SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers on the skids

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

This was the game that was supposed to snap the skid.

The St. Louis Blues are the lowest-rated team the Edmonton Oilers will face at home for the rest of the season.

They're not going to the playoffs, either. They're playing for pride, too.

But last night they extended the Oilers misery with a 3-2 overtime win at Rexall Place.

Eric Brewer scored the winner 2:04 into the extra session to deny the Oilers their first win in 10 games.

"It's really disappointing," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "I thought we played all right in the third, but in the first two periods we were not good.

"We came in and had some chances and ended up getting a break finally on the power-play goal."

Shawn Horcoff's goal midway through the third period sent the game to overtime.

The look on Horcoff's face after scoring the first power-play goal in 32 attempts was priceless - absolute relief.

RIGHT TO HORCOFF

On St. Patrick's Day the Oilers got a little luck, as Petr Sykora's shot bounced off Blues goaltender Curtis Sanford and right to Horcoff at the side of the net.

With Sanford convinced he had smothered the puck, Horcoff had all day and the whole net to shoot at.

"I don't even want to know what that streak was, but it was substantial," MacTavish said.

"But then we had a breakdown on the game-winning goal. It would have been nice to stop the mourning in here for a little while. But, again, it was another disappointing finish."

Next up on the schedule for the Oilers is a date with the Vancouver Canucks tomorrow, two against the Colorado Avalanche and another against the Nashville Predators before heading on the road for six games to mercifully put an end to the season.

To compound matters last night the Oilers lost yet another body as defenceman Ladislav Smid took a slapshot to the midsection and had to leave the contest.

Smid's injury brings the Oilers wounded count to 12. Last night Joffrey Lupul also sat out with the flu.

"It's yet to be determined how long he'll be out," MacTavish said.

"Now we're really hamhocked for what we can do for defencemen. I think (Sebastien) Bisaillon is the only option we have to bring up. Obviously it's not an ideal situation right now."

Bisaillon, 21, is currently playing with Val-d'Or in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

"We're in a situation where players are being put in different opportunities and given different chances," said Oilers captain Jason Smith. "We're seeing guys either rising to the level of play or guys struggling.

'BEAR DOWN'

"It's an important time for everyone right now to bear down and be mentally and physically ready to play."

Last night, Petr Cajanek opened the scoring for the Blues in the first period, converting a feed from Barret Jackman.

Kyle Brodziak tied the game for the Oilers with his first NHL goal 40 seconds later.

In the second, Jeff Woywitka jumped up into the rush and fired a cross-ice pass from Radek Dvorak past Dwayne Roloson to give the Blues a 2-1 lead.

Despite the loss the Oilers did earn a point in the standings for the first time since Feb. 23 when they beat the Detroit Red Wings in a shootout.

"We have to take advantage of the opportunities we get," said Brodziak.

"Tonight was a good opportunity for us to get the win and we didn't. The next game we have to come out a little harder and try pressing for that win."


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