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Oilers make Coyotes howl

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The newly-minted line of Raffi Torres, Jarret Stoll and Fernando Pisani had some chances on their first shift of the game.

Stoll backhanded a shot that Joseph had trouble with. Pisani was at the doorstep but couldn't get a handle on the rebound.

Several minutes later, Ryan Smyth had a chance as he wristed a shot off the rush while off balance. Joseph stopped the shot with his glove-side arm but the rebound almost trickled in.

After a successful Coyotes penalty kill, Sykora had a one timer from the slot but he didn't get everything on it. The shot went off the side of Joseph and the game remained scoreless.

Midway through the first, Marty Reasoner had some incidental contact with Joseph but the Coyotes netminder fell to the ice like he was shot. As a result of his actions, Joseph was assessed two minutes for diving.

A giveaway by Mike Comrie in the Oilers zone led to Edmonton's first goal of the night. Comrie coughed up the puck to Sykora who quickly broke out of the Oilers' zone. Sykora dished the puck up to Patrick Thoresen who waited patiently before dishing it over to the late trailer Torres. He tapped the puck into the open net for the goal.

30 seconds after the Torres goal, Winchester barrelled towards the net on a partial break. Before he could make a move, Oleg Saprykin dove to knock him off his feet and was sent off for tripping.

On the ensuing power play, Jarret Stoll teed up a one timer past Joseph to put the Oilers in front 2-0. The goal came 59 seconds after the Torres tally.

After one, shots were 12-11 for Phoenix though the Oilers had a two-goal lead.

The Coyotes had a power play to start the second but it ended early after Fernando Pisani was upended by Jovanovski on a shorthanded chance.

On the power play that followed, Horcoff rifled a shot from the high slot that beat Joseph low along the ice just inside the left post to increase Edmonton's lead to 3-0.

Phoenix scored 7:27 into the middle frame on what was a broken play. The puck took some strange hops as Nagy carried the puck in on a rush. It then bounced to Roenick in front who tapped the puck into a wide-open cage with Roloson out of position.

The Coyotes struck again several minutes later on the power play to close the gap to 3-2. Shane Doan fired a shot from the left faceoff circle and Comrie was in front to bang in the rebound and make it a one-goal game.

Edmonton almost regained their two-goal edge with four minutes left when Marc-Andre Bergeron fired a shot from the left point off the crossbar.

In the final minute, the Oilers' line of Hemsky, Thoresen and Sykora was buzzing around the Edmonton zone. Joseph made a pair of great saves as Hemsky and Thoresen peppered the net with shots.

After two, shots were 23-22 Edmonton - five of those shots coming in the final minute of the second.

Phoenix almost tied the game early in the third when a shot snuck through the pads of Roloson but Jason Smith was able to knock it out just before it crossed the line behind the Edmonton netminder.

Two minutes later, the Oilers struck for their fourth of the game, making it 4-2. Ales Hemsky backhanded a pass along the side boards to Petr Sykora at the left hash marks. Sykora made no mistake, burying it top corner past Joseph.

With eight minutes remaining in the period, Hemsky scored on the power play to put the Oilers ahead 5-2. He took the puck off the side boards and circled a couple of times before wiring a wrister from the right circle.

Phoenix ran into some penalty trouble at the end of the game. Penalties to Patrick Fischer, Jovanovski and Nick Boynton gave Edmonton an extended power play that included about 35 seconds of five-on-three action as well.

NOTES: The four-point performance by Sykora matched a career high. It was the first time since April 6, 2001 that he accomplished the feat. He did so that night against the Boston Bruins as a member of the New Jersey Devils... Patrick Thoresen's three assists set a single-game career high for both assists and points for the Oilers rookie.
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