It was a costly loss last night for the Edmonton Oilers after they gave up the lead with under three minutes to play and eventually surrendered the extra point to their division rivals, the Vancouver Canucks. To rub salt in the wound the Oilers lost two players during the game, forward Shawn Horcoff and defenseman Mark Fistric both to injuries.
First, Horcoff took a shot off his hand that forced him to leave the game, in which he did not return. Our editor at Oil on Whyte, reported this morning that the news from the Oilers camp is that Horcoff has a broken knuckle and will be out for an extended period of time.
The Oilers were already without their top faceoff man in Eric Belanger and while Horcoff may not be one of the team’s top six forwards, he does kill a lot of penalties and is a solid faceoff guy.
The second injury the Oilers were dealt last night was to defenseman Mark Fistric who left the game after running into the boards. Jeff at Oil on Whyte relays the news from Gene Principe of Sportsnet that Fistric will be out day-to-day with the injury.
Ryan Whitney was a healthy scratch last night meaning he’ll likely get back into the lineup if Fistric misses any amount of time.
There have been rumors swirling that the Oilers are looking to deal for a top four d-man and with Whitney proving to be unreliable and Fistric potentially set to miss a few games, the need could intensify for Steve Tambellini to pull the trigger sooner rather than later.
Horcoff’s injury further depletes the Oilers center position and with it the lack of reliable faceoff men who can win a crucial draw late in the game. With both Horcoff and Belanger out long-term, the Oilers could be forced to deal for a legit centerman to help bolster their third line.