EDMONTON, Alberta _ The Flyers outplayed the lowly Edmonton Oilers, but suffered a crushing 1-0 defeat on a goal by Ryan Potulny with 16.1 seconds left Wednesday night.
As if losing to the team with the NHL’s worst record wasn’t bad enough, the winning goal was scored by a former Flyer.
Edmonton goalie Jeff Delauriers was brilliant, making 33 saves and handing the Flyers a loss that could haunt them in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
The Flyers had many more scoring chances than Edmonton _ including a power play in which they hit the post with a little over five minutes left _ but Deslauriers had all the answers.
“We definitely outplayed them. We were in their zone most of the time,” said Flyers goalie Michael Leighton, who was sharp in his first appearance since Jan. 14. “We were cycling the puck, but you have to give them credit. They played well defensively. We cycled a lot down low, and they didn’t give us any in-the-slot shots _ and that’s how we’ve been scoring a lot of our goals.”
“We had opportunities to bury and we just couldn’t seem to find them,” said coach Peter Laviolette after his team outshot the Oilers, 33-27, and hit the post twice. “If one of those opportunities goes in, maybe there’s another one” that does.
The Flyers failed to connect on four power plays.
“We could have used more shots on the net on the power play,” Laviolette said. “I think the ice was kind of slushy out there and we’re trying to make plays, and we should have just bombed away and hoped for a bounce or a rebound.”
Edmonton’s Sam Gagner was instrumental in the win. Besides sending a pass to Potulny for a tap-in for the winning goal, he drew a penalty on Darroll Powe for high-sticking with 1:50 left. That set up the winning power play.
“I didn’t know I hit him, but on the replay, it looked like I kind of caught him,” Powe said.
Potulny got a step behind Mike Richards, who blamed himself for the goal.
The Flyers are 0-6-1 against Edmonton since 2001.
Leighton is now 8-2-1 since being claimed off re-entry waivers, and the Flyers have been blanked in each of his losses.
“I felt good. The team played well in front of me again. The defense was blocking shots,” said Leighton after the Flyers had 15 blocks, including five by Kimmo Timonen. “The penalty kill was good tonight; they kind of got a lucky bounce at the end.”
Added Leighton: “It’s a tough loss; we should have gotten at least one point out of it. We just have to learn from it and have a big game in Minnesota (Saturday).”
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Breakaways. Potulny, who scored his 12th goal, was acquired for Danny Syvret in 2008….Jeff Carter (7) and Simon Gagne (6) combined for 13 shots….Carter won 15 of 16 faceoffs (94 percent). The Flyers won 62 percent of the faceoffs....The Flyers plan to talk to goalie Ray Emery, 26, about a contract extension next month, CSN reported. If they can't reach an agreement, Emery can become an unrestricted free agent after the season