Canadiens clobbered by Oilers
Make it unlucky seven for the slumping Montreal Canadiens as they suffered a seventh consecutive loss on the road, 7-2 to the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Wednesday night.
"Obviously, I'm really disappointed by some of the efforts that we have had," Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau said.
Andrew Cogliano, Ales Hemsky, Kyle Brodziak and Dustin Penner each had one goal and one assist for the Oilers (27-23-4), who haven't lost to the Canadiens in Edmonton since the historic Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on Nov. 22, 2003.
Sam Gagner, Zack Stortini and Liam Reedox rounded out the scoring, with Tom Gilbert contributing three assists.
Dwayne Roloson was solid between the pipes, turning aside 36 of 38 shots.
"It was a big game for us confidence-wise," Oilers defenceman Sheldon Souray said in facing his former team for the first time. "We didn't play the prettiest of games.
"But we worked hard and got pucks to the net. We did things that we said we wanted to do."
"We have had our fair share of tough losses in this building, so it was nice to see one go the other way," Brodziak said.
Of concern for Edmonton is the status of defenceman Denis Grebeshkov, who was favouring his right leg as he left the ice in the second period.
Grebeshkov was upended by Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec in a race for the puck and slammed feet-first into the end boards.
Mathieu Dandenault had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens (29-19-6), losers in their last four games and nine of 11.
Francis Bouillon scored the final goal of the contest, and Plekanec had two assists.
Carey Price faced 27 shots in defeat, and struggled to control rebounds throughout the rout.
"You can talk for days and months and weeks, but it is what you do on the ice that counts," Carbonneau said. "We can talk about bad bounces and breaks — like the fifth one — but it seems to happen a lot in the past month and we're going to have to work on that."
"It has been going on for a while and, for the last three games, the way we have done it, it is not fun to be a part of," Canadiens captain Saku Koivu noted. "I don't have a solution right now, but it is not just going to take one or two guys."
Gagner gets Oilers going
Edmonton opened the scoring on a power play 5:41 into the contest, with Gagner sliding a rebound inside the right post following a sequence of pretty passing involving Robert Nilsson and Cogliano.
It was Gagner's sixth goal of the season.
Stortini tipped Gilbert's point shot for his third at 13:31 of the first period, and Cogliano scored 70 seconds later to make it 3-0.
Price stopped the initial shot by Oilers captain Ethan Moreau, but failed to smother the rebound and Cogliano swept the loose puck into the net for his first goal in 16 games and 13th overall.
Price had more bad luck on a penalty kill later in the period as he kicked a rebound directly to Hemsky, who notched his 17th from a sharp angle at the 19:34 mark.
Just 10 seconds later, Dandenault intercepted a clearing attempt and buried it from the slot to trim Montreal's deficit to 4-1.
Brodziak extended Edmonton's lead with a short-handed goal 11:40 into the second, breaking in alone and scoring his eighth on a backhand deke.
With less than three minutes left in the period, Penner found himself unchecked in front of Price and calmly flicked the puck over the beleaguered goaltender for his 13th.
After Reddox's fourth put the Oilers ahead 7-1 early in the third, Bouillon closed out the scoring with his fourth for the Canadiens.
With files from the Canadian Press