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Oilers edged out by 'Hawks

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton came out of the gates quickly, outshooting Chicago 3-0 in the early going. Just as a Blackhawks penalty expired, Raffi Torres scored to move the visitors in front 1-0.

Pouliot took a cross-ice pass from Toby Petersen before breaking into the Chicago zone. He found Torres barrelling towards the net and threw the puck into the slot for the tap-in behind Blackhawks starting goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.

Midway through the first, Zack Stortini dropped the gloves with Martin Lapointe. The fight was fairly even though Stortini got some shots in later on.

Shots on goal were 6-5 after one period of play.

Chicago came close to tying the game early in the second as a shot by Tuomo Ruutu in the high slot rang off the post behind Roloson.

Several minutes later, Ruutu made no mistake as he whacked at the puck while planted in front of the Oilers crease. After taking a pass from Radim Vrbata, his shot eluded Roloson to tie the game at 1-1.

Edmonton had an opportunity to regain the lead later in the second while on a two-man advantage following penalties to Tony Salmelainen and Lapointe 26 seconds apart.

However, Chicago killed off the penalties and used that to create some momentum in the final minutes of the period. Roloson made a nice stop on Havlat from point-blank range to keep the game tied.

Shots after two were 14-12 in favour of Chicago.

Early in the third, Khabibulin had trouble handling Marc Pouliot's blast from the right circle. The low shot almost snuck under the right pad of the Blackhawks netminder.

While attempting to set up a play while up a man, Hemsky had the puck poked off his stick by Martin Havlat. The turnover resulted in a two-on-none chance for Chicago. Havlat found Patrick Sharp skating up the middle. His lead pass sent the winger home free as he roofed it behind Roloson to make it a 2-1 game.

Edmonton scrambled to tie the game late in the period but could not solve Khabibulin as time expired on the clock.
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