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Oilers rally once again, beat Kings 5-3

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton's top line of Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff did a good job cycling the puck down low, creating several scoring chances.

However, Igor Ulanov mishandled a Hemsky pass setting up a two-on-one opportunity with Tom Kostopoulos and Mattias Norstrom.

Kostopoulos fed Norstrom, who fired it five-hole past Conklin to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.

Edmonton's Fernando Pisani almost evened it up six minutes into the first. He had the puck to Garon's left side and fired it point-blank but the Kings goaltender made the save.

Just past the midway point of the first, Jarret Stoll put home his own rebound to tie the game at 1-1. Marty Reasoner and Fernando Pisani registered assists on the play.

Laraque, playing on the second line with Stoll and Torres, did some good work down low late in the period to generate some chances off the cycle for Edmonton.

Just as the period was coming to a close, the Oilers were two men down following consecutive penalties to Chris Pronger and Michael Peca. The penalty killers were outstanding in limiting the Kings' chances, sending the club to the first intermissiwon with some momentum.

Shots on goal after one period were 10-10.

Edmonton opened the second on an extended two-man advantage after Nathan Dempsey took a tripping penalty and Mike Weaver accidentally cleared the puck over the glass six seconds later.

It only took the Oilers 55 seconds from that point to take a 2-1 lead. Chris Pronger ripped a shot from the left side that beat Garon clean high stick side.

Midway through the period, Los Angeles drew even at 2-2 on a nice wrist shot off the rush that tucked under the crossbar by Michael Cammalleri.

The Kings' Tom Kostopoulos and Edmonton's Igor Ulanov dropped the gloves, resulting in a swift and decisive victory for the Russian defenceman to the crowd's approval.

Late in the period, Ales Hemsky deked himself out attempting a full 360 spin move to try and break free from his defender. He was almost successful with his crafty moves but ended up falling to the ice.

The play then shifted back up ice where Tim Gleason teed up a blast from the point that was tipped in front by Craig Conroy, giving Los Angeles a 3-2 lead.

Shots on goal after two were 21-15 for the Kings, as Edmonton headed into the intermission down by a goal.

Much like they did the previous period, the Oilers started the third with a lengthy two-man advantage. Michael Cammalleri was sent off for holding the stick followed 16 seconds later by Jeff Giuliano for hooking.

Unlike the second period, however, Los Angeles was able to kill off the penalties.

Referee Blaine Angus returned the favour several minutes later, calling concurrent penalties to the Oilers. Hooking on Georges Laraque and a bench minor were whistled, sending the Kings on a two-man advantage. A minute into the five-on-three, Craig Conroy was sent off for interference resulting in a four-on-three situation.

8:34 into the period, Raffi Torres scored an outstanding goal to tie the game at 3-3. Torres gloved the puck down at the blueline before maneuvering around the Kings' defender and wristing it low glove side behind Garon.

After Ryan Smyth was clipped in front by a Garon high stick, Edmonton went on a four-minute power play. On the ensuing man advantage, Ales Hemsky redirected a Chris Pronger pass into the net with his skate. The Kings protested but because the puck was redirected and not kicked into the net, it was ruled a goal.

Edmonton almost doubled their lead with three minutes to go in the game. Stoll attempted a wraparound and Garon was able to reach across just enough to poke it away.

With 2:52 to play, Michael Peca crunched Visnovsky into the boards and received two minutes for boarding setting up a desperation Los Angeles power play in the dying minutes.

On the ensuing power play, Ryan Smyth was tripped up on a partial breakaway while driving to the net by Cammalleri, negating the man advantage.

Peca added an empty netter to seal the deal.

NOTES: The starting goaltenders, Ty Conklin and Mathieu Garon, were teammates in 2002-03 with the Hamilton Bulldogs... Tonight's game was the seventh straight that the Oilers trailed at some point in the opening period... Georges Laraque was part of Edmonton's starting lineup, seeing action on the team's second line alongside Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres... Fernando Pisani increased his scoring streak to five games with an assist on Stoll's goal.
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