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Roloson blanks the Caps

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton had the best chance of the game early on as Patrick Thoresen took the puck in the slot and backhanded it on goal. The shot didn't have a lot on it but Johnson had to be sharp to make the save.

Several minutes later, the Caps' Bryan Muir took a penalty and the Oilers didn't score on the power play but had several great chances. Shawn Horcoff set up Fernando Pisani on a two-on-one but Pisani just hit the side of the net. Earlier in that same man advantage, Jarret Stoll blasted one-timed shot from the left point that also bounced off the side of the net.

Midway through the opening frame, Raffi Torres laid a huge hit on Brian Sutherby in the corner before stripping him of the puck. He then threw it in front to Pisani who was denied by Johnson.

With nine minutes left in the period, Alexander Semin took a tripping penalty and 14 seconds later, Joffrey Lupul fed Ryan Smyth streaking down the left side. Smyth teed up and slapped it past Johnson to put Edmonton in the lead.

A minute later, Torres dropped the gloves with Washington's Shaone Morrisonn behind the Caps' net. The two fell to the ice quickly with the edge in the fight going to the Oilers winger.

With a minute to go in the period, Alexander Ovechkin let off one of his patented wrist shots from the left circle but Roloson stole the show and made a big glove save.

The Oilers carried the play for most of the first period, outshooting Washington 10-3.

Five minutes into the second, Ovechkin had another good scoring chance. With Washington on the power play, Ovechkin took the puck off the side boards and powered toward the net before attempted a low shot on Roloson. The Oilers goaltender was able to get his glove down and snag the puck, however.

Daniel Tjarnqvist took a penalty just past the midway point of the period but some outstanding penalty killing by Toby Petersen made it a shortlived power play for Washington. Petersen took the puck up ice and danced around with it in the Capitals zone, eventually drawing a roughing penalty to Donald Brashear.

The Capitals went on another power play late in the period after Pisani was called for holding. Roloson made a nice save on Washington's best chance of the man advantage, denying Brian Pothier on a one-timer from the point.

After two periods, shots on goal were 17-12 for Edmonton.

Washington came out flying to start the third period, peppering three shots in Roloson within the opening 90 seconds.

The Oilers got on the board with their first shot of the period. A pass across the crease on a two-on-one by Marc-Andre Bergeron deflected in off Pisani's glove before trickling in.

The line of Sykora, Lupul and Hemsky was generating some buzz in the latter half of the third, cycling the puck down low for most of the shift. Their best chance in the sequence came when Sykora spotted Lupul to the right of Brent Johnson but Lupul could not get a handle on his pass.

A scary moment occur about a minute later as a turnover at the Capitals blueline almost resulted in a breakaway for the always-dangerous Ovechkin but Tjarnqvist was able to catch up to the puck in time.

Late in the period, the Oilers capitalized on a power play opportunity to move ahead 3-0. Sykora's shot from the high slot was gloved by Johnson but he couldn't quite hold the puck. Lupul pounced on the rebound and flicked it short side for his fourth of the season.

NOTES: Ryan Smyth's goal in the first period was his 107th career power play goal, tying him for third on the Oilers' all-time list in that category with Jari Kurri... Jarret Stoll's assist on that goal was his 100th career NHL point.
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