Goals fifteen seconds apart gave the Edmonton Oilers a 4-1 win over the Canadiens in the opening game of the three game Canadiens Western trip.

Jordan Eberle took advantage of a defensive mistake by P.K. Subban to break a 1-1 third period tie at 3.58 of the third period. Fifteen seconds later, Ryan Jones got behind rookie Brendon Nash to make it 3-1. And it was lights out.

The already beleaguered Canadiens defense lost James Wisniewski in the 9th minute of the first period when a Tyler Hall shot hit him in the jaw. He was taken to hospital and did not return. Shawn Horcoff opened the scoring and added a second goal into an empty net. Jeff Halpern was finally credited with the Canadiens goal.

In losing four straight to the Oilers in Edmonton the Canadiens have been outscored 19-8. They have also lost 9 of the last ten in the Alberta capital; the only win coming in the Heritage Classic game at Commonwealth Stadium in November 2003.

Overall the Canadiens have lost five of the last six games.

Summing It Up – Considering the dire straights of their defense, the Canadiens desperately needed to have their offense step up on this night. They didn’t and the worst team in the league handed them their lunch.

The Canadiens were dominated in the first period when the Oilers took a 1-0 lead. They were much better in the second, but as so often happens, a lot of hard work led to very little on the scoreboard.

Granted there were defensive errors but the two quick Edmonton goals in the third period could only be described as “soft”. Price was down on the first one and the second went through the five hole.

Probably the best forward was Scott Gomez. But you can’t rely on Gomez to score your goals for you.  He carried his linemates Andrei Kostitsyn and Travis Moen along with him, but there was no production despite a total of ten shots on goal.  In the third period Gomez played on three different lines, finishing up with Gionta and Pouliot. It was one of those rare games when the Plekanec line had little to offer.

Lars Eller replaced Tom Pyatt in the lineup and was much better than we’ve seen lately. The Desharnais line showed little outside of Pouliot.

Then there’s the defense. You can tell by ice time, how much confidence Jacques Martin had in the group. P.K. Subban, who’s mistake resulted in the winning goal, played 31 seconds short of half the game (29:31). At age 37, Roman Hamrlik played 27:36 and Yannick Weber was on the ice for 27:38. They carried a heavy burden. Newly acquired Paul Mara was in the house, but the airlines misplaced his equipment.

We have to hope the injury to James Wisniewski is not a broken jaw or this three game western swing is likely to become a nightmare. The Canadiens have lost four in a row in Calgary and eight in a row in Vancouver.

The Goalscorers – Edmonton – Hemsky (11th) (Horcoff); Eberle (13th) (Hall-Cogliano); Jones (Jacques-Reddox); Hemsky (12th) ENG (Penner-Peckham). Canadiens – Halpern (9th) (Eller-Hamrlik)

Shots on Goal – Canadiens – 8-17-12 = 37 Edmonton – 11-8-9 = 28

The Three Stars – First – Nikolai Khabibulin (stopped 36 of 37 shots); Second – Ryan Jones Third – Jordan Eberle

The Corsi/Fenwick Numbers

Game Number Team Player Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
20867 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 0 1 14 7 6 2 10 9 6 13
20867 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 0 1 9 4 6 3 7 3 3 7
20867 MTL 15 – C – HALPERN, JEFF 1 0 8 6 3 1 5 4 3 6
20867 MTL 20 – D – WISNIEWSKI, JAMES 0 0 2 0 1 1 2 1 2 1
20867 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 0 1 12 5 7 2 11 5 5 11
20867 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 1 3 35 20 15 9 19 21 18 22
20867 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 0 1 10 5 3 2 5 5 3 7
20867 MTL 44 – D – HAMRLIK, ROMAN 1 1 19 8 9 7 13 7 6 14
20867 MTL 45 – D – PICARD, ALEXANDRE 0 1 13 7 5 2 8 9 10 7
20867 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 0 1 11 7 4 0 7 7 4 10
20867 MTL 47 – D – NASH, BRENDON 0 1 2 4 0 1 -4 5 2 -1
20867 MTL 52 – L – DARCHE, MATHIEU 0 0 2 5 3 1 -1 3 2 0
20867 MTL 53 – C – WHITE, RYAN 0 1 2 4 0 4 -7 5 6 -8
20867 MTL 57 – L – POULIOT, BENOIT 1 1 14 5 4 3 10 8 9 9
20867 MTL 58 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID 0 1 4 4 0 3 -4 5 6 -5
20867 MTL 67 – L – PACIORETTY, MAX 0 1 8 2 6 4 7 4 3 8
20867 MTL 68 – D – WEBER, YANNICK 1 1 19 11 9 5 12 7 5 14
20867 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 0 2 15 10 6 2 7 13 11 9
20867 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 1 0 11 6 3 2 7 5 4 8