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Devils outlast Oilers in shootout

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Oilers defenders did an excellent job in the early-going collapsing in front of Conklin, allowing only one shot in the first 12 minutes of the opening period.

That one shot came during an extended (one minute, 25 seconds) two-man advantage as Oilers penalty killers did an outstanding job limiting scoring chances.

Following the power play, the Devils seemed to pick up some momentum. Brian Gionta was alone in the slot one-on-one with Conklin but fired it high glove side over the net.

Less than a minute later, Richard Matvichuk potted his first of the season on a laser from the point that went past swarm of bodies in front and top corner behind a screened Conklin.

New Jersey went on their third power play looking to double their lead and this time had plenty of chances to score. Viktor Kozlov rang one off the post and Conklin came up big with several stops as the Devils were on the attack.

Shots on goal after one period were 7-5 in favour of the Devils.

Conklin came up big early in the middle frame, gloving down a blast from Scott Gomez after Radek Dvorak lost the puck in his skates breaking out of the Edmonton zone.

Good pressure and cycling deep in the Devils zone by the line of Moreau, Peca and Pisani paid off for the Oilers as they tied the game up midway through the period. After Moreau did a good job carrying the puck around the end boards, Cory Cross attempted a centering pass to Pisani in the high slot but his feed bounced off New Jersey's Jamie Langenbrunner and in.

Martin Brodeur absolutely robbed Ryan Smyth on an Oilers power play shortly after the Cross equalizer. The puck ricocheted off the end boards before being shovelled in front of the net to Smyth. The Edmonton winger flicked one high glove side on Brodeur in-close but the Devils netminder was quick in making an acrobatic glove stop.

Brodeur made a big stop again on another Oilers man advantage several minutes later. This time, he was spread eagle along the ice, holding his right pad against the post to deny Ales Hemsky in close.

After two, shots were 17-15 for the Oilers.

The Oilers pressed to take the lead early in the third period. Fernando Pisani tried to stuff one in on Brodeur short side in the opening two minutes after coming out of the penalty box and several minutes later, Ethan Moreau was stymied by the New Jersey netminder.

Late in the period, Ethan Moreau hooked down Sergei Brylin to put the Oilers down two men for 14 seconds. The two-man power play was New Jersey's second of the evening.

The best scoring chance on the Devils power play actually went to the Oilers as Ryan Smyth created a three-on-two rush, electing to wrist one on Brodeur from the right faceoff circle.

At the end of regulation time, shots on goal were 29-22 for Edmonton.

The teams traded scoring chances early in the extra frame. Brodeur closed the five-hole on a shot by Pronger off the rush. Gionta came back the other way and threatened to score but was hooked down by Horcoff, setting up the Devils power play.

On the power play, Conklin made an outstanding shoulder stop off Gionta on a two-on-one rush to send the game into a shootout.

NOTES: Ty Conklin made his first start for the Oilers since October 14 and first appearance since October 21... Former Oiler Dan McGillis drew back into the lineup for New Jersey after missing five games as a healthy scratch... Radek Dvorak was reinserted into the Edmonton lineup after missing two games with a groin strain... The Oilers now have a record of 14-8-4 at New Jersey since the franchise moved there from Colorado prior to the 1982-83 season... The shootout was Conklin's third consecutive after tending goal in a pair of AHL games on the weekend that also ended with the showdown.
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