Big Mac attack

Steve MacIntyre registered the first goal of his NHL career, helping the Oilers beat the Capitals....

Steve MacIntyre registered the first goal of his NHL career, helping the Oilers beat the Capitals. (Sun Media/Lyle Aspinall)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

WASHINGTON -- There are some things that you don't even try to explain.

Like last night. Never mind trying to figure out Edmonton's 5-2 victory over the flabbergasted Washington Capitals, just call Ripley's and be done with it.

There's no rhyme or reason why a team that's being outshot 15-6 should be leading 1-0.

And even less reason why a team being outshot 15-7 should be up 2-0.

And it defies all logic that a team being outshot 22-10 goes up 3-0.

But the Oilers were. Despite being swarmed by more skilled players than you'll see in the starting lineup of most All-Star games, in a building where they'd won just once since 1990, with Ales Hemsky injured and Shawn Horcoff sick, they beat the star-studded Capitals with room to spare.

At the top of the Believe it or Not file was Steve MacIntyre. In a game where Alex Ovechkin couldn't change the momentum with a big goal, the 28-year-old, 250-pound rookie enforcer who scored about once every leap year in the minors, did.

Not with a fight. But a goal.

Seriously, a goal.

"Once Mac scored I knew it was one of those rare nights when you were going to get away with some things," said head coach Craig MacTavish, whose team got away with murder in the first period, escaping with a 2-0 lead despite being outshot 19-9.

"Roli (Dwayne Roloson)was super sharp early when he needed to be. We mismanaged the puck a little early, we were a little rattled, I think, by the threat of Washington's skill. Then we settled down and played OK for the last couple of periods."

And the Oilers went from hanging by a thread to somehow wrapping that thread around Washington's neck and swinging the Capitals from their own scoreboard.

Roloson kept it from getting ridiculous early, allowing Edmonton to write a somewhat ridiculous script of their own.

"Roli really held us in there in the first period until we seemed to get our bearings," said Erik Cole, who led the way offensively, scoring once in the first and twice in the third.

"Then we get a big goal by (Steve MacIntyre) that lifts the spirits of all the guys, then a timely goal on the power play...

"We were lucky to come out of the first period like we did, but we came out in the second period with more conviction and I think we controlled the play."

The win, their first in Washington since 1997, and their second since a players only meeting on Friday, puts them at 21-18-3 heading into Thursday,s game in Minnesota.

Once they looked up at the scoreboard and saw it was 3-0 Edmonton, when it should have been 5-0 Washington, they relaxed and took over.

The contributions came from all fronts. Kyle Brodziak had two assists and was plus-4, Gilbert Brule had a goal and an assist for his second two-point game in a row, Ryan Potulny picked up his third assist in two games, Steve Staios blocked five shots, Horcoff played 23 minutes and took 20 faceoffs ... on and on it went.

"Steve almost played a perfect game, the way he defended and blocked shots, he was outstanding," said MacTavish. "And Horcoff, it was an incredible effort to even think about putting his gear on."

"It's a great way to start off a tough road trip," said Cole. "We've got four games left before the break. We need all the points that we can get so we can come back refreshed and ready to make a good run."


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