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Pronger seals the deal in overtime

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The action was fast-paced to start things off with both Conklin and Vokoun having to be sharp in the early going.

The first power play of the afternoon went to Nashville after Jaroslav Spacek was sent off for a high-sticking double minor. The Predators capitalized as Scottie Upshall fired a snap shot from in front of the net that beat Conklin top corner to make it a 1-0 game.

The Oilers came right back and capitalized on their own power play several minutes later. Ales Hemsky fed Jaroslav Spacek who found Ryan Smyth in front for the tap-in for a goal on a nice three-way passing play.

A minute and six seconds later, Paul Kariya scored to put Nashville back in front 2-1. Marek Zidlicky wristed a shot from the blueline that Kariya got a stick on in front of the net.

The Oilers had another power play to try and even things up late in the opening frame but Nashville penalty killers did a good job limiting Edmonton's chances.

After one, shots on goal were 14-10 in favour of Nashville.

Early in the second, Edmonton took the play to Nashville. Eight minutes in, shots were 10-1 for the Oilers with the best scoring chance coming after a Fernando Pisani wrister from the slot was stopped. Reasoner was right there for the rebound but Vokoun was able to corral the shot.

Later in the period, some hard work down low by Yan Stastny and Jaroslav Spacek resulted in the Oilers rookie drawing an interference penalty. Early in the ensuing power play, Vokoun was outstanding in making three consecutive stops, first denying Pronger then Stoll and finally Spacek to keep his team ahead by a goal.

Edmonton had another chance to tie the game while shorthanded with time ticking down in the middle frame. Ethan Moreau was sprung in alone but his shot went high of the Nashville goal.

Neither team was able to score in the second but Edmonton far outplayed Nashville, outshooting their opponents 19-4.

Jarret Stoll almost gave Edmonton the lead early in the third when Vokoun had trouble with his low wrister from the right circle. His defence was able to clear the puck, however.

Six minutes into the final frame, the Oilers were finally able to strike for their second goal of the afternoon, on their 36th shot.

With Ryan Suter in the box, Chris Pronger teed up a blast from the point that beat Vokoun blocker side to make it a 2-2 game. Ales Hemsky and Jarret Stoll drew assists on the play.

With 9:33 left in the third, the Oilers had a great chance to move ahead with a two-man advantage. Dan Hamhuis was penalized for delay of game after firing the puck out of the playing area to set up the five-on-three power play. Edmonton was able to generate a lot of pressure in the Nashville zone but unable to convert.

After regulation time, shots on goal were 40-20 for the Oilers.

The Oilers almost ended it with two minutes remaining in overtime as Ales Hemsky fed Staios in the slot on a two-on-one but Vokoun stood his ground to make the stop.

Seconds later, Ryan Smyth was impeded from behind on a partial breakaway by Ryan Suter, sending Edmonton on a power play with 1:24 left in the extra frame setting the stage for Pronger's game-winner.

NOTES: Prior to the game, the Oilers announced they have signed forward Rem Murray to a one-year deal and assigned Brad Winchester to Hamilton (AHL)... Murray suited up for the Oilers in today's game... Ryan Smyth is ninth in the league in power play goals with 15... The Oilers played their 18th overtime game of the season, one behind Philadelphia for the league lead... The 43 shots on goal were a season high for the Oilers.
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