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Sykora leads Oilers over Flames

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Patrick Thoresen almost got the Oilers on the board early. His backhand from the left side of Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff went through the five-hole of the Flames netminder but out the other side.

Jarret Stoll had a great chance five minutes into the game while the Oilers were killing a delay-of-game penalty to Jason Smith. Stoll and Marty Reasoner created a turnover in the neutral zone and broke in on a two-on-one. Reasoner found Stoll open and Kiprusoff awkwardly slid over to make the stop.

On that same power play, the Flames almost took the lead on a one-timer from Chuck Kobasew in the slot. Roloson had to be sharp in coming across to make the pad save.

Miscommunication midway through the first led to the Flames scoring the game's first goal. Daniel Tjarnqvist thought Roloson would cover the puck but when he didn't, Chuck Kobasew pounced on it. His shot slid across the goalmouth and Kristian Huselius was there to deposit it in the open net.

The Oilers pressed for the equalizer late in the period. First, Horcoff shot the puck from a bad angle but Smyth pounced on the rebound and had several attempts to jam the puck under Kiprusoff but the Flames goaltender shut the door.

With three minutes left, the crowd was ignited by a huge open-ice check by Toby Petersen. The Oilers forward lined up and smoked Andrei Zyuzin at the centre red line.

Raffi Torres then took the puck and broke towards the Flames net. Zyuzin skated back into the play and took out Torres. He got a tripping penalty for his efforts, putting the Oilers on their second power play.

57 seconds into the penalty, Tony Amonte hooked down Smyth behind the Calgary net giving the Oilers a two-man advantage.

Just as the first penalty expired, Sykora teed up a Hemsky pass from the left circle that went high over the shoulder of Kiprusoff.

After one period, shots on goal were 14-8 in favour of Edmonton.

Calgary controlled the play for much of the first 10 minutes of period two, outshooting the Oilers 6-2 in that time frame.

Edmonton's best chance of the period came when Smyth dashed down the length of the ice to beat out an icing call. He then fed Horcoff in front who tried to chip the puck in but Kiprusoff got down low to make the save.

With less than three minutes to play, Huselius picked off a Bergeron cross-ice pass and skated down the ice on a partial break. Before he could get some separation, he was hauled down by Matt Greene, putting the Flames on their third man advantage.

On the ensuing power play, Iginla tried to lift the puck over Roloson as the Oilers goaltender sprawled to make the save, but his shot was gloved down.

Shots on goal after two were even at 17-17 and the score was tied 1-1 as well.

The Flames were up a man early in the third after a penalty call on Lupul. On the power play, Tanguay almost gave his team in the lead on a quick shot from in front but Roloson made a nice shoulder save.

Midway through the third, Staios blasted a point shot on net that Kiprusoff came out to stop. The play then went back the other way with Iginla and as he was charging toward the Oilers net, he was hooked by Smith.

However, on the Flames power play Edmonton's penalty killers stood tall once again and denied Calgary any real quality scoring chances.

With six minutes to go in the third, the Oilers scored to move ahead 2-1. Daniel Tjarnqvist made a nice breakout pass from his own end, finding Hemsky at the far blueline. He then dished it to Sykora who was blazing down the right side. Sykora then backhanded it in, scoring his second of the night to give the Oilers their first lead of the game.

With 1:26 left to play in the third, Staios took a delay-of-game penalty for clearing the puck over teh glass. As a result, the Flames had one last power play to try and tie the game.

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