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Coyotes Bite Back

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers took the game's first penalty. Hard work behind the net by Georges Laraque of Phoenix resulted in Marty Reasoner getting sent off for hooking.

On the power play, Zybnek Michalek took a cross-ice feed from Mike Comrie and one-timed it past Jussi Markkanen to put the host Coyotes on the board first.

On the next shift, Ales Hemsky skated down the ice on a partial break. He tried to cut across the net but Coyotes starting goaltender David LeNeveu managed to get his leg across and make the save.

Seconds later, Hemsky got a clearcut breakaway but was denied again by LeNeveu as the Coyotes goaltender was making a solid impression after being recalled from AHL San Antonio this morning.

Just when it looked like the Oilers might be snakebitten on the night, Fernando Pisani scored on a harmless looking shot from the left side boards. His wrister snuck in past LeNeveu on the short side to knot the game at 1-1.

Phoenix struck for their second of the game just as a penalty to Shawn Horcoff was expiring to regain the lead. Ladislav Nagy carried the puck into the Oilers zone before wiring the puck short side to make it 2-1.

Late in the period, Phoenix scored again to double their lead. Off the faceoff, the Coyotes fired a point shot that Markkanen blocked. Jason Smith couldn't corral the puck in front and Saprykin swooped in to put home the rebound.

After one period, shots were 13-11 in favour of the Coyotes.

The Coyotes scored early in the second to move in front 4-1. Georges Laraque muscled his way to the front of the net before backhanding the puck over Markkanen. The goal spelled the end of the night for the Oilers goaltender as Dwayne Roloson came in.

Midway through the second, Craig MacTavish was looking for the right mix to spark his club and tried a line of Joffrey Lupul, Hemsky and Sykora. Although the trio did not score, they did draw a penalty to Jeremy Roenick.

The Coyotes did a good job killing off the penalty and then late in the period they scored to take a four-goal lead.

Owen Nolan retrieved a loose puck at the right circle and wristed it low past Roloson for the goal.

After 40 minutes of play, the Oilers had a 23-18 edge in shots but trailed by four goals.

The Coyotes had a couple of good chances to start off the third. A funny bounce off the glass resulted in the puck skidding across the unguarded net. A minute later there was a scramble in front and Roloson was able to smother the puck.

After the play, a skirmish commenced between the two sides as tempers flared. The end result was a power play for Edmonton.

During the man advantage, the Oilers capitalized to make it a three-goal game. Petr Sykora skated into position at the side of the Phoenix net before finding the puck on a Hemsky rebound and wristing it past LeNeveu.

With less than ten minutes left in the game, Phoenix struck for their sixth tally of the night. Owen Nolan fired a shot from the left circle that Roloson stopped but newly-recalled Donald MacLean was on the doorstep to put the rebound into the open net and make it 6-2.

At the end of the game frustration set in for the Oilers as the two teams traded some punches after the final buzzer.
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