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Oilers battle but come up short

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Petr Sykora and Joffrey Lupul crashed the net early on. Lupul's initial shot was saved by Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov. Nabokov then flashed his glove and snagged Sykora's rebound attempt.

That line continued to play well and five minutes in drew a penalty while almost scoring once again. Lupul and Toby Petersen broke in on a two-on-one and Lupul was hooked from behind by Sharks defenceman Matt Carle. He was still able to get a shot off and Petersen fired a rebound on net but they were stopped both times by Nabokov.

Edmonton got off to a fast start, outshooting San Jose 6-1 through the first nine minutes.

San Jose almost moved in front midway through the first while on the power play but a goal by Jonathan Cheechoo was waived off. Joe Thornton took the initial shot and Cheechoo was stationed in front where he kicked the puck in past Roloson.

Several minutes later, Steve Bernier fired a shot by Roloson to give San Jose a one-goal lead.

Roloson came up with a pair of big stops late in the first on Milan Michalek to keep the deficit at one goal.

After one, shots on goal were 10-9 for San Jose.

San Jose stormed the Edmonton crease early in the second period. Roloson came up with huge saves on both Thornton and Cheechoo as they attempted to break the game open.

Coming back the other way, Marc Pouliot made a nice pass off the rush to Raffi Torres and sent the Oilers winger in along the side boards. Torres blasted a shot that Nabokov kicked out into the slot. Pouliot found the rebound and Nabokov had to be sharp in making the second save.

Brad Winchester almost tied it at eight minutes. Zack Stortini took the initial shot and Winchester found the rebound in the slot with Nabokov at his mercy but he fanned on the shot. The Sharks netminder was able to get a stick on the slow-moving puck.

Roloson made a huge save on Cheechoo a couple minutes later, diving across to deny the Sharks forward on the rush.

The Oilers netminder continued to keep his team in the game, denying Marcel Goc and Marc-Edouard Vlasic in the dying seconds of the period.

Shots after two were 22-18 Sharks.

Roloson came up with a pair of huge saves early in the third as he continued his strong play. After stopping the initial shot through a screen, he extended himself to deny Bill Guerin on the rebound right at the doorstep.

Kyle McLaren increased the San Jose lead to 2-0. His shot from the point was tipped by an Oilers stick on its way to the net before hopping over the stick of Roloson and into the back of the net.

Matt Carle added an empty-net power play goal to make the final 3-0.
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