SUN Hockey Pool

Brule's payback was OK with Pat

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Normally, when a player takes a retaliatory penalty in the third period of a tie game, the coach wants to wring his neck.

But after Gilbert Brule popped Keith Ballard in the mouth last night, Pat Quinn wanted to be next in line to give Ballard a smack.

Brule lost it after getting up-ended at the blue line, and when Florida got the man advantage there were fears that Edmonton would lose it, too.

But the Oilers got a game-saving kill en route to a 3-2 shootout win over the Panthers.

"I thought we were trying to get that duck-down check out of the game," said Quinn.

"I was mad that it wasn't called. Brule popped him, but he probably should have popped him because of the check that the kid threw on him."

Quinn said it was the kind of low bridge that Hilliard Graves used to injure guys back in the old days.

"It was a dirty one and a hard one and that's why they wanted that check out of the game. Hilliard is the guy who took Bobby (Orr) out of the game."

FRIENDLY FIRE

The Panthers are having some serious problems with friendly fire.

Three games after Ballard clubbed his own goalie on the head in an ill-aimed temper tantrum, Bryan Allen knocked teammate Gregory Campbell into next week with a crushing hit.

Allen was trying to line up Robert Nilsson late in the first period, but Nisson stepped aside at the last moment and Campbell suffered the full brunt of a check that was thrown with bad intentions.

Campbell was on the ice for several minutes, surrounded by trainers from both teams.

They wheeled a stretcher out for him but he skated off under his own power.

The Panthers say he's fine, just got a little bit dazed.

All in all a tough few days for the Cats, who just got goalie Tomas Vokoun back after a bizarre injury from being struck by teammate Ballard's stick.

"It was obviously a tough moment for Keith," said Florida coach Peter DeBoer. "He was emotionally distraught. I don't think anyone knew the extent of the injury at the time.

"Looking back on it, based on letting (Ilya) Kovalchuk get behind him, Keith probably should have hit himself on the head instead of Vokoun, but everything is fine."

MILESTONE FOR DVORAK

Former Oiler Radek Dvorak appreciated the timing of being able to celebrate an NHL Milestone against one of his favourite former teams.

"Edmonton was a great few years," said Dvorak, who played his 1,000th game last night. "Great guys on the team and a great run to the Stanley Cup finals. It's something you don't forget."

Dvorak is only 32, but hit the milestone sooner than most because of his early start and perennial durability.

He's played 77 or more games seven times and never played fewer than 64 in a season since going 10th overall in 1995.

"I was healthy most of the time, but I think I have a lot of motivation. Every game for me was special. I was never thinking how many games I was going to play in this league.

"I was always going from game to game, next thing I know you have 1,000 games. It's special."

Bryan McCabe (2009), Chris Gratton (2007), Lyle Odelein (2004), Scott Mellanby (2000), Greg Adams (2000), Kirk Muller (1998) and Mike Foligno (1994) also hit the milestone with Florida

BIG WEEK FOR WEISS

Panthers forward Stephen Weiss was named the NHL's second star of the week after the best week of his career.

Weiss scored six goals in four games for Florida, including a hat trick in a 6-5 shootout win against Colorado, and added an assist for seven points. He's on pace for a career-best 36 goal-season.

Washington's Nicklas Backstrom (four goals and five assists in three games) was the first star of the week, while Colorado's Matt Duchene (four goals, two assists) was No. 3.


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