EDMONTON - Sometimes all it takes is a little tough love. Or a severe beating.
Whether it was the 5-0 butt kicking Anaheim laid on them Friday that got the Edmonton Oilers attention or the very harsh and public whipping that followed, it worked.
The Oilers finally discovered the poise, persistence and passion that had been hidden under that mounting pile of frustration and defeat and used it to earn a measure of redemption Sunday night at Rexall Place.
Make no mistake
And, make no mistake, they needed one.
“No matter how long it took, overtime or whatever, we wanted to get that win,” said Taylor Hall, who snapped Edmonton’s five-game losing streak with his power-play winner 3:06 into overtime to beat the LA Kings 2-1. “It’s a good feeling.”
Better than the feeling they left the rink with on Friday. With their faces as red as their backsides after the Anaheim debacle, the Oilers were determined set things right — as right as they can be for a 13th place team — and used the humiliation and ensuing spit-storm as a catalyst for rising up against a pretty good Kings team.
“(Anaheim) wasn’t our best effort, the guys know that, and we really wanted to respond in a good way, for Tom (Renney) and for our whole organization,” said Hall. “Because that’s not the way we want to play.
“For us to play like we did against a really good team, that’s been playing well, is good.
“We need to keep that going on the road.”
The win snapped Edmonton’s five game losing streak and helped the club gain a much-needed measure of redemption. With the market turning sour on them, it was important to show that there’s still some fight left in the dressing room, and they did.
“We’ve been talking and we’re not that team, we’re not that bad, we’re a good team,” said goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who stopped 20 of 21 shots in the win.
“We showed it right from the start, we were buzzing, shooting pucks, going to the net. We were creating our own chances by taking lots of shots, without sacrificing the defensive side — the guys pretty much shut them down to nothing for just about the whole game.”
The Oilers did indeed come out with more energy and purpose and led LA in goals, shots, hits and faceoffs after 20 minutes.
“We wanted to have a bounce-back effort and if you look at the way we played tonight, everyone stepped up and contributed,” said Sam Gagner.
“We were rolling four lines and everyone was playing hard and doing the little things right.”
The Oilers took a 1-0 lead 11 minutes into the first period on Josh Green’s first goal in the NHL since Jan. 16, 2007, and clung to it valiantly, if not desperately, for some 40 minutes.
They held the Kings to single-digit shots in all three periods (6-8-7) but finally caved in six minutes into the third period when Justin Williams deflected home the equalizer.
This is where they would normally collapse, either in regulation or overtime, but it didn’t happen.
“In the past there’s kind of been let downs on the bench when that’s happened,” said Gagner.
“This time every one was positive when it went in, said stay with it, be patient and our opportunity will come.”
When it did, Hall, on a great behind the back pass from Shawn Horcoff, buried it.
“It’s something that we’ve worked on in practice and in games,” said Hall.
“Whenever there are loose pucks around the net he shovels it to me at the side of the net. I know it was coming.”
After what happened Friday, not many did.
Great shot by Hemmer and Horc stuck around and made a great play to Hallsy,” said Gagner.
“When the game is on the line you want guys to step up and make big plays.”