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Senators rally to top Oilers 5-3

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton had the best scoring chance early on as Dominik Hasek stacked the pads to deny Fernando Pisani.

As is often the case, Ottawa came back up ice and had a great chance of their own, converting to make it 1-0. Mike Fisher threw a pass in front from the right-side boards that Vaclav Varada redirected in to give the Senators an early lead.

Conklin redeemed himself several minutes later, stepping up to make a big shoulder stop on a point-blank opportunity by Varada.

Seconds later, the Oilers came back down the ice and scored to make it 1-1. A neat passing play between Marc-Andre Bergeron, Horcoff and Hemsky put the puck on Bergeron's stick before he blasted one top corner behind a screened Hasek for his tenth of the season.

Midway through the period Ottawa had three minutes of power play time. First, Pronger was sent off for elbowing and just as that penalty expired, Jarret Stoll flipped the puck into the crowd from his own zone resulting in a delay-of-game minor. The Oilers did a good job killing off the penalties.

With a minute left in the Stoll minor, Chris Neil took a hooking penalty. 28 seconds later, Bryan Smolsinki was ticketed for tripping putting Edmonton on a four-on-three power play.

Edmonton clicked on that man advantage when Bergeron blasted his second of the night, taking a feed from Pronger at the point. When Stoll emerged from the box, Edmonton went back on the power play. Ottawa killed that off with little consequence.

After the first period, shots were 8-6 for Ottawa but the Oilers carried a 2-1 lead.

Early in the second period, Marc-Andre Bergeron took a double minor for high sticking to put Ottawa on the power play. During the man advantage, Horcoff took a hooking penalty and Dany Heatley scored with the goaltender out for an extra attacker.

Because of the Horcoff penalty, following the goal Edmonton found itself down two men but were able to kill it off.

Antoine Vermette scored midway through the period on a give-and-go play as Vermette fed Brian McGrattan in the corner who in turn dished it back to Vermette in front just in time for the crafty centre to tip it past Conklin.

The Sens made it 4-2 minutes later on a goal by Peter Schaefer. Anton Volchenkov rifled one from the point that went wide but Schaefer was stationed at the side of the net to pick up the puck as it ricocheted off the boards and roof it.

After the goal, Jussi Markkanen came in to replace Ty Conklin in net for Edmonton.

With 5:42 to play in the second, Marc-Andre Bergeron blasted a shot from the point past a screened Hasek to make it a 4-3 game.

The goal was Bergeron's first career NHL hat trick and the first hat trick by an Oilers defenceman since Paul Coffey scored three goals versus Los Angeles Kings' goaltender Darren Elliot on December 20, 1985 at Northlands Coliseum. The goal was originally credited to Ryan Smyth but after the game it was changed to Bergeron after video review determined it was not tipped in front by the Oilers forward.

With a three-goal explosion in the second period, Ottawa went into the intermission ahead 4-3. They also had the edge in shots, 18-13 over Edmonton.

Edmonton had an opportunity to tie the game in the early portion of the final frame with a pair of power plays but Ottawa's penalty killers answered the bell, limiting the Oilers' chances.

Eight minutes into the period Marty Reasoner had a wide open net but couldn't bat the puck out of the air for a goal.

Jussi Markkanen ran into some trouble several minutes later as he was caught behind the cage. Vermette centered it in front but Heatley's shot on the empty net went off Ryan Smyth's leg and wide.

Ottawa got into some trouble late in the period when some excellent hustle by Jarret Stoll resulted in a beat icing call and glorious scoring chance in front. Hasek had to be sharp in saving Stoll's backhander from the top of the crease.

Play then progressed back toward Edmonton's end where some good forechecking by Chris Kelly resulted in Ottawa's fifth goal. Kelly stripped Markkanen of the puck and threw it in front where Varada was standing to bang it in for his second of the game.

Shots in the third period were 13-6 for Edmonton but they were unable to score.

NOTES: Ty Conklin got the start in goal tonight for the Oilers. Radek Dvorak drew into the lineup for the first time since December 13 at New Jersey. As a result, Jani Rita was a healthy scratch. Cory Cross also drew back in the lineup tonight, with Igor Ulanov drawing out... After drawing back into the lineup Thursday following a shoulder separation, Brandon Bochenski was scratched by Ottawa tonight... Horcoff's assist on Bergeron's goal gave him a point in eight consecutive games, tying him with Ethan Moreau for the longest scoring streak by an Oiler this season. Horcoff's assist on the second Bergeron goal was his 100th assist in his Oiler/NHL career.
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