SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers get late power surge

Jean-Francois Jacques (left) tangles with Chris Pronger in Edmonton on Wednesday. (QMI...

Jean-Francois Jacques (left) tangles with Chris Pronger in Edmonton on Wednesday. (QMI Agency/Jordan Verlage)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

Sixteen more games like that and the Edmonton Oilers will have undone the damage from their ghastly two-month slump.

Actually, nobody wants to see 16 more games like the painful-to-watch soccer game the Oilers and Flyers turned in Wednesday night, but two wins in a row is two wins in a row.

After going 1-18-2 in their previous 21, and 0-for-January, the Oilers are now undefeated in February -- 2-0 after a shocking last-second upset over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The win streak looked in serious jeopardy for a while there, but former Flyer Ryan Potulny -- of all people -- scripted the fairy-tale ending at Rexall Place.

"We battled all game and worked hard, we deserved that one," said Potulny, who jammed home a Sam Gagner pass with 16 seconds left in regulation to break the scoreless tie. "We had a little luck tonight, but it's about time for us."

16 SECONDS LEFT

Scoring the winner with 16 seconds left is sweet enough, doing it against the team that traded you away is even sweeter. But Potulny wasn't about to rub anything in.

"It's just nice to get a win," he said. "You're not really thinking about ex-teammates or anything. Maybe I'll send a few text messages to a couple of my buddies, but you're not thinking about it, you're just trying to get the win."

It was the kind of finish that had gone the other way so many times this season. But after finally breaking the slump against Carolina in Monday, maybe Edmonton is rid of the Heebie Jeebies.

"When you lose 12 or 13 in row it does a lot to your confidence late in games," said Gagner. "Being able to pull that one out against Carolina gave us a lot of confidence and it showed. Tonight we weren't tentative, we were playing aggressive right to the very end. We were able to draw a penalty and score on the power play."

FANTASTIC

Of course, the Oilers don't even get close to the dramatic finish if Jeff Deslauriers isn't fantastic in the Edmonton net, posting a 33-save shutout.

"JD played great for us," said Gagner, who called it a good sign that Edmonton killed a late penalty and then scored on an even later power play. "This was a great learning process for us. In the future going forward we're going to be in some games that are really tight at the end where we have power play and we'll have to find a way to convert."

With Philadelphia 13-5-1 in their last 19 and the Oilers running at a somewhat slower pace than that, some fans feared the worst, but it was even up after 59 minutes.

It wasn't a pretty game by any stretch, though. It was like watching a golf tournament without any holes on the greens.

"We might not win a lot of 5-1, or 6-1 games," said Potulny. "We might not blow teams out, but if we can play well defensively and score when we get our chances we can win some games."

Rookie Alex Plante, who's been here for two games now, isn't sure he believes this team just went 1-18-2.

"I heard about the record when I came up, but I'm starting to question what happened," he grinned. "In Springfield we weren't having the greatest success either, but I wouldn't say it was our play as much as a costly mistake or a couple of bad breaks. Teams run into that and it's hard to get out of."


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