Oilers fall short against Ducks

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jeff Deslauriers watches as Fernando Pisani hits the puck to prevent...

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jeff Deslauriers watches as Fernando Pisani hits the puck to prevent Anaheim Ducks' Bobby Ryan from scoring . (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- It was the best road game the Oilers had played in months, yet it still wasn't enough to snap a 10-game road losing skid.

On Wednesday, the Oilers put up a good fight, scored a pair of short-handed goals, but eventually succumbed to the Ducks, who simply had more firepower in a 3-2 victory. The loss extended the Oilers' road woes to 11 games and their current slide to four.

They conclude their five-game road trip on Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings. They'll host the Ducks on Sunday, and then head into the Olympic break.

"Like a lot of nights I liked a lot of things that we've done and it sure looked like we've made some steps," said Oilers head coach Pat Quinn. "But back in November we were saying the same things, in December, we were saying the same things, but they did work hard and they certainly deserved a better fate from their effort and from their positional play. We only scored a couple, but we generated a lot of chances."

The Oilers outshot the Ducks 39-30 in the contest, but their inability to bury their chances cost them once again. Ryan Potulny and Ethan Moreau each managed to score short-handed, but even strength and on the power play the Oilers were shooting blanks.

"We battled hard and we played a good game and we said in here after the game that if we can play like that, we're going to win a lot of games," said Potulny. "I think we competed hard -- the battle level was higher than it had been before."

The battle was led by Moreau, who has been the speculation of plenty of trade rumours lately.

The Oilers captain created the first short-handed goal in the second period with a hard forecheck on Ducks defenceman Steve Eminger, who eventually coughed up the puck in the corner, then helplessly watched it bounce into the slot. Potulny got to it first and snapped it over the shoulder of goaltender Jonas Hiller.

Later in the period, Moreau collected a short-handed marker of his own, intercepting a pass from James Wisniewski at the blue-line, racing in on goal and lifting a backhand over the shoulder of Hiller. It was Moreau's first goal in 35 games. His last tally came on Nov. 21 against the Chicago Blackhawks. It was also the Oilers' third short-handed goal of the season.

"I've been trying to figure out why I haven't had more short-handed opportunities this year. Throughout my career I've always had a lot of opportunities short handed," Moreau said. "It's hard to explain sometimes the puck bounces in the right direction. But you need awareness from all four guys to create those offensive chances shorthanded."

Bobby Ryan scored twice for Anaheim before Todd Marchant redirected a Wisniewski shot past Deslauriers for the winner.


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