The script is seven years old.



Fans in Edmonton have seen it a hundred times before.

The Oilers start slow. Lethargic second period. Mediocre goaltending. Come to life in the third period. Make a game of it. Make a late costly mistake. Lose.

You can set your NHL entry draft by the tragic and well-worn storyline.

And Monday at night against the New Jersey Devils they followed it to the letter right up the part where they were supposed to lose.

On what the struggling Oilers were calling Redemption Night they launched a comeback for the ages straying from their traditional death scene at the last moment to do what nobody ever does - come from three goals down on one of the best shutdown teams in the NHL.

“We just stuck together as a team” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins after the Oilers booed off the ice in the second period returned in the third to shock the New Jersey Devils 5-4 in a shootout.

“We knew that we needed to be better. We came out and we played hard. It just shows what happens when you do that.”

It was a wild eight-minute flurry the Oilers turned a ghastly piece of work into the kind of rallying point that can change a season.

Down 3-0 with less than 15 minutes to go Nugent-Hopkins broke the shutout at 5:43 Andrew Ference cut it to 3-2 at 9:28 David Perron tied it at 11:47 and Taylor Hall put Edmonton ahead 4-3 at 13:30.

Great win!

Right up until the time Partrik Elias scored shorthanded with 53 seconds left to force overtime and then the shootout where it came down to Jason LaBarbera vs. Martin Brodeur.

Gulp!

Once again screw the script.

Jordan Eberle scored for Edmonton Damien Brunner missed for Jersey Perron scored for Edmonton and Ryan Clowe missed for Jersey.

Game over.

“It kind of reminds me of the LA game last year” said Nugent-Hopkins. “We were down score late it was disallowed and we scored again with just a few seconds left. It was a gritty effort.

“We have it in here we just have to put it together for a full 60.”

A full 20 isn’t going to work very often but it did in this one. Through the first two periods the sloppy and hesitant Oilers did just about everything the Devils hoped they’d do.