The Oilers lost a top forward in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Ducks when third-leading scorer Ales Hemsky left with an injury to his right shoulder in the first period and did not return.
“He went in to retrieve a dump on the power play and he took a good hit and it sandwiched his shoulders together,” said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. “We’ll know more later but that’s a
tough guy to miss from your lineup.”
And if that wasn’t enough, the Oilers were also without the services of Shawn Horcoff for part of the game due to a finger injury and defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron sat out from the second period on with an illness.
Not the kind of thing you want to happen when you are taking on the best team in the Western Division.
“We had a little adversity but you have to fight through those kind of things,” said Ryan Smyth. “It’s just a matter of sticking together as a team. It’s unfortunate when guys like Hemsky and Horcoff go down and then Bergeron gets sick. We already had (Steve Staios and Ethan Moreau) out. Those are really big parts of our team.”
Hemsky will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.
The Oilers were looking to make some noise of their own against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night at the same time their fans were letting Pronger know exactly how they felt about his departure from Edmonton.
But a run of injuries in the game left the team scrambling in the dying seconds and Chris Kuntiz’s goal with 17 seconds left to go in the third and Ryan Getzlaf’s goal at 2:19 of overtime left both the fans and the Oilers reeling as Edmonton had a five game winning streak snapped with a 3-2 loss to the Ducks.
With the loss, the Oilers slipped to 13-9-1. Not only was their winning streak snapped at five games, but they allowed the Ducks to stop of a streak they didn’t want. Going into the match, Anaheim held the league’s longest active road losing streak by one team versus another. The Ducks had dropped 12 straight in Edmonton since a 2-1 victory on Feb. 24, 1999.
Oiler Marty Reasoner said the overtime loss was magnified by the fact that it took the team off their winning roll.
“Obviously when you are playing well and have a string of wins together you want to keep it going for as long as possible,” he said. “Obviously it was disappointing, especially with a lead like that. We had a couple of opportunities to extend it. It’s frustrating.
“We came out the way we wanted to play but after that we got on our heels a little bit and got timid and it came back to hurt us.”
Horcoff chose to look at the bright side, saying the Oilers made a statement they could still play with the Ducks, even through some adversity.
“It’s a tough loss but we have proven that not only can we play with these guys but we can play well against them,” he said. “We were in control in a lot of different instances in that game. We got a point
out of it and now we have to put it behind us and move on. We made a statement that we can not only play with them but play well. Being short-manned, in a lot of ways it was a positive for us.”
The Oilers play the sixth game of their current seven game homestand on Thursday against Colorado.