PHOENIX — Ryan Whitney sat in his stall, replaying the opportunity in his head.
The Edmonton Oilers defenceman could not believe he missed an empty net in the dying moments of a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.
Whitney had a clear lane to the net, took the time to line up his shot, but sailed it wide.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to get one (a goal) this year,” Whitney said. “It’s karma, though, because I gave it to (Andrew) Cogliano when he missed an empty net in Chicago earlier this year. I was all over him for it.
“Then when I missed, he started yelling right away ‘That’s karma.’ ”
The Oilers could joke about the play following the game as they pulled out the victory.
Whitney picked up another assists in the contest to increase his team-leading point total to 17 on the season. However, he has yet to score a goal, which is becoming a source of frustration for the defenceman.
“The worse part about that play is that they still had time to come back and score,” Whitney said. “It’s a good thing we won.”
Whitney’s miss came with a little over 30 seconds to go in the contest and the Oilers up by a goal.
The Ducks recovered the puck and stormed back the other way looking for the tying goal.
“I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous when they were coming back,” said Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk. “When I saw him (Whitney) going in towards the net, I was thinking ‘Yes’, then when he missed and I was like ‘No.’
“I was a little nervous when they were coming down but I was telling myself that I had to stay calm and just relax, nothing bad was going to happen and hopefully we would be able to pull it off.”
The anxiety didn’t last long for Dubnyk and the Oilers as moments later Corey Perry’s centring attempt sailed through the slot and all the way down into the Ducks open net.
The goal was awarded to defenceman Tom Gilbert who was the last Oiler to touch the puck.
The wild sequence led to the team snapping a six-game losing skid. They’ll continue their two-game road trip on Tuesday when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes.
“You always watch sports replays, see plays like that and wonder why can’t I get one of those,” Gilbert said. “Then, it’s funny when it happens.”