SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers Gagner getting checked after cut

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:44 PM ET

WASHINGTON — No, they weren’t trying to slash their wrists after the game.

That would be the fans and coaches.

Sam Gagner’s deep cut came from a teammate’s skate blade in the first period Wednesday in Washington, a deep enough gash that he’s staying behind to have it examined by a specialist while the rest of the team moved on to Detroit to prepare for Friday’s loss to the Wings.

“It didn’t feel bad, it’s just one of those things, I got sliced open a bit,” said Gagner, blood soaking through the bandage on the back of his left hand. “I was on the bench having a drink of water and my glove was off, a skate came up and clipped me.

“Somebody hopping on. I’m not sure who it was, just kind of a freak accident. It was enough of a nick to be bleeding for a long while. That’s why it took so long to come back, they had to stop the bleeding first.”

Gagner returned to the game after the incident and expects to play in Detroit, but they’d rather be safe than sorry. It’s not like this team is pretty lucky when it comes to injuries.

“I felt fine,” he said. “They’re going to go explore in there Thursday and see what they can find. Hopefully they don’t find much.

“I’m just hoping it’s OK. I’m hoping they don’t find any tendons ruptured or whatever and I can go play in Detroit.”

HE HATE YOU - Rookie goalie Braden Holtby, born and raised in Lloydminster, said getting his first NHL shutout against the Oilers made it that much sweeter.

Another Alberta kid who always loved the Oil, huh?

“It means a lot because I never really liked the Oilers growing up,” grinned Holtby, who’s actually from the Saskatchewan side of Lloyd. “It’s kind of a hate that I’ve had forever.

“I was a Patrick Roy fan. I loved the Avalanche and they were always rivals.”

Holtby, 21, stopped all 22 Edmonton shots while his teammates ran wild at the other end. All in all, a fun night.

“The best part about it was the see the guys get their flair back like they did tonight,” said Holtby. “Some of those goals, only the guys in this dressing room can score. It’s definitely a step in the right direction; our defence is playing fairly well right now and to see the offence kick in like that, we’re going to be a dangerous team.”

CAPITAL OFFENCE - It’s 68 games into the season and prior to Wednesday night the Capitals had just eight more goals than the Oilers.

Sure sign that the apocalypse is upon us, or sure sign that the Capitals can finally take a hint?

Well, let’s put it this way - it’s no accident that of all the teams above the playoff cutline in either conference, Washington has the fewest goals.

Too many years of watching their high-powered offence betray them when they needed it most has shifted their focus to the long abandoned defensive side of the ice.

Now, their last five wins were all by one goal - 3-2, 2-1, 3-2, 3-2, 2-1. They’ve come back to win 20 times this season when trailing 1-0. Playoff kind of stuff.

“Playoff games are 2-1,” said Caps defenceman Jeff Schultz. “If we can find ways to win like that, or to win coming back, to make it tough on other teams, that’s how you have success in the playoffs.”

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca

Twitter.com/TYCHKOWSKI


Videos

Photos