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Markkanen stones Hurricanes

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Three minutes into the game, Rod Brind'Amour was sent off by referee Mick McGeough for elbowing to give Edmonton their first power play of the night. The Oilers managed two shots during the man advantage but nothing dangerous.

With Carolina on the power play several minutes later, Jussi Markkanen made a big save to keep the game scoreless. After making the initial stop on Eric Staal, he kicked a leg out to deny Brind'Amour on the rebound.

At the end of that power play, Jarret Stoll went down to block a shot from Bret Hedican. It took him several seconds to get back on his feet and when he did, he caught another Hedican blast in the leg before falling to the ice.

After the whistle, Stoll limped off the ice to a huge ovation from the fans at Rexall Place. He returned to action at the start of period two.

Brind'Amour had another chance near the midway point of period one. After receiving a pass on the rush, he had a wide-open net but shot it across the goalmouth as Markkanen dove across in desperation.

Late in the first, Sykora almost scored after a bad hop off the end boards handcuffed Ward. Sykora tried to backhand the puck into the open net but it was bouncing too much for him to get a handle on it.

The Oilers had a power play late in the period and came close on several occasions. Petersen, playing the point, did a good job moving the puck around the zone. Tjarnqvist's blast from the high slot was kicked out by Ward.

After one period, Carolina was outshooting Edmonton 11-8.

Out of the gate early in period two, the Oilers carried the play with four shots in the opening minutes.

Brad Winchester picked up the puck in the corner, spun and fired a laser to the top corner at 2:30 to put his side in front 1-0. Marty Reasoner and Matt Greene assisted on the play.

With eight minutes to go in the second, Carolina struck for their first of the game to tie the game at 1-1. After the Oilers iced the puck down the ice, the 'Canes won the ensuing faceoff. It went straight back to Wesley, whose shot was tipped once by Eric Belanger and again by Craig Adams on its way to the net before beating Markkanen five hole.

With exactly one minute left in the middle frame, Raffi Torres won the draw back to Jason Smith whose shot handcuffed Ward just enough to trickle in.

With time ticking off the clock late in the second, Erik Cole and Ray Whitney broke in alone on Markkanen but Stoll saved the day by diving into the slot to break up Cole's pass and send Edmonton into the intermission up by one.

After two, shots on goal were 19-18 for the visitor Hurricanes.

Much like the second period, Edmonton started the third strong. Fernando Pisani picked up the puck in the slot during a scramble in front and wristed it past an outstretched Ward to put the Oilers up 3-1.

With 12 minutes to go in the third, Pisani had another chance as he barrelled towards the Carolina net on the rush but he was upended by Glen Wesley who dove to try and knock the puck off his stick. Pisani collided with Ward on the play and hit his head on the post but was okay. On the same play, Stoll crashed into the end boards and was slow to get up.

In the latter half of the period, Lupul was upended on a knee-on-knee hit with Justin Williams. An irate Horcoff came to the aid of his teammate and the result of the play was offsetting minors.

A high-sticking call on Jarret Stoll with 1:33 to play in the third put Carolina on the power play down by two goals with a chance to get back in the game.

NOTES: Rod Brind'Amour left the game in the third period with a lower body injury and did not return.
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