RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) — After spending most of the
first two periods in the penalty box, captain Ethan Moreau
managed to steal a much-needed win for the Edmonton Oilers.
Moreau scored twice within the final 88 seconds of the third
period as the Oilers pulled out a 3-1 victory over the Carolina
Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon.
The late magic by Moreau helped the Oilers halt a five-game
losing streak that included four setbacks on the road.
“We got some really fortunate goals,” Moreau said. “We just had
the philosophy that if we kept doing things right, we’d be
successful. This has been a process. We’ve lost a few games
we’ve played well in, and finally tonight, we got a win.”
The three goals was somewhat of an offensive explosion for
Edmonton, which had managed just five over its previous five
“You’ve got to believe you’re eventually going to get rewarded,”
Moreau said. “We had some good chances on the power play. You
just have to keep throwing pucks at the net.”
Moreau snapped a 1-1 tie with 1:28 left in the third, beating
goaltender Cam Ward to the short side with a wrist shot from the
left faceoff circle. He added his third goal of the season on
an empty-netter with 35 seconds remaining.
Early on, it did not appear as if Moreau would get a chance to
unleash a shot, let alone score the decisive goal.
Just 32 seconds into the contest, the veteran left wing was sent
to the penalty box for high-sticking. It accounted for two of
19 penalty minutes collected by Moreau in the first period,
keeping him off the ice until only four minutes remained in the
Moreau’s biggest transgression was a 10-minute misconduct with 3
1/2 minutes left in the first period. The infraction occurred
when he got involved in a fight after Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu
slammed Edmonton defenseman Denis Grebeshkov head-first into the
“Maybe it was a clean hit,” Moreau said. “I don’t care. He
hurt him. It doesn’t matter who it was.”
Although he felt justified for getting involved in the tussle,
Moreau knew the extended stay in the penalty box could have
ended his effectiveness for the rest of the game.
“It was a huge letdown to get that (10-minute misconduct)
penalty,” Moreau said. “It’s happened a few times in my career,
but it’s really hard to come back from that. The most important
thing is that you need to get right back out there.
“I think Mac (coach Craig MacTavish) thought about not putting
me back out there, but when I came back to the bench, he changed
his mind. He threw me out there, and that allowed me get my
legs so I was able to play well in the third. But if he doesn’t
throw me out there, it’s probably night over. It was a long
time to spend in the box.”
Despite Moreau’s first goal, the Hurricanes nearly did not need
an extra attacker late, as Oilers goaltender Dwayne Roloson came
up with a big save with 43 seconds left. After initially
blocking Eric Staal’s wrist shot, Roloson managed to stay with
the play, gloving the puck in the crease after the Carolina
center attempted to knock in the rebound.
The play was quickly reviewed, and replays showed Roloson
covered the puck before it was able to cross the goal line.
“I knew it wasn’t in,” Roloson said. “I was right there. The
whistle blew way before the puck was even close to crossing the
line. It hit my arm above the line.”
“It was one of those things,” Staal said. “I got all the wood
on it, it went off the post, off his back and it was on the goal
line, and I just tried to jab at it. I don’t know what
happened, I double-hit it or hit the goalie’s pad first with my
stick. It’s frustrating. It’s one of those things.”
Roloson finished with 33 saves, including 15 in the third
Shawn Horcoff opened the scoring for Edmonton with an unassisted
goal on the power play 6:45 into the second period, knotting the
contest at 1-1.
Just over a minute after Carolina defenseman Dennis Seidenberg
was sent off for hooking, Ales Hemsky whipped a cross-ice pass
to Horcoff to the right side of the net. Horcoff’s shot was
deflected but managed to cross the goal line when Ward
mistakenly swept it in with his leg.
It was the fourth goal of the season for Horcoff and third on
Former Oiler Ray Whitney netted the lone goal for the
Hurricanes, opening the scoring 6:35 into the contest, when he
fired the puck between the pads of Roloson on a breakaway. A
long pass by defenseman Tim Gleason caught the Oilers in the
middle of a line change, clearing a direct path for Whitney.
Ward made 29 saves, dropping to 3-2-2 on the season just two
days after posting his seventh career shutout in a 1-0 road win
at St. Louis.
It was a tough start to a stretch in which Carolina plays 14 of
19 games at home. The Hurricanes were coming off a very
successful cross-country road trip that produced a 3-1-2 record.
“The second half of the game, we seemed to have more (fight),”
Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. “The first period wasn’t
really bad, but we needed to be a lot better, and we are a lot
better and can play a lot better than we did in the first. I
thought we caught some life and started to work harder. We
changed the lines up a little bit, and it just provided a little
bit of momentum. (Still), I don’t think we were on the very top
of our game.”