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Oilers take out Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) -- Mike Comrie scored two goals the hard way as the Edmonton Oilers snapped a season-high three-game losing streak with a 4-1 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Comrie lifted the Oilers into a 1-1 tie on the power play with 6:10 left in the second period.

With Toronto's Darcy Tucker off for high-sticking, he wristed a shot from the slot that was kicked out by goaltender Curtis Joseph. The puck fluttered off Maple Leafs defenseman Jyrki Lumme before Comrie dove and swept in the rebound from the crease.

Comrie put Edmonton ahead for good 8:28 into the third period, getting his fifth goal in eight games. Comrie made a one-handed stab at his own rebound, pushing it past Joseph for his 19th of the season.
Curtis Joseph stopped 16 shots against the Oilers.

"They both were one-handers," Comrie said. "The first one was kind of a chip shot and the second one was more of a bat at it. You've got to fight for loose pucks and give second efforts."

"He shot it, it went off a stick and back to him. And he one-handed it," said Joseph, a former Oiler. "I had closed (my pads) and I had to open to get a different angle on his rebound."

Ethan Moreau added an insurance goal less than four minutes later and Todd Marchant scored into an empty net with 53 seconds to play as the Oilers won for just the second time in nine games (2-6-1).

"It's a relief," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "We haven't been in this situation for a while, where we really needed a win to get things turned around. Toronto was desperate, too."

Defenseman Bryan McCabe had the lone goal for Toronto, which has just one victory in its last eight games (1-4-2-1).

"I really think we played a pretty solid game. It could've went either way," Leafs center Travis Green said. "And they're a hungry team. They played well, too."

Toronto dominated the first period, outshooting Edmonton, 10-4. But the Maple Leafs managed just a 1-0 lead as goaltender Tommy Salo kept the Oilers in it.

McCabe opened the scoring on a stellar effort. Pinned against his own end boards by Oilers defenseman Sean Brown, he finally freed himself and sprinted the length of the ice. He got a pass from Jonas Hoglund and beat Salo from the bottom of the left faceoff circle for his ninth goal.

After Comrie put Edmonton ahead, Moreau took advantage of a favorable bounce to pad the Oilers' lead. Joseph went behind the net to play a dump-in by Jochen Hecht, but the puck took a weird hop off the boards and caromed right to Moreau, who scored into a half-empty net.

"I remember the glass being pretty good here," Joseph said. "And (later) I asked the guy who was shoveling snow from the crease, and he says, `Yeah, it always pops out right there.' So what do I know?"

Salo again came up big down the stretch, denying Hoglund from close range with 11 minutes to play and stopping Alexander Mogilny's backhander from the slot just over a minute later.

"It was a pretty hard-fought game. They got a few bounces and Tommy stoned us. I don't know what else to say," Green said. "We've had a lot of games like this, where we've been fighting to put the puck in the net."

Marchant sealed the win with 53 seconds left, scoring into an empty net for his first goal since December 11.

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