through Khabibulin’s legs.
Edmonton made it a one-goal game again four minutes later as Ryan Jones was able to tuck a shot under Hiller’s arm for his third goal in as many games.
The Oilers then tied it up on the power play three minutes later as Penner swept the rebound from a Kurtis Foster shot into the net for his ninth of the year.
Anaheim had a great chance to win in regulation with a power play in the final two minutes due to a delay of game call on Tom Gilbert but the Edmonton penalty killers were able to send it to extra time.
The Ducks finish off their mini two-game trip in Vancouver on Wednesday. The Oilers play the third game of a season-high six-game homestand on Friday against Tampa Bay.
Notes: It was the second meeting of four between the two teams this year. The Oilers won the first game 4-2 in Anaheim on Nov. 21…Ducks veteran Teemu Selanne returned the lineup from a groin injury. The 40-year-old Finnish winger had missed two straight and five of the last seven games for Anaheim…Oilers forward Ales Hemsky could be on the shelf for some time, expected to be out of the lineup for at least a month with a groin injury.…Forward Joffrey Lupul played just his second game of the season for the Ducks. Lupul, a former Oiler and Edmonton-area native, was out for close to a year due to back surgery and a subsequent blood infection…Hall was named the NHL’s ThirdStar for the week ending Dec. 5. Hall came into the game with four goals in his last four games.