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Oilers Look Home to Tie Up Series

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton had the game's first scoring chance as Raffi Torres broke in on a two-on-one with Fernando Pisani. Torres elected to shoot and Sharks netminder Vesa Toskala had to be sharp in making the initial stop. Pisani skated in to try and put home the rebound but Toskala was there to save that as well.

Tom Preissing then scored a couple minutes later to give San Jose an early 1-0 edge. Milan Michalek took the puck to the net and that was followed by a mad scramble in front. Preissing pinched in from the point to fired the shot over a fallen Roloson.

After the goal, Edmonton started to really carry the play to San Jose. Chris Pronger rifled a shot from the left point that Toskala saved. Winchester and Smyth both got rebounds in the slot but could not tie it up.

Just when they were carrying all the momentum, penalties to Raffi Torres and Jarret Stoll put Edmonton down two men for close to a minute. Shawn Horcoff, Pronger and Jason Smith each did an outstanding job killing the penalty. Horcoff won the initial draw and San Jose couldn't get set up after that.

Momentum started to shift back San Jose's way after the Edmonton penalties. Roloson was sharp in cutting down the angle to deny Josh Gorges on a blast from the left circle. Cheechoo made a nice one-handed pass from behind the net to set up the Sharks defenceman.

With time winding down in the period, Nils Ekman shot the puck in the Edmonton net well after the whistle had gone. There was a penalty coming to Pronger and as a result of Ekman's actions, he was also sent off for unsportsmanlike. Roloson gave Ekman a whack after the whistle to get a penalty as well, putting San Jose on their third power play.

Just as the penalty expired, Roloson made a nice stop from a tough angle on Michalek and then gloved the rebound attempt by Matt Carle.

Shots on goal after one period were 14-10 for San Jose.

Edmonton finally received its first power play of the game 13 minutes into the second period. Patrick Rissmiller took an interference call for running a pick on Fernando Pisani.

18 seconds into that man advantage, Josh Gorges hit Pisani from behind into the boards to set up an Edmonton five on three.

On the ensuing power play, the Oilers had a ton of pressure on the Sharks. Two of the three San Jose players lost their sticks as the Oilers cycled the puck well and got several good chances.

Scott Hannan eventually got a glove on it and cleared the zone but Edmonton kept coming back. Three seconds after both penalties expired, there was a scramble in front. Sergei Samsonov managed to get a stick on it in a crowd and punch it over Toskala to tie the game at 1-1.

Several minutes later, San Jose regained the lead on the power play. Jonathan Cheechoo tried to deke around Jason Smith and get a shot on net but the puck slipped off his stick and on to Joe Thornton who was all alone at the side of the net. Thornton made no mistake, putting the puck in for his first of the postseason.

With San Jose on another man advantage with a minute left in the period, Roloson made a brilliant stop on Michalek as he accepted a cross-ice feed from Joe Thornton and one-timed it on net. Roloson slid across to make the big stop.

Shots after two were 24-17 for the Sharks.

Although it was Edmonton looking for the equalizer, San Jose carried the play for the first half of the third period. Shots on goal 10 minutes into the final frame were 11-3 Sharks.

With six minutes left in the period, San Jose had a 13-3 edge in shots with the Oilers struggling to get the puck deep. The Oilers finally got a shot when Hemsky backhanded it at the side but Toskala handled it easily.

At the 15:30 mark, Marleau beat Roloson five-hole on a shot from the left circle but it rang off the post behind the Edmonton netminder.

A minute and a half later, Ethan Moreau almost tied it on a backhand attempt from the slot. Toskala thwarted the Oilers player as he did for most of the night.

Edmonton pressed to tie the game late in the period but could not get the equalizer.

NOTES: Georges Laraque and Matt Greene each drew into the lineup for Edmonton with Radek Dvorak (lower body) and Dick Tarnstrom sitting out... Milan Michalek had to be helped off the ice five minutes into the second period after being hit by Raffi Torres. He returned late in the period... Thornton's goal was only his seventh career postseason goal.
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