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Stars eke out shootout win

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Both Stars shooters scored on their shootout attempts as Oilers coach Craig MacTavish surprised everyone by pulling starting goaltender Ty Conklin and putting in Mike Morrison for the showdown. Morrison was 5-1 in shootouts heading into the contest.

Sergei Zubov skated in and deked before backhanding it over Morrison's glove while Jussi Jokinen went with "The Move" firing it just over the blocker of the Edmonton netminder. Jokinen is now nine-for-nine in shootout attempts.

Both Edmonton shooters, Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth, tried to shoot five-hole but were denied by Turco who is now 7-0 in shootouts.

Smyth almost gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead a minute into the game when he chopped at the puck to the right of Marty Turco. The puck squirted out and slid past the open goalmouth but Smyth couldn't get a stick on it.

Edmonton didn't have another quality scoring chance until eight minutes remained in the opening period when Turco kicked out his right pad to stop a Chris Pronger wrister from the slot.

Just when it looked like the Oilers might strike first after a good forecheck by the line of Laraque, Harvey and Peca, Dallas came back on the attack and scored to move ahead 1-0.

Philippe Boucher coralled the puck at the right faceoff dot after Conklin kicked out a Jason Arnott rebound and wristed it five-hole past the Oilers netminder.

Shots after the first period of play were 10-4 in favour of the Stars.

The Oilers came out in the second period looking to tie the game up and on a particular shift, Ales Hemsky had the puck on a string as he weaved in and out of traffic. From the side of the net, he dished the puck to Horcoff in the slot who found Tarnstrom pinching in. The Edmonton defenceman deposited the puck into the open cage with Turco out of the picture for his first goal as an Oiler.

Four minutes later the Stars regained the lead after Stoll was stripped of the puck by Niklas Hagman in the Oilers zone. The puck eventually found Antti Miettinen in the high slot where he rifled a shot high blocker side past Conklin.

With about five minutes left in the second period, Jussi Jokinen was hooked from behind on a breakaway by Steve Staios, setting up a penalty shot. Using the move that's made him so successful going eight-for-eight in shootouts this season, Jokinen flicked a wrist shot just above Conklin's blocker to make it a 3-1 game.

The Stars took their two-goal lead into the second intermission. Shots on goal were 17-13 for Dallas.

The Stars had a good scoring chance early in the third period. Niklas Hagman rifled a shot that Conklin kicked out. Hagman then picked up his own rebound and fired it off the crossbar and out.

The Oilers then carried the play back down the ice where they set up their second goal of the night. Chris Pronger blasted a shot from the high slot and Smyth was right at the doorstep to put in the rebound.

Midway through the period, the Oilers tied the game at 3-3 after Horcoff drove to the net after winning a faceoff and lifted the puck over a sprawling Turco. Ryan Smyth and Chris Pronger drew assists on the play.

Late in the period, the Oilers started to press for the game winner. Hemsky set up Ryan Smyth on a nice cross-ice pass but Smyth was tangled up with a Stars defenceman and couldn't get a handle on the puck.

Shots in the third were 11-5 for the Oilers and 24-22 overall through regulation.

In overtime, both teams traded a handful of scoring chances but nothing was solved. The best chance on either side was Brenden Morrow, who couldn't quite get a handle on the puck while on a breakaway. Conklin was able to turn away his scoring attempt.

Shootout Results:
(Goal scorers in bold)

Ales Hemsky, Ryan Smyth

Sergei Zubov, Jussi Jokinen

NOTES: The Stars are now 9-0 in shootouts this season, while Jussi Jokinen is 9-for-9 in attempts... Michael Peca and Todd Harvey both drew back into the lineup for the Oilers while Ty Conklin started his third straight game - a season high. Yan Stastny and Rem Murray were both healthy scratches... Hemsky extended his scoring streak to five games (1g, 7a)... Tonight's penalty shot by Jokinen was the 83rd of the season in the NHL. Shooters have been 36.2% successful (30-for-83)...
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