With the mindset to rebound, the youth movement managed to find the twine (more than twice), but goaltender Devan Dubnyk was clearly the unsung hero of the match.
"Our guys came into the game kind of demoralized, and it was really important for Devan to be real good, and he was,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “We got our sea legs and started to feel good about our game as it went on.”
Renney, was commenting on the 13 shots Dubnyk set aside in the first period. In total, the sophomore goaltender made 38 saves for the boys in blue.
"That’s awesome, when you can get a goalie that really keeps you in the game and gives you some stability back there,” said Taylor Hall. “It’s good to know that if we do give up some chances early, they’re probably not going to be going in and we can play a little more loose and a little more confident. He probably won us the game in the first period.”
Late in the first, Avs' Kevin Porter was sent off for high-sticking; and on the ensuing power-play Dustin Penner completed the tic-tac-toe from Horcoff and Hemsky to earn his 21st goal of year.
Moving on to the second. Magnus Paajarvi peeled off from the half boards to find Sam Gagner alone in the slot who then made it 2-Donut Oilers.
More from the Oilers. On the power-play, Taylor Hall cashed in on Jordan Eberle's rebound to earn his 21st goal of the season to triple the lead.
Late in the third, Jordan Eberle decided to score another beauty; this time akin to Mark Messier. While flying down the right wing, Eberle found Brian Elliot deep in his crease and wired a snap shot to make it 4-1.
Finally, Oilers' D., Kurtis Foster, lofted a wrister which inadvertently ricocheted off of Elliot's bean and into the back of the net.
Throughout the contest, Hall and Eberle had multiple chances to score. Combined, the rookies each finished the game with 1 goal on 5 shots. In fact, Hall could've completed a hat trick had he scored on a deke in the second period; and when he whiffed on a break-away attempt which started from the Oilers blue-line.
"Seemed like every second shift I was coming back to the bench, saying ‘Sorry’ to my linemates,” said Hall
Milan Hedjuk had the lone goal for the Av's which was one that Dubnyk should have been able to stop. "It [ the puck] went under my hand and off my hip. I don’t know what number hole that is,” said Dubnyk. "No excuses. It didn’t bother me.”
Tonight's victory gives the Oilers their 20th win of the season and they now sit with one point back from 29th spot which belongs to the Senators (49 pts).