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Oilers out: Edmonton now have longest NHL playoff drought

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 22, 2013 in Sports
The Edmonton Oilers areofficially the holder of the most undesirable streak in the NHL. The Oilers lost their 20th game of this shortened season last night and in doing so were eliminated from the playoffs for the 7th straight season.
The Anaheim Ducks beat the Oilers, leaving Edmonton 10 points back of the 8th place Columbus Blue Jackets with only four Oiler games to go. The Oilers started promisingly enough, with Taylor Hall streaking down the right side, ala Mark Messier, and firing a low shot from the face-off circle to beat Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller at the one-minute mark.
That was all she wrote for Edmonton as the Ducks got a Cam Fowler goal in the last minute of the first, a Kyle Palmieri goal in the last minute of the second and a Corey Perry tap in right in front in the third to win it 3-1. Fowler's first period tying marker came with only 2 seconds left in the period and was a result of poor coverage in front.
Oilers Horcoff, Hemsky losing out on playoffs
Of all Oilers only Ales Hemsky and captain Shawn Horcoff have been there for each one of those losing seasons, coming on the heels of their run to the Stanley Cup final in 2005-06. Ryan Smythe was there also but in the interim played in Long Island, Colorado and Los Angeles, seeing playoff action in all three cities. For the competitor Horcoff, it's been a long haul.
“It’s tough, it’s been extremely tough on me,” he told media after their elimination. “We made some steps and at least this year we got some meaningful games in, gave ourselves a chance to get in, but it fell off as of late."
The Oilers eliminated themselves by tanking much like the Toronto Maple Leafs of old, losing 7 of their last 8 games. Edmonton replaces the Leafs as the league's current Stanley Cup playoff futility leader as Toronto, along with the Vancouver Canucks, clinched a berth in the 2013 postseason on Saturday, their first since 2003-04.
Edmonton is the second Canadian team to be eliminated from the 2013 playoffs, the Calgary Flames were eliminated early last week. The Montreal Canadiens have clinched their spot while the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets are each still battling to get in.
When Edmonton went on that playoff roll seven seasons ago some of Horcoff, Hemsky's and Smythe's teammates included the likes of Raffi Torres, Fernando Pisani, Sergei Samsonov, Dick Tarnstrom, Dwayne Roloson and Chris Pronger.
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