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Oilers look forward to home ice

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
"It's disappointing. I am not going to kid you about that," said Oilers forward Michael Peca after the game. "You know what, you are supposed to win your home games. I guess that's why they have earned the home-ice advantage. And we have been in this situation before and we're not particularly interested in historically percentages on what the stats are being down two."

Jussi Markkanen stopped 21 of 26 shots for the Oilers but could not be faulted on most of the Hurricanes goals.

"I think that Jussi played a fine game for us tonight," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "You can't fault him on any of those goals, with the exception of the maybe the second, and it was a pretty good shot.

"He handled the puck and normally that's an indicator of a goaltender's confidence level. He came out, he handled the puck, he was comfortable in the game. That's all we could ask."

Markkanen said he felt confident in the net.

"I felt fine. I felt good from the first minute and had a couple of saves, and felt good," he said.

"It's a funny thing when you kind of feel that you see the puck well and kind of play good, but in the end you're still giving up five goals and you lose the game," Markkanen continued. "There's some place for improvement definitely, but at the same time, like I said, I felt good. I will build on that."

Both teams traded chances early on. Doug Weight and Andrew Ladd broke in on a two-on-one but Ladd was unable to reach Weight's pass in the slot to get a shot away.

Coming back the other way, Michael Peca tried to centre the puck to Pisani but Mike Commodore made a nice diving play to break it up.

After killing off the game's first power play, the Hurricanes struck to take a 1-0 lead. Andrew Ladd came in on a two-on-one with Eric Staal and elected to shoot. His wrister beat Markkanen over his left shoulder.

Edmonton took its first penalty of the game at the 11:13 mark. The Hurricanes were getting some pressure deep in the Oilers zone and Pronger was forced to take a hooking penalty.

The Oilers did a good job on the PK, ending with a Cory Stillman goaltender interference call.

With time winding down in the period, the Oilers were finally able to settle down and limit the number of odd-man rushes Carolina was getting. The team was able to get some sustained pressure deep in the Hurricanes end but couldn't get a shot through Carolina's shot blocking.

After one period, shots on goal were 8-6 for Carolina.

The Oilers got into some penalty trouble early in the second. A cross-checking penalty to Matt Greene followed by a roughing minor to Jason Smith 46 seconds later put Edmonton down two men. Edmonton's penalty killers did an outstanding job, in particular Jaroslav Spacek and Chris Pronger who were on the ice for the entire two-man advantage.

With the Hurricanes on yet another power play midway through the period, Markkanen dove across to deny Brind'Amour. The Carolina captain's shot initially went off the post but Markkanen was able to come over and smother it.

On that same power play, Frantisek Kaberle one-timed a shot from the slot that beat the Oilers netminder low to make it a 2-0 game.

Edmonton had a power play of their own several minutes later and generated plenty of chances but Cam Ward made some outstanding saves to keep it a two-goal game. His best stop came off Pisani in the slot as the Oilers winger spun and fired it low.

With three minutes left, the Oilers continued their onslaught. During a scramble in front, Horcoff tried to lift the puck over a fallen Ward but it went wide.

Carolina scored their third of the game with 2.4 seconds left in the period. Cory Stillman picked up the puck behind the net and wrapped it in to make it 3-0.

After 40 minutes, shots on goal were 18-16 for the Hurricanes.

It looked like Carolina scored their fourth of the night 2:21 into the third. The officials ruled that Doug Weight kicked the puck in at first but after video review it was determined he got a stick on the puck before it crossed the line.

Two minutes later, the Hurricanes struck again for their third power play goal of the night to up their lead to 5-0. Kaberle's blast from the point was tipped in front by Recchi and Markkanen had no chance on the play.

With three minutes left, Georges Laraque hammered Ladd into the boards, receiving a five minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.

NOTES: With Markkanen starting, the Oilers become the third team in Stanley Cup Final history to use three goaltenders in the series. The last team to do so was the 1970 St. Louis Blues... Aside from Roloson being replaced by Markkanen, other lineup changes included forward Chad Larose being sat in favour of Oleg Tverdosky as the Hurricanes dressed seven defencemen.
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