What can I say that hasn't already been said? MacT won't talk about who's starting and I don't blame him - I think partially, he's not saying a word because he knows the reporters really badly want to know, and he doesn't have to tell them. Can't say as I blame him.
MacT's starting Markkanen, it turns out - he led the Oilers on-ice for the warmup, apparently. First start for him since March 1st. They were showing pools of water on the ice - ouch.
Wade man, I feel for you if that woman's the usual anthem singer - her vocal range isn't much better than mine, I don't think. (kd lang still wins for the worst anthem singer I've ever heard though. She did O Canada for a Flames/Oilers game in Calgary once, I think - man oh man. Anyway.)
First play, Edmonton took the puck deep and a 'cane skated close to the crease - Markkanen got his stick up pretty fast, looks like he's a bit nervous about that. Game started out with a good save by Jussi and a couple by Cam Ward. Oilers can't let the 'canes "seduce them into trading chances" again.
Murray's line against Weight's - ouch. Whitney and Weight aren't exactly speed demons any more, but you don't have to be against Laraque and Murray. Peca on the rush - passed back! Why? Hurricane dman blocked that one pretty smartly. Man, Greene's been #2 for about 15 games that I've watched now, and I still wonder when Brewer came back. Speaking of Greene, he hammered Weight to the ice, Dougie had the puck and it was clean, but the 'canes took a penalty on the play.
Watching Markkanen handle the puck - I get the feeling there will be no more long lead passes to Peca on the PK these playoffs. Edmonton had some good chances on the PP, but some good shot blocks by the Carolina players killed it off.
Some back and forthing, trading of chances, and it wound up in the back of Edmonton's net as they coughed it up at the Carolina blueline and sent Ladd and Staal away on a 3 on 1. Murray's line. Bergeron dove to try to make the block and it hit his skate and went roof when Markkannen was thinking floor.
Jason Smith got set up backdoor all by himself, and he missed - puck was bouncing a bit, maybe, they were passing it around a lot. They're not doing a good job of setting up down low and cycling so far, although they're getting some chances anyway.
Markkanen made a great save on 61 to set up some frantic action in Edmonton's end with some hard hitting in the corners, and finally Pronger got called as he was surfing behind Brind'amour. CBC: and the penalty's going to Carolina! Uh, no guys, ref's arm goes up and Edmonton touches the puck for the whistle means they're getting it, unless they're playing Calgary and Raffi Torres scores the tying goal.
Carolina PP, first minute and a half went with lots of passing but no shots. "Pronger broke his stick on the hook." Sounds more like Brindy must have had a pretty tight hold on that stick then. Markkanen fell like he was shot as Stillman bumped him in the crease (Jussi was practically in his net though, so it's not like he came right out for it) to kill off the penalty.
Hemsky walked right around three Hurricanes like they weren't there, but tried to pass off and no shot - no shots at all on the PP, I don't think, unless Pronger's slapper from the blue line actually made it on net. I'm like MacT - Hemsky will do that four or five times in a row until you've just about given up on him, and then he either makes a great play like the 4-4 goal Monday night to put it in, or makes a seeing-eye pass that's basically a gift for somebody (usually Smyth). Most frustrating player to watch ever.
Cole thinks Markkanen's handling the puck very well tonight. I'm thinking he's not watching the same game I am.
Peca makes a beauty second effort pass to Pisani, who unbelievably doesn't shoot at a half-empty net, skates it around and passes it to Peca, who finally took the shot, except he didn't apparently see the Carolina player right in front of him. Shortly after, Brindy got nailed at centre ice by Smith, Edmonton gained the zone on a giveaway - Edmonton needs to capitalize on those Carolina mistakes, because Carolina's doing a good job capitalizing on those the Oilers make.
Whitney tripped up Dvorak at centre ice, and almost instantly got hammered into the linesman by Smith. Nasty shift for the Oilers captain. Hemsky and Williams jostling off the subsequent faceoff - for once, I can agree with Neale, Edmonton needs to shoot because they're killing off their own power plays. Carolina just had a better chance on the PK than Edmonton's gotten in their 2.5 PPs so far... Spacek finally got one off, Ward took the shot away from Horcoff on the rebound, and that killed the period.
MacLean pointed out 11 blocked shots for the Hurricanes - yup, and at least a couple of those were easy blocks too, because they were shot right at the defender. Still, good point.
Hemsky levelled Aaron Ward, some Oiler (didn't even bother to look I was so disgusted) saw Pronger open but a 'cane coming towards him and the corner empty, so what does he do? Tries to pass to Pronger. Good thing the Carolina player was skating laterally across the rink instead of end to end, or it would have been a beauty of a breakaway. Why not shoot it into the corner and take the potential hit? Pronger's partner is Smith, but I can't see him bailing. Maybe I missed something.
Looks like MacT might be listening to Cherry - looks like Laraque is lining up on the RHS of Horcoff and Smyth, unless there was a missed change. Greene took a crosschecking penalty "away from the play" (yes Harry, I suppose it was, the puck was behind the net and coming out front, and Greene was at the corner...) Short while later, Smith gives Carolina a 5 on 3 checking Whitney into the boards from behind.
Stoll stole the puck and nearly got away, but got hauled down - borderline holding call I think, but no call, Carolina came back and Edmonton made some good blocks and Jussi made a good save. Doug Weight on the half boards? Check. Making the PP go? Check. Wearing red? WTF. So wrong. Speaking of which, Matt Greene on a near breakaway. Good PKs by Edmonton.
Carolina rush, puck carrier gets hauled down and that's ok, but then the trailing man got hauled down and Torres visits the sin bin.
Good rush by the 'canes, good shot by... missed who.. Markkanen made the save and Brind'amour put the rebound either wide or off the post, missed the sequencing because stepdaughter was mouthing at wife. Carolina got set up again, and Kaberle got a trickler through Markkanen - 2-0 Carolina.
Edmonton on the rush, some dirty work by a Hurricane dman, and on the 6 on 5 Edmonton got some beauty chances and Ward stopped them both, one from Stoll and one from Samsonov. PP: Spacek fakes the shot, passes to Hemsky, who fakes and passes. No shot, Carolina clears. Typical. Edmonton got it back into the zone, and Samsonov got thrown into Ward - see, happens all the time, everybody was fine, Samsonov even met the goalpost up close. Great chance again near the end of the PP.
Staal drove the net and got driven into it - penalty call, so Staios gave him a couple of shots while he was down. Not quite sure why that was a penalty. Staios got his stick into Staal's face as he fell too, not purposely I don't think but still, ouch.
Edmonton's not generating anywhere near the pressure they need to to get got Ward. Part of that has got to be this is the fifth penalty they've taken in 35 minutes of play - they've got to stay out of the box. PK finished, Edmonton had some chances digging - that's what they need to do. Puck didn't go in, but if they keep that up they have to score eventually. Hemsky is out again with Horcoff and Smyth, so BG before must have been a late change.
Again, Edmonton drives the net and good things happen, almost great - Peca couldn't quite stuff it in off a Bergeron rebound. Samsonov uses his speed to get to a puck he shot in before Aaron Ward could, and generates another chance - that's what the Oilers need. Murray fumbles a pass as the high man and coughs it up near the Carolina blue line - that's just what they don't need. And then Stillman gets the back breaker 3-0 with 3 seconds left.
Stoll calls it in the intermission: gave up too many odd man rushes, need to be better defensively, and muck it up in front of the Carolina net better.
Hm, Hrudey says Markkanen is handling the puck well. Hrudey's a genius, so maybe Neale wasn't out to lunch - unless... the clips Hrudey showed weren't from the first period. Maybe I'm still a genius too.
Third period starts, Edmonton had two shots off the bat, then tried their best to give Carolina a 3 on 2. Edmonton buzzed, then Samsonov hammered Ward in the crease and halfway to the boards - Oilers go back on the PK. Well, at least they're getting a lot of practise.
Curious choice for the PK, Moreau and Pisani. Moreau buried Whitney, I think, and took out Pisani too. Then a weird play put the puck into Edmonton's net, but it's waved off - it went off Weight's skate. Weight says it hit his skate then his stick - looks like he's right. Should be a goal - it is, and the Oilers are probably buried with less than 18 minutes left in the game. Hm, PP goal and CBC shows a minute left on the power play. Weird. Moreau went after a Hurricane and smoked him, then pounded his stick off the glass as he went into the box - he punched Glen Wesley just as Wesley got rid of the puck. Sorry Ethan, that's a penalty, although I can understand where you were coming from. At least CBC got the clock right this time.
Some guy near the front waving a US flag - well, I guess Weight's an American. I don't understand why these always have to get turned into battles between countries (same goes for us Canuckians too). Most players on both teams are Canadan anyway.
Carolina buzzing on the PP, Markkanen made a couple of good stops, but Carolina put it in anyway. Game's over now - long over - but the Oilers need to get one just for pride. Ryan Smyth takes a high sticking on Aaron Ward - Ward hit him and Smyth's stick came up, not much he could have done but it's a deserved penalty anyway. Ward scrubbing at it, apparently trying to make it bleed was kind of funny though.
Carolina nearly potted their sixth with about 35 seconds left in the penalty. Edmonton just can't seem to do much right tonight. Edmonton isn't giving up; Smyth jumped on his own pass rebound, and almost put it in, then Craig Adams hit him in the kidneys and put him down - Edmonton's fifth PP. Hopefully they can at least create some chances... nope. Not a sniff.
Laraque gets called for tripping - well, I guess all Carolina can do is score again, oh noes. Maybe Edmonton figures that way they can tire out all of Carolina's top PP unit players and then they'll be really tired next game. OK, really reaching. Smyth took a pass at Carolina's blueline - first time I've seen a torpedo PK. Edmonton killed it off, then Stoll's line applied pressure and drew a Carolina penalty as Wesley hauled down Samsonov.
Looks like Edmonton's changed up a bit, Pronger's playing the right point and Spacek the left. Edmonton almost turned it over at the blue line again, but recovered deep in their own zone, and Carolina killed it off. MacT came out with Stoll, Laraque, and BG takes yet another penalty - he slammed a couple guys to the ice, then just drove 16 into the boards from behind and got the game for it.
Under a minute left, Wesley took a holding penalty - ordinarily a sin, but who cares this game? Carolina did a good job to give Ward the shutout.
What Edmonton needs to do: win the next two at home, or they're goners. Who does MacTavish go with in net? Markkanen hasn't played horribly, but he still got lit up like Racicot. Hrudey says to stick with Markkanen next game, and if things go poorly jump quickly to Conklin. Can't disagree with that. They need to get the puck deep and cycle it - Carolina's defencemen aren't that big, they should be able to get worn down with physical play.
What Edmonton did wrong: virtually everything. Too many penalties, too many turnovers, lousy power play of their own, not enough traffic deep in Carolina's zone. Markkanen played well, but not well enough - made some good saves, but no really great ones.
What Carolina did right: just the opposite. They took too many penalties too, but were able to kill them off; capitalized on Edmonton's turnovers, and put them in the net. Quick turnaround on turnovers near their own blueline meant Edmonton spent a lot of time playing catchup.
Too dispirited to write up much more.