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Backup Jeff Deslauriers makes 36 saves as Oilers blank Coyotes 4-0

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

EDMONTON - Jeff Deslauriers's first career NHL shutout didn't come easy.

Deslauriers made 36 saves, including 15 in the third period to preserve the shutout, as the Edmonton Oilers recorded a 4-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday. "It feels great, so exciting," said Deslauriers. "It's nice to be in that club now. It's a good win for this team, too."

Edmonton's backup goaltender - getting his third consecutive start with regular starter Nikolai Khabibulin out with a sore back - bounced back from a somewhat shaky showing against Chicago on Saturday

"The other night he looked nervous, and stuff bounced off him, but he got by whatever jitters he must have felt before," said Oilers head coach Pat Quinn. "He had really good focus tonight."

Sheldon Souray and Ales Hemsky scored goals a team-record seven seconds apart and Ethan Moreau and Shawn Horcoff added the others for the Oilers (10-11-3) who have won two of their last three games after a stretch of 11 losses in their last 14.

Quinn was much happier with the performance as a whole, at least with the exception of the late stages when Deslauriers was frequently tested.

"We started to move the puck with authority and our guys had some jump," he said. "Our forwards were available and wanted the puck. That made for a good early performance until we got fat and happy.

"I don't know why this team would ever have that happen to them because we haven't accomplished squat yet."

The Coyotes (13-10-1) have now lost two of their last three outings and have yet to be able to string back-to-back wins together this month.

"We didn't do the little things that have been bringing us success," said Coyotes defenceman Keith Yandle. "We have to keep it simple and stay out of the box. We started off playing our simple road game and then we fell off the track a little bit and it showed."

Edmonton struck first eight minutes in, as Moreau blew past Coyotes defender Sami Lepisto to deposit the puck behind Phoenix starter Ilya Bryzgalov.

The Oilers then quickly made it a three-goal game, scoring goals just seven seconds apart, 11 minutes into the opening period.

The first was a bit of a fluke as it appeared Matthew Lombardi's attempt to clear a puck in front of the net caromed off David Schlemko and in. Souray was credited with the goal.

Edmonton then came roaring in off the ensuing faceoff as Hemsky took a feed from Dustin Penner and undressed Bryzgalov for his 100th career NHL goal.

"It's always great when you can pop two quickly in like that," said Oiler forward Ryan Potulny. "Everyone feeds off that. It gives everyone a little bit more energy, a little bit more jump in our step."

It had the opposite effect on the Coyotes.

"That was tough, giving up a bad goal like that and then seeing them score so soon afterwards," Yandle said. "It really gave them all the momentum."

Deslauriers was able to keep it a 3-0 game after the first with a huge kick save on Scottie Upshall with two minutes to play.

The Oilers made it 4-0 with a really, really late goal as a point shot by Souray was tipped by Horcoff with just one-tenth of a second remaining.

Ladislav Smid kept Deslauriers' shutout bid intact four minutes into the final frame as he was able to sweep a puck that was sitting on the goal line out of trouble.

Phoenix outshot Edmonton 36-25.

Both teams return to the ice on Wednesday as the Coyotes head to Calgary and the Oilers play the fourth game of their season-high five-game homestand against San Jose.

Notes: Edmonton's two goals in seven seconds set a new team record for fastest two goals, beating out Glenn Anderson and Wayne Gretzky, who scored eight seconds apart in a game against St. Louis in 1982a The Oilers called up Devan Dubnyk from the AHL to serve as his backupa Forward Ryan Stone (knee) skated for the first time in a month on Mondaya Phoenix defenceman Ed Jovanovski, who has now missed the last eight games because of a lower-body injury, accompanied the team on its two-game trip to Albertaa Coyotes forward Petr Prucha has now gone a full month without a goal.



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