ANAHEIM, Calif. – Michael Peca, Ales Hemsky and Todd Harvey each tallied and Dwayne Roloson stopped 31 shots to lead the Edmonton Oilers over the Ducks 3-1 in the first game of the Western Conference Finals at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.
“We’re disappointed,” said Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer. “We wanted to play better and try and have a better outcome tonight. But that didn’t happen. We have to move forward.”
Both teams were coming off of playoff win streaks. The Ducks had won six-in-a-row including a series sweep of Colorado and the Oilers had won four straight to down the San Jose Sharks in six games.
“You’re not expecting to have a winning streak all the way through this,” said Niedermayer. “It’s a matter of how you respond and how you play the next day or the next two days. That’s what our focus is right now, trying to be better in two days.”
Peca (3, Roloson) put the Oilers in front with teammate Chris Pronger off for elbowing with less than two minutes to go in the first period. Roloson flipped a high pop-up to neutral ice springing Peca on a breakaway. The veteran centerman beat Ilya Bryzgalov between the legs for a shorthanded goal to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead at 18:35 of the first period.
Andy McDonald (2, Beauchemin, S. Niedermayer) evened the contest with a slapper past Roloson on the same power play 28 seconds later. The goal was McDonald’s second of the post season.
Edmonton got the eventual game-winner at 11:35 of the second period. Ales Hemsky (4, Smyth) batted the rebound of a Ryan Smyth shot out of mid-air at the side of the Anaheim net past Bryzgalov to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead.
Harvey (1, Horcoff) added the empty net goal from center ice at 19:18 of the third period to seal the victory for the Oilers.
Game two of the conference final series takes place Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Arrowhead Pond.
0:00 - STARTERS: ANA G 30 Bryzgalov, RW 13 Selanne, C 19 McDonald, LW 38 Kunitz, D 27 S. Niedermayer, D 23 Beauchemin EDM G 35 Roloson, RW 27 Laraque, C 10 Horcoff, LW 94 Smyth, D 6 Spacek, D 24 Staios
0:00 - SCRATCHES: ANA D 6 Marshall, 61 RW Perry EDM G 29 Conklin, C 15 Brodziak, D 23 Tarnstrom, LW 26 Winchester, LW 41 Jacques, C 45 Petersen, D 55 Ulanov
0:00 - PLAY UNDERWAY
5:04 - ANA PENALTY - 15 Lupul - 2:00 HOOKING
9:35 - EDM PENALTY - 6 Spacek - 2:00 HOLDING
14:40 - ANA PENALTY - 76 Penner - 2:00 HOOKING
18:05 - EDM PENALTY - 44 Pronger - 2:00 ELBOWING
18:35 - EDM GOAL - SH - 37 PECA (3) Assists: 35 Roloson
19:03 - ANA GOAL - PP - 19 MCDONALD (2) Assists: 23 Beauchemin, 27 S. Niedermayer
0:00 PLAY UNDERWAY
4:26 - EDM PENALTY - 13 Harvey - 2:00 HOOKING
9:15 - ANA PENALTY - 21 O'Donnell - 2:00 HOLDING
10:41 - ANA PENALTY - 5 Vishnevski - 2:00 HIGH STICKING
11:35 - EDM GOAL - PP - 83 HEMSKY (4) Assists: 94 Smyth, 44 Pronger
12:02 - EDM PENALTY - 37 Peca - 2:00 INTERFERENCE
15:20 - ANA PENALTY - 22 Marchant - 2:00 BOARDING
16:09 - EDM PENALTY - 16 Stoll - 2:00 HOLDING THE STICK
0:00 - PLAY UNDERWAY
2:28 - EDM PENALTY - 35 Roloson - 2:00 TRIPPING
14:02 - EDM PENALTY - 44 Pronger - 2:00 HOLDING
19:18 - EDM GOAL - EN - HARVEY (1) Assists: 10 Horcoff
19:57 - EDM PENALTY - 18 Moreau - 2:00 DELAY OF GAME