SUN Hockey Pool

Two points the ugly way

Oilers forward Kyle Brodziak collides with Ben Ondrus of the Maple Leafs during last night's game...

Oilers forward Kyle Brodziak collides with Ben Ondrus of the Maple Leafs during last night's game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Brodziak sniped a pair of unassisted goals as the Oilers notched a 4-1 victory. (Alex Urosevic, Sun Media)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:02 AM ET

TORONTO -- The Oilers have had so many losses critiqued this year, they're not about to pass judgement on a win.

But Maple Leafs fans will argue that Edmonton deserved this one like Milli Vanilli deserved their Grammy.

Or like George W. Bush deserved the Florida recount.

To which the Oilers respond: Who cares?

People drowning in rough water don't throw life preservers back because they don't like the colour.

So the Oilers aren't at all interested in discussing the style points of being outshot 40-18 in last night's 4-1 win at the Air Canada Centre.

With two wins in their previous eight games and the stench of a colossal stinker following them from Ottawa to Toronto, they could settle for nothing less than two points -- which they earned on the back of netminder Dwayne Roloson.

"I don't look up there (at the shot clock) till after the game," said Roloson, who didn't have time to take his eyes of the Toronto firing squad.

"The least of my worries is how many shots we're facing or how many shots we generated."

It was the least of anyone's worries, once they had the two points safely secured.

"I don't think they had too many quality chances," said centre Shawn Horcoff, who finished plus two, with two assists.

"And we didn't have that many shots, but we had some quality chances.

"At this point it really doesn't matter. We're going to take these points and move on."

The Oilers were more opportunistic than good.

They were outshot 17-5 in the second period and outscored the Leafs 3-1.

They made good on two breakaways while Roloson, making his franchise-record 21st consecutive start, covered up for virtually every one of their mistakes.

"I really don't know what to say; it seems like every game he's putting up one of those performances for the ages," said Kyle Brodziak, who scored twice in the win. "He was awesome for us."

After Toronto scored first, it looked like it might be another one of those nights for Edmonton.

But before they even finished announcing Alexei Ponikarovsky's goal at 1:08, Ales Hemsky tied it on a breakaway at 1:29.

Brodziak and Fernando Pisani made it 3-1 by the 10:45 mark, then Brodziak added an empty-netter for his 10th of the year.

"I made a pretty crucial error on their goal; I totally messed up the breakout," said Brodziak.

"When you do that and they jump out to a 1-0 lead, you feel pretty bad about it.

"But fortunately, Hemmer got our offence going the next shift.

"I needed to do something to make up for that mistake. I got a breakway and put it away."

Before the first period was a minute old, both teams lost a defenceman for the night.

Edmonton's Ladislav Smid sustained a concussion half a minute after the opening faceoff, and Toronto's Mike Van Ryn limped off a dozen seconds later.

The Leafs lost another blueliner, Jonas Frogren, 3:27 into the game and played with four blueliners the rest of the night.

So there were plenty of tired d-men out there (Ian White logged 31 minutes, Pavel Kubina 27:38) but the Oilers, strangely enough, couldn't generate much - just 10 shots over the final 40 minutes.

Fortunately, they scored on four of them.

That's not a ratio that will carry them very far in the future, but it was good enough last night.

"We spent a lot of time in our own zone," said head coach Craig MacTavish.

"We were better than we were against Ottawa, but there's still an area of improvement there for us."

PENNER A PINER: Dustin Penner, who looked a little winded out there, lost a lot of battles and gave the puck away almost once a shift, was nailed to the bench in the third period.

"He didn't play well and we need guys to be playing well," said MacTavish. "It's that simple." ... assistant coach Kelly Buchberger left the team to be in Saskatchewan after the passing of his father.


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