Oilers 4, Ducks 2

Ales Hemsky’s go-ahead goal was sweet redemption for the
Edmonton Oilers after they blew a two-goal lead following a bad
call by the officials that helped Anaheim get back into the
game.

Bobby Ryan scored a power-play goal just 8 seconds after an
unjust delay-of-game penalty veteran referee Stephen Walkom called
against rookie Theo Peckham, and teammate Saku Koivu scored 22
seconds later to tie it.

But Hemsky scored with 6:31 left in the third period and Devan
Dubnyk made 19 of his 38 saves in the first, leading the Edmonton
to a 4-2 victory Sunday night and sending the Ducks to their fifth
straight loss after a six-game winning streak.

”Momentum swings all the time during games, and sometimes it’s
hard to come back from that,” defenseman Tom Gilbert said. ”Refs
make mistakes sometimes, and you’ve just got to work through it. We
came in here between the second and third periods and we just told
ourselves to continue what we were doing, keep pressing them, and
the puck was going to go in the net for us. And that’s how it
turned out.”

The Oilers, who blew a 3-0 lead in a 4-3 shootout loss to
Phoenix on Friday night, killed off Anaheim’s first four power
plays before getting burned on the next one.

Walkom sent Peckham to the penalty box with 3:35 left in the
second period, ruling that he had cleared the puck over the glass
in the Edmonton zone. But replays clearly showed that it went into
the crowd through a hole in the glass that photographers use to get
a clear shot.

”It’s like winning the lottery. You don’t think it’ll ever
happen to you,” Peckham said. ”It’s funny. I was skating around
in warmups and I was looking at one of those holes and I was
telling someone: `Hey, don’t pucks ever go through these holes?’
And sure enough, I got 2 minutes for delay of game – and I was
seeing red. I was sitting in the penalty box and thinking back to
the warmups. And after I calmed down, I thought it was pretty
ironic.”

Walkom even asked the photographer sitting there about it, but
wouldn’t reverse the call despite Peckham’s vehement protest.

”It is not a reviewable play. Our video review process doesn’t
allow us to do stuff like that,” said Bob Hall, NHL senior
officiating manager.

”What happened in real time on the ice was the puck went out of
play. The referee that was right in the corner didn’t see how it
left the ice. He went and conferred with two of the other officials
on the ice. They put the pieces of the puzzle together and they
came out with it was shot out – which we all know now in seeing it
on the replay that it was not the correct call.”

The Ducks capitalized with Ryan’s ninth goal after Dubnyk
stopped their first 29 shots on net. Ryan was standing 20 feet out
in the slot when he redirected rookie Cam Fowler’s wrist shot from
the left point over Dubnyk’s left shoulder. Koivu fed off the
momentum, converting Dan Sexton’s centering pass for his ninth of
the season after Jason Blake took the puck away from Gilbert behind
the net.

But Hemsky beat Jonas Hiller high to the stick side from close
range for his sixth goal after getting the puck in the right circle
from Dustin Penner and speeding past Anaheim defenseman Toni
Lydman.

Sam Gagne and Taylor Hall scored 1:41 apart in the second period
and Penner had two assists against his former team, helping
Edmonton win for only the third time in its last 17 games. Gilbert
was credited with an empty-net goal with 16 seconds left after
Anaheim’s Corey Perry made a pass from behind the Edmonton net that
went the length of the ice into his own net.

The frustrated Ducks have taken 90 shots on net in their last
two games and have two regulation losses to show for it.

”It doesn’t really matter how many you get on net. It matters
how many you get behind them,” Anaheim defenseman Andy Sutton
said. ”We have to focus on getting better traffic, some screens in
front and maybe some better shots, too.”

Dubnyk made his fourth start of the season and second in a row
in place of four-time All-Star Nikolai Khabibulin (groin). Dubnyk’s
other three starts resulted in overtime losses, two of them in
shootouts.

”It’s exciting for me,” Dubnyk said. ”You never want to see a
guy get injured, and we’re all hoping he comes back soon. But
that’s why you play so hard to be the number two goalie – so that
if something does happen, you’re the guy and not the one they call
up to be the backup. I worked as hard as I could to get to this
spot, and I’m just going to enjoy the chance to play.”

NOTES: Sutton was activated before the game and C Josh Green on
non-roster waivers. Sutton, a 12-year veteran who signed a two-year
contract with Anaheim as a free agent in August, had surgery on
Oct. 12 to repair a broken right thumb. The injury occurred during
a fight with former Duck Ruslan Salei in a season-opening loss at
Detroit. … Sexton also returned to the Ducks’ lineup for the
first time since Nov. 23, when he broke his nose blocking a shot by
Salei during the team’s second visit to Detroit. … Ducks star
Ryan Getzlaf’s brother, Chris, had eight catches for 109 yards and
a touchdown Sunday to help the Saskatchewan Roughriders advance to
the Grey Cup with a 29-16 victory over Calgary on Sunday.