Oilers deflect W into SOL

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

Well, so much for the feel-good losses.

The Edmonton Oilers were relatively happy with things after losing to Calgary on a freak play late in their home opener, but there was precious little to ease their pain after last night's crushing defeat.

Not after they lost Sheldon Souray to a concussion, blew a two-goal lead and, after going ahead 3-2 on an Ales Hemsky goal at 13:30 of the third, blew it again with half the W already in the win column.

1.5 LEFT

A Rene Bourque deflection with 1.5 seconds left in regulation sent the fans into shock and the game into overtime, then the shootout, and then down in Flames.

Sam Gagner missed for Edmonton, Nigel Dawes scored for Calgary, Patrick O'Sullivan scored for Edmonton, Olli Jokinen scored for Calgary, Ales Hemsky hit the post and that was that.

The Oilers were leading 3-2 at 19:57, and wound up losing 4-3.

"It's kind of disappointing," understated Hemsky. "It's a tough break, 1.5 seconds left. A good tip. We just have to regroup and get ready for another. It's a long season, but disappointing for sure.

"We had the win again... when you're losing points like that early in the season it's tough."

Again. Take away a couple of incredibly bad finishes (Nikolai Khabibulin's bobble with 49 seconds left in Game 1 and now this) and the Oilers are 3-0 and flying high. Instead they're 1-1-1 and a little choked right now.

"Its definitely not a nice way to lose a game... there's never a nice way to lose a game," said Khabibulin, who had his best game as an Oiler, surrendering all three goals on bank shots or deflections.

"The way we lost the last game against these guys, and now tonight, it's not a good feeling. But at the same time it's early in the year and we have to stay strong."

The Oilers are now five points back of the Flames, which is hard to fathom given that the season is only three games old.

"Guys played hard, Khabby was great, made a lot of good saves," said Hemsky. "That's why it's a tough loss. Everybody worked hard. It was a tough one for sure. Maybe we'll get a couple of breaks for us in the next couple of games."

The break they're hoping for is that Souray is OK soon. The Oilers were up 2-0 on goals from Ethan Moreau and Lubomir Visnovsky late in the first period and the place was rocking, but the mood changed in a hurry, just 18 seconds into the second period when Jarome Iginla got his stick in the skates of Souray as the two were chasing a puck in the Edmonton corner.

INTO THE BOARDS

Souray stepped on the blade, lost his balance and went crashing into the boards, with Iginla piling in after him. Souray was down on the ice for a couple of minutes before being helped off the ice by trainer Kenny Lowe.

The Oilers are calling it a minor concussion.

"I made the mistake of looking in his eyes and it wasn't good," said Moreau. "Hopefully he'll be OK."

Calgary scored the next two goals to tie it, then came back on the last-second Hail Mary.

"It was a tough game, similar to the first time we played them," said Moreau. "We did a lot of things right, we probably deserved better, they're just on the right end of the bounces right now."

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@SUNMEDIA.CA


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