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Oilers take 2-0 series lead back home!

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Dwayne Roloson was once again outstanding, turning away 33 of 34 shots, many of them difficult saves.

"Their goaltender, you know, there's been so much made of his role," said Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle. "When you get traffic around him, he finds a way."

Mighty Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer felt the team was getting the chances, they just weren't going in.

"That sometimes happens when you're not scoring," he said. "I think today's game was better where we had more chances and we could have scored more. Obviously, their guy played well in net and made some big saves for them."

A number of different Edmonton players were stricken with the flu, including Jason Smith and Shawn Horcoff. Marc-Andre Bergeron and Raffi Torres did not suit up because of the flu bug.

"It didn't go through the whole team, but seemingly we were losing a guy every couple hours," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "But you know, it's good that we have the depth."

The game went 4:02 before the first whistle with both teams having good scoring chances. Edmonton's best chance came on a two-on-one as Michael Peca elected to shoot on Ilya Bryzgalov.

Play carried back the other way and Anaheim had a two-on-one of their own. Andy McDonald found Chris Kunitz in the slot but Roloson was able to come across to make the save.

Anaheim came close to scoring again several minutes later when Joffrey Lupul's attempted centering pass ricocheted off Staios' skate in the slot. Roloson had to be sharp to corral the puck.

Edmonton took the game's first penalty just past the midway point of period one after Staios dislodged the net during a Ducks scramble in front.

Just before that penalty expired, Corey Perry was sent off for goaltender interference and Edmonton capitalized.

Hemsky streaked into the Anaheim zone and almost scored on a deke attempt. The play then went back to Chris Pronger at the point where he wired it past Bryzgalov to give Edmonton an early 1-0 edge.

After one period, the Oilers had a 1-0 lead but were outshot 12-10 by Anaheim.

Anaheim tied the game just past the six-minute mark of period two. Jeff Friesen picked up a rebound in the slot and backhanded it past Roloson.

The two sides traded chances at the midway point in the period. Sergei Samsonov took part in some nifty stickhandling, keeping possession of the puck for about 20 seconds as he moved up and down the side boards. His centering attempt passed through the slot, however.

At the other end, Roloson had to be sharp in handling a Teemu Selanne blast from the right point. The Oilers netminder stuck out his glove to make the save.

The Ducks came close to taking their first lead of the series with six minutes left in the period. Edmonton's penalty killers stepped up and killed off a penalty to Steve Staios. Roloson made several big stops during the two-minute stretch.

Roloson came up big again a minute later, denying Todd Marchant on a wrister from the high slot as Anaheim continued to press for the go-ahead goal.

As the period continued on, momentum started to shift Edmonton's way once again. Toby Petersen used his speed to create a good scoring chance. Bryzgalov had a tough time handling his blast from the left circle.

With just over two minutes remaining in the middle frame, Samsonov had another dynamite shift. He almost sent Peca in alone on a two on one and seconds later found Pisani, who made no mistake in rifling the puck top corner to make it 2-1.

Shots on goal after two were 24-21 Anaheim but the Ducks were trailing by a goal.

To start the third period, Petersen was playing on a line with Smyth and Horcoff.

Early in the period, Chris Kunitz was robbed on a breakaway by Roloson. He tried to deke around the Oilers netminder but Roloson got his left pad on the puck.

With 11:30 left in the third, Anaheim went on the power play following a Ryan Smyth holding penalty. A minute into the man advantage, Francois Beauchemin let a bomb go from the point. Roloson made a brilliant glove save to keep his team in front.

50 seconds later, Roloson made an unbelievable save, grabbing the puck with his glove as he sat in his crease during a scramble.

Edmonton managed its first shot of the period at the 10:48 mark. Anaheim was outshooting Edmonton 9-0 at that point.

With 1:30 left, Samsonov fed Pisani on a two-on-one but Bryzgalov stacked the pads to make an unbelievable save and keep his team in the game.

Michael Peca added an empty-net tally in the final minute to make the final 3-1.

NOTES: Raffi Torres (flu) and Marc-Andre Bergeron (flu) both did not play for the Oilers. Taking their spots in the lineup were Dick Tarnstrom and Toby Petersen... Anaheim scratched Travis Moen in favour of Corey Perry... Petersen was playing in his first career Stanley Cup Playoff game, though he has 91 regular season NHL games to his credit... Roloson's penalty in the third period tied him with Grant Fuhr for the most career penalty minutes by an Oiler goaltender in the playoffs at 14 PIM.
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