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Sykora lifts Oilers over 'Yotes

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Hemsky drew four Coyotes to him before dishing it to Shawn Horcoff. Horcoff flipped it over to Sykora whose low wrister beat Joseph just inside the left post.

Neither team had much in the way of scoring chances early on in the game. In the opening five minutes, the best opportunity came off a Fernando Pisani wrist shot from the left circle that Coyotes starting netminder Curtis Joseph had a little trouble handling.

Marc-Andre Bergeron almost opened the scoring with nine minutes left in the first. His backhand attempt from the right circle slid across the Coyotes crease and rang low off the far post.

Markkanen made a big stop off Shane Doan two minutes later. Doan charged the net and attempted a backhand in the slot and it was kicked away by the Oilers netminder.

He made another nice save a minute later as Oleg Saprykin wristed a shot from the high slot. It was gloved down by Markkanen.

With the Oilers down a man late in the first, Jarret Stoll scored a weak goal to put his team up 1-0. Curtis Joseph went behind the net to play the puck after Reasoner dumped it in but it took a funny bounce off the end boards and the Coyotes netminder completely missed it. Stoll raced behind the net to pick up the loose puck and wrapped it in for the goal.

After one period, shots on goal were 10-8 in favour of Phoenix.

Edmonton carried the play early in the second, outshooting the Coyotes 4-1 over the opening six minutes.

At the 7:47 mark of period two, Toby Petersen found Ales Hemsky coming off the bench on a line change. Hemsky caried the puck to the right circle before rifling it high blocker side behind Joseph.

Just past the midway point of period two, the Oilers looked to expand on their lead with a power play but it was Phoenix that responded with a shorthanded goal.

Keith Ballard created a turnover in his own zone and fired it up to Owen Nolan, sending him in on a breakaway. Markkanen attempted a pokecheck on the play but just missed and Nolan just put the puck in.

Markkanen had to be sharp several minutes later on a Phoenix power play as Comrie took a quick shot from in front. He stuck out a right pad to make the save.

Shots after two periods were 20-14 for the Oilers.

Edmonton started the third period down two men but were able to kill that off. However, several minutes later they found themselves in a five-on-three situation again after penalties to Matt Greene and Steve Staios 15 seconds apart.

Midway through the two-man advantage, the Coyotes scored to tie the game at 2-2. Yanic Perreault tried to pass the puck across the crease and it went off the skate of Jason Smith in front past Markkanen.

Shawn Horcoff looked to give Edmonton the lead as he crashed the Phoenix net. The referee ruled that he blew his whistle before the puck crossed the line but replays showed that may not have been the case.

The Oilers were foiled by a quick whistle again. Joseph made a save on a point shot from Petr Sykora and Horcoff had the rebound but the whistle went.

With seven minutes left, Pisani was robbed by Joseph. After taking a cross-ice pass from Petersen, he skated past Dennis Seidenberg and went to his forehand but was stopped.
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