Toby's fluke busts drought

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

When you haven't scored a regular-season goal in well over three and a half years, it doesn't matter how it goes in.

Brett McLean could have thrown the puck into his own net last night and Edmonton Oilers centre Toby Petersen would have gladly claimed it.

"In other games, I've had great opportunities and I've been stoned by a great save or something," Petersen said. "So it's fitting that tonight's goal was an ugly one."

As it turned out, McLean had the puck bounce off his skate and into the net. Petersen, 28, who centred the puck, got credit for the goal. He later went on to add an assist in the Oilers' 7-6 loss to the Colorado Avalanche last night at Rexall Place.

It was Petersen's first regular-season goal as an Oiler - his first since netting one in the second-round of the playoffs last spring. And his first NHL regular-season marker since scoring against the Washington Capitals as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 24th, 2002.

"It was huge to get that goal," Petersen said. "I've been working hard trying to get that goal and the fact that I haven't had a goal in so long is hard to keep out of the back of your mind, it creeps in once in a while."

Last season in the playoffs, Petersen scored in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against Anaheim.

He had been a surprise insertion into the lineup the game before.

With the marker, it leaves defenceman Ladislav Smid as the only Oiler regular without a goal. Recent callups Alexei Mikhnov, Jean-Francois Jacques, and Mathieu Roy don't have a goal either.

"I think our line was creating a lot of offence all game," Petersen said.

"We were getting all sorts of opportunities out there which is a good thing."


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