Weary win for Oilers

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

NEW YORK -- At first it looked like somebody spray-painted Madison Square Garden with graffiti last night, but, upon closer inspection, it turned out the game just had "Oilers loss" written all over it.

Running out of steam and healthy bodies, and playing their second game in as many nights to close out a 13-day road trip, the Oilers weren't given half a chance against the top team in the Eastern Conference.

1-5 IN MSG

Not in a building where they were 1-5 in their previous six and hadn't won since 2003.

But a team that's tougher to predict than next week's lottery numbers shocked everyone by winning the final act of their seven game haul.

After games in Nashville, Carolina, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New Jersey, they made a long trip made a little longer by going to overtime and then the shootout last night against the New York Rangers, but there's nothing wrong with a little OT when it pays like it did yesterday.

"Another tough game," said defenceman Sheldon Souray after the 3-2 win.

"Nothing's come easy for us, that's for sure, but we stayed with it. We knew they were going to come out hard in the third when we were protecting a one-goal lead, but we were able to hold on."

Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, making his second start in a row, picked up his second win in a row, stopping 42 shots in regulation and overtime and three more in the shootout.

Ales Hemsky's goal in the shootout stood up as the winner and Deslaurier's lightning fast glove save on Markus Naslund iced it for good.

"Just making that save, knowing the game was done and we got the win was really a great feeling," said Drouin-Deslauriers, who's now 3-0 on the season.

"The guys played pretty confident in front of me, it was a great game for us."

So Edmonton finishes the ugliest trip of the season - a marathon that included six back-to-back games - with a 4-3 record.

They're 8-6-1 on the year despite playing 12 of their first 15 games on the road.

"Tonight was a pretty nice way to finish off, against a tough team playing at home," said defenceman Steve Staios. "We played some good games in the second games of back to back and that's a good sign. We battled hard.

"The second period was difficult; they showed their skill and had us hemmed in for a long time."

OUTSHOT 20-5

After going up 1-0 on Erik Cole's third of the season 3:27 in the first period, the Oilers were outshot 20-5 in the second.

But they tied the middle frame on a goal by Kyle Brodziak and 19 saves by Drouin-Deslauriers. Paul Mara scored the Ranger goal to make it 2-1 at the intermission.

"J.D. was great for us, he made a lot of big saves back there," said Brodziak.

"Especially when we got hemmed in on the PK."

Chris Drury scored 46 seconds into the third to make it look like the Oilers were going to fold, but they didn't. They closed out the last 19:14 of regulation and five minutes of OT without giving up another.

"This was huge, we want to be able to win these low-scoring games and the last two games we showed we're capable of it," said Brodziak. "We have the offence in here that we know it will eventually take over, but we just have to buckle down on our defence in the meantime.

"They did get a lot of shots, but we did a good job of limiting their high-percentage opportunities."

The Oilers travel home today and take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, the Avalanche on Saturday and then head back out on the road for two more.

LATE HITS: Robert Nilsson, on the fourth line with Brodziak and Zack Stortini, had one shift in the third period.


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