Loss a Dogs breakfast

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

PHOENIX -- After getting stellar work between the pipes for their first eight games, the Edmonton Oilers goaltending the last two games has been like a frightening 48-hour flashback to one year ago.

Wednesday in Anaheim, it was Dwayne Roloson struggling in a loss to the Ducks.

FOUR GOALS ON 16 SHOTS

Last night, Jussi Markkanen got just his second start of the season and allowed four goals on 16 shots on the way to 6-2 spanking from the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.

An off-night in a 6-2 loss to the powerhouse Ducks on a night the Oilers maybe deserved better is one thing. Giving up six goals to the struggling Coyotes, who'd lost four straight games - getting shut out twice and outscored 19-3 in that span - is quite another.

Ty Conklin, is that you?

"I was much more disappointed with our game tonight than I was in Anaheim," coach Craig MacTavish said. "I thought we played all right for two periods in Anaheim.

"Tonight, we just got off to a bad start. We took some penalties and couldn't kill them and then couldn't get back in the game. Everything gets so frenetic out there when we get behind."

While Markkanen struggled before getting the hook in favour of Roloson with the Coyotes up 4-1 in the second period, AHL call-up David LeNeveu, just summoned from San Antonio, made the difference as the Oilers dropped to 1-4-0 on the road.

"We did the things we had to do," said Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky after LeNeveu dazzled in a night off for Curtis Joseph.

"We were smart defensively. We stayed out of the penalty box, we scored a couple of big power-play goals and our goaltender made two or three great saves to keep us in the hockey game."

RALLY NEVER GOT GOING

Down 3-1 through 20 minutes despite being outshot just 13-11, the Oilers were forced to play from behind. Any thoughts of a rally went out the window when Georges Laraque barged to the front of the net past Marty Reasoner three minutes into the second period and backhanded a puck up and over Markkanen to make it 4-1.

"It's a great feeling scoring against your former team," said Laraque, who celebrated his first of the season. "I couldn't wish for anything better.

"We remember what happened last time against the Oilers and we want to get to out of this slump. We have to start now because if we wait too long it's going to be too late."

The same sentiment might apply to the Oilers. At 6-2-0 before this two-game stumble, the feeling by some people was goaltending had won them a couple games they didn't deserve to win. Now they've lost two they could've won because of suspect work by their stoppers.

Best not make that a trend, which was too often the case last season.

"They got the first one early and it went from there," said Markkanen. "There's not much else to say, you know? They got a couple of lucky bounces. The first one I would like to have back. They capitalized on their chances."

SURGERY SET: Ethan Moreau, who suffered a dislocated right shoulder against Detroit in the final minute of last Saturday's 3-1 win over the Red Wings, will have surgery Nov. 2 in Cleveland.

AROUND THE RINK: Fernando Pisani scored his first goal of the season to make it 1-1 . . . Contrary to rumours the Oilers came to terms on a multi-year contract with Steve Staios yesterday, that isn't the case, although the team and agent Pat Morris have talks scheduled for today with an eye to completing a deal by Monday.


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