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Roloson's 51 saves lift Oilers over Ducks 5-3

by John Kreiser
Dwayne Roloson wouldn't let the Edmonton Oilers' slide get any worse.

The Oilers came to Honda Center on Friday with a three-game losing streak. They left in sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference thanks to a 51-save performance by Roloson in a 5-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

Anaheim outshot Edmonton 54-20 -- including 24-3 in the third period -- but couldn't get enough pucks past Roloson to keep from dropping out of the top eight in the Western scramble. The seventh-place Oilers now have 81 points, one more than Nashville and Anaheim -- but the Predators have played one fewer game, putting them in eighth.

Roloson was the only reason the Oilers escaped victorious one night after a 3-2 loss at Phoenix.

"That was incredible goaltending by Rollie," coach Craig MacTavish said. "It was a crazy game. We were a tired group of battlers. We battled hard and relied on some spectacular goaltending."

The Ducks would have settled for merely good goaltending. Coach Randy Carlyle twice pulled Jean-Sebastien Giguere -- the first time after he gave up two goals on the Oilers' first two shots, and the second after he allowed two goals in nine seconds in the second period.

"We gave up four goals and we didn’t really give up a lot the rest of the way, but that is enough to win," Carlyle said. "You can’t be happy when you give up four goals and lose an important game like this."

Ex-Duck Dustin Penner and Fernando Pisani scored 37 seconds apart to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead 1:48 into the game. After the second of Ryan Getzlaf's two goals tied the game 15 seconds into the middle period, Penner scored his second of the game and 17th of the season with a shot from near the right post at 2:40 of the second. Kyle Brodziak followed with a 35-foot slap shot from the slot that sailed past Giguere, who was screened on the play, giving Edmonton a 4-2 lead at 2:49 and sending Giguere to the bench for good.

Corey Perry cut the lead to 4-3 at 3:25 of the third period when he skated across the slot before beating Roloson with a wrist shot. But the Ducks couldn’t get the equalizer despite their barrage of shots at Roloson, who sometimes looked like he was playing 1-on-5.

However, Roloson said he was getting a lot of help.

"Our guys played great defensively," he said. "They allowed me to see most of the pucks, and tonight we were able to capitalize on some of our chances."

Ales Kotalik's empty-netter with 11.6 seconds left sent the crowd to the exits and the Ducks to the showers without two points despite taking 93 shots at goal to just 30 for the Oilers.

"Our effort was there," Carlyle said. "Obviously, we could have executed better. The situation is we played our hearts out. There was no shortage of work ethic. These are ones where you have to pump people up because you get down when you work and you don’t get the result. Tonight was one of those nights."

The Ducks have to make sure there's no hangover from this one when they host Colorado on Sunday.

"When we leave the rink tonight, we've got to put it out of our mind, make sure we come tomorrow ready to work and prepare for Colorado," defenseman Chris Pronger said. "We did a lot of good things, had a lot of good chances. Unfortunately, we weren't able to capitalize on a lot of those chances."

Blackhawks 3, Devils 2 (OT)
| Video

The Blackhawks' slump is officially over -- and so is their losing streak against New Jersey. Chicago got a measure of revenge for being the party of the second part in Martin Brodeur's record-setting 552nd win 10 days ago when Brent Seabrook scored with 1:24 remaining in overtime.

New Jersey wasted a couple of chances to clear the puck before Seabrook teed up a straightaway 55-footer than went through traffic and high into the net, giving the Hawks their third consecutive victory and kept them fourth in the West, two points ahead of Vancouver. The Canucks come to the United Center Sunday night.

"Brodeur is such a great goalie," Seabrook said. "We wanted to funnel as many pucks as we could at him. If it takes a bounce or goes off someone or he can't see it, we will get lucky."

Brodeur, who faced 42 shots, never saw the game-winner.

"I didn't see much. I saw (Seabrook) wind up but my defensemen were in front of me and I couldn't follow the puck," Brodeur said.

The Hawks' three consecutive wins came after a five-game losing streak that threatened to drop them back into the pack in the Western Conference playoff scramble.

"We kept hanging in there," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think we've recaptured a lot of the confidence in ourselves and our team game. Toward the end of that stretch, we were still doing some good things and I think that first win certainly helped us. We have more patience now and more confidence around our net."

It was the Devils' first loss to Chicago since Oct. 10, 1998, and their third in a week since Brodeur shut out Minnesota 4-0 last Friday for his 553rd victory. The single point moved the Atlantic Division-leading Devils eight points ahead of second-place Philadelphia. New Jersey is four points behind Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and one behind second-place Washington -- has played two fewer games.

Brodeur faced 20 shots in the first period as the Devils paraded to the penalty box, but allowed only Kris Versteeg's power-play goal at 5:51. Versteeg finished off a pass from Martin Havlat.

But giving up five power plays in the first minute didn't make Devils coach Brent Sutter a happy man.

"Our penalty killers did a great job," he said. "But we have certain guys who need to do a better job of knowing how to play the game at this time of year. Don’t make the hope-and-chance plays; make the intelligent, smart play."

New Jersey's Zach Parise tied it at 7:23 on a rising shot from the right circle that may have deflected off the stick of Chicago defenseman Aaron Johnson. It was his 42nd of the season, more than anyone in the NHL except Washington's Alex Ovechkin.

Paul Martin gave the Devils a 2-1 lead with 18 seconds left in period, knocking in a rebound during a scramble after Nikolai Khabibulin made saves on Brian Gionta and Dainius Zubrus.

Havlat tied it 2-2 with 5:37 left in the second on a low shot from high in the slot with Chicago's Andrew Ladd parked in front of Brodeur.

Canucks 4, Avalanche 1 | Video

Vancouver didn't get discouraged after allowing an early goal and missing a penalty shot. The Canucks tied the game on a goal by Henrik Sedin at 13:14 of the second period, then got goals by Daniel Sedin, Pavol Demitra and Alex Edler in the third to hand the reeling Avs their sixth consecutive loss.

Colorado had been blown out in its two previous home games, but opened the scoring this time when rookie T.J. Galiardi beat Jason LaBarbera with a wrist shot at 13:25 of the opening period for his first NHL goal.

"It’s always a special moment when you get your first goal," said Galiardi, who got the call due to the injuries that have decimated Colorado's lineup. "Just a lot of credit to the guys who were on the ice for that goal; it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for them. I’m pretty happy about it. I just wish it was in a winning effort."

Andrew Raycroft stopped Demitra's penalty-shot backhander at 11:04 of the second period, but Henrik Sedin tied it with a wrist shot just over two minutes later.
"We gave up four goals and we didn’t really give up a lot the rest of the way, but that is enough to win. You can’t be happy when you give up four goals and lose an important game like this."  -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle
Vancouver completely dominated the final 20 minutes. Daniel Sedin poked in a rebound just 37 seconds into the third period, Demitra scored at 4:20 and Edler added an insurance goal with 2:09 to play.

"The first period was a little bit challenging, guys were trying to find their legs," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "Play picked up in the second and we generated a lot of shots and quite a few chances. We got two quick goals at the beginning of the third and did what we had to do to win the game."

The Canucks, 4-2 losers at St. Louis on Thursday, said they knew they couldn't take the injury-riddled Avs, now last in the West and 29th overall, lightly.

"Not right now," Henrik Sedin said. "Maybe if the game would have been in December, but we knew we needed these points. It took a while for us to get going but once we did we knew we were going to beat."

The victory kept the fifth-place Canucks two points behind Chicago in the race for the last home-ice playoff spot in the opening round. Vancouver visits the United Center on Sunday.

Material from wire services and team broadcast and online media was used in this report.

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