SUN Hockey Pool

Hard to be happy

Oilers goalie Jussi Markkanen is dejected after losing to the Senators in a shootout on Tuesday in...

Oilers goalie Jussi Markkanen is dejected after losing to the Senators in a shootout on Tuesday in Ottawa. (Sun Media/Tony Caldwell)

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

OTTAWA -- The comeback fell short, but the Edmonton Oilers will take the point.

Last night, the Oil twice rallied from two-goal deficits in a 4-3 SO loss to the Ottawa Senators.

The defeat gave the Oilers a vital point in the chase for a playoff spot, although they really badly needed two.

"You have to take positives out of a game like that," said Oilers centre Shawn Horcoff. "Obviously two would have been nice, but at this point in the season you have to take anything you can get, especially being down by a couple."

Tom Gilbert scored his first goal as an Oiler with 19.9 seconds left in the third period to send the game to OT.

The rookie defenceman was called up on Sunday to take the place vacated by Marc-Andre Bergeron, who was traded to the New York Islanders.

ON THE BENCH

With goaltender Jussi Markkanen on the bench, Gilbert took a pass from Ales Hemsky who was circling the net and fired a shot past Senators goalie Martin Gerber.

"It seems like we've been waiting all year long to finally see that goal go in, and it looked like finally we created a break and got a break when we tied it," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.

"We felt like maybe we had the momentum going into overtime, but we just couldn't get the goal four-on-four."

The Oilers outshot the Senators 5-4 in an entertaining overtime session where both teams had chances to score.

One of the best came from Hemsky, who had Gerber down and out, but couldn't get a shot off, and ended up circling the net twice.

"At this point we need the wins," MacTavish said. "It was a hell of an entertaining overtime, we had all kinds of chances, but we can't get the finish or the break around the net to get the win."

A pair of former Oilers won it for the Senators in the shootout.

Dean McAmmond and Mike Comrie scored for the Senators, while Ales Hemsky and Petr Sykora missed for the Oilers.

BUYING TIME

"We have to turn some of these into wins now," MacTavish said.

"At least now we buy a little time for ourselves. It's a good feeling coming back from being down two goals. And it's a good feeling where some of our younger guys played really well."

With Markkanen getting the start, and seven players in the lineup who had spent time in the minors this year, the Oilers didn't appear to have the weapons to derail the Senators.

But Markkanen kept the Oilers in the game as the Senators tried to run the visitors out of the building out-shooting their opponents 10-1 at one stage.

A goal by Dany Heatley in the first period and another by Mike Fisher in the second had the Sens up 2-0 heading into the third period.

Petr Sykora cut into the lead early in the third on a power play.

Then Daniel Alfredsson looked as though he would put the game away with his 20th goal of the year.

But Sykora added another with just over four minutes left to make things interesting, setting the stage for Gilbert's heroics.

"I thought the young guys came in and did a pretty good job," Horcoff said. "Hopefully we can sustain it now."


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