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Oilers pull off miraculous comeback

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The game looked to be over with a faceoff in Phoenix's end and 2.2 seconds left on the clock. Marty Reasoner won the draw straight back to Chris Pronger who blasted one five-hole past Joseph and tie the game at 3-3.

In overtime, the Oilers came within a hair of tying it on numerous occassions with a man advantage late in the extra frame. Jarret Stoll had several big shots from the slot that couldn't find the mark.

Early in the game, Ryan Smyth missed on a good scoring chance. Ales Hemsky threaded a pass through the legs of Curtis Joseph and in front of the net to Smyth, but the Oilers forward fanned on the one-time attempt.

In the shootout, Ales Hemsky and Radek Dvorak both scored, with Dvorak getting the winner. Shane Doan was the loan marksmen for Phoenix in the showdown.

Midway through the opening period, Edmonton went on its first power play of the night after Dennis Seidenberg was sent off for interfering with Jarret Stoll. The man advantage saw Tarnstrom and Spacek team up on the second power play unit with Moreau, Reasoner and Dvorak up front.

Shots on goal 12 minutes into the first period were 3-0 for Edmonton.

It took Phoenix until the 15-minute mark to finally get some shots on goal but they made it count. On their second shot of the game, Zbynek Michalek teed up a blast from the point that beat Morrison high blocker side for a power play marker.

After one period, shots on goal were 6-2 Edmonton but the visitors were down by one goal heading into the intermission.

Edmonton scored early in the second period to tie the game at 1-1. Georges Laraque attempted a wraparound that Joseph stopped but after a scramble in front, Raffi Torres picked up the loose puck and shot it past Joseph.

Oilers penalty killers did a great job in the second period killing off a two-man advantage for a full minute. They also killed off subsequent penalties to Staios and Pisani, holding the Coyotes to nine shots through the first 33 minutes in the game despite six man-power advantages.

Just as an Oilers power play expired, Joseph flubbed a floater from Smyth at the blueline to move Edmonton ahead 2-1. Joseph was caught too deep in his net as the puck sailed over his shoulder.

Less than a minute after the Oilers took the lead, Fredrik Sjostrom took a blast from the left faceoff circle that Morrison kicked out but Dave Scatchard was at the doorstep to put home the rebound and tie the game at 2-2.

1:41 later, Phoenix took the lead. Boyd Devereaux streaked into the Oilers zone where he was met in the low slot with a pass from Mike Ricci. Devereaux made his move around Morrison and scored to give the Coyotes a 3-2 lead.

Shots on goal after two periods were 17-12 for the Oilers.

Edmonton was swarming around the Phoenix zone during the early portion of the final frame but Joseph was equal to the task, keeping his Coyotes in front by a goal. In one particular play, Smyth found Horcoff in front of the goal but his one timer was denied by the Phoenix netminder. Horcoff raised his stick in celebration before realizing he had been denied.

With 9:41 to play in the period Pisani was upended by Mike Comrie, sending the Oilers on their sixth man advantage of the night. On the ensuing power play, Radek Dvorak had the best chance just narrowly missing the open cage on a backhand attempt during a scramble in front.

With five minutes to go in the third, shots were 12-2 for the Oilers as they carried the play but could not solve Joseph. Dave Scatchard was called for tripping in the final minutes, giving Edmonton another chance to tie the game.

On the ensuing power play, the Oilers created a lot of pressure down low but couldn't generate any quality chances.

With Morrison out for the extra attacker, the club was unable to generate any late scoring chances until Chris Pronger's game-saving miracle.

Shootout Results:
(Goal scorers in bold)

Fernando Pisani, Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky, Jarret Stoll, Raffi Torres, Radek Dvorak

Mike Comrie, Ladislav Nagy, Shane Doan, Oleg Saprykin, Jamie Lundmark, Mike Johnson

NOTES: Dick Tarnstrom and Jaroslav Spacek made their Oilers debuts tonight. With the two defencemen added to the lineup, the Oilers dressed seven blueliners. Michael Peca did not dress (sinus infection) which meant Matt Greene drew into the lineup as the spare rearguard... Smyth increased his scoring streak to six games... Spacek assisted on Smyth's second-period goal to earn his first point as an Oiler... Jason Smith left the game after two periods with an undisclosed injury... Edmonton is now 4-3 in shootouts this season. All three meetings between Edmonton and Phoenix have gone into extra time... Mike Morrison is now 7-0 on the road this season for Edmonton and has all four of Edmonton's shootout victories (4-0).
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