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We're going back to Edmonton!!

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton had their backs against the wall headed to overtime, having to win or else face the end of their season and did they deliver.

Shots on goal in the extra frame were 7-0 as the Oilers were clearly the better team. Momentum looked like it was going to swing Carolina's way after Steve Staios was sent off for tripping Mark Recchi.

Instead, Fernando Pisani stripped Eric Staal of the puck after a cross-ice pass from Cory Stillman. He then broke in alone on Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward and rifled the puck top corner, sending the series back to Edmonton for Game 6 on Saturday.

"It happened so quick," said Pisani. "It was in my pants and I threw it down and I kind of took a quick look and saw that he was over to the blocker side and just shot it in the top half of the net."

Pisani went on to talk about the team's performance in the third period and overtime, limiting the Hurricanes to two shots in those frames.

"We didn't want to sit back. They are a great skating team and they move the puck well. So we wanted to make sure that we established down ice pressure and not sit back."

The Oilers got off to a fast start in the game, scoring 16 seconds in. Raffi Torres picked up a loose puck in the slot and threw it back to Chris Pronger at the point. Pronger's blast was tipped by Pisani before beating Ward low for an early 1-0 lead.

"I think the biggest thing we wanted to get off to a better start," stated Pronger. "We certainly did that in getting that quick goal. And just try to leave it all out on the ice and not coming in the locker room and say coulda, shoulda woulda."

Shortly after the Oilers' opening goal, a penalty to Ales Hemsky gave Carolina the game's first power play. After Edmonton killed off the man disadvantage, Matt Greene was sent off for hooking.

On the ensuing power play, Eric Staal scored to tie the game at 1-1. Jussi Markkanen made the first two stops but couldn't save the third rebound attempt.

Carolina took the lead just past the midway point of the first on their second power play goal. Ray Whitney blasted the puck from the top of the right circle and beat a screened Markkanen top corner.

After the Oilers had an early 3-1 edge in shots, Carolina was outshooting Edmonton 12-4 with 8:20 to play in the first period.

Edmonton went on its first power play of the game 12 minutes into the opening period and capitalized to tie the game at 2-2. Ales Hemsky wired a shot from the left side that beat Ward high.

Just when it looked like the game would be heading for the first intermission tied up, Michael Peca scored with 17 seconds to go in the period to put Edmonton in front 3-2. Ales Hemsky cut across the slot with the puck before Peca pounced on the rebound, backhanding it high on Ward.

Shots after one period were 14-10 Carolina.

The Hurricanes got off to a quick start in period two. Frank Kaberle fed Stillman at the side of the Oilers net but Markkanen slid across to get a pad on it.

Both teams traded penalties in the first half of the second period but neither were able to capitalize on the man advantage.

Midway through the period, Carolina scored their third power play goal to tie the game up once again. Staal jammed away at the puck after Markkanen had it covered against the post and it was just enough to get it to trickle over the line.

Edmonton had a power play of its own late in the period and despite creating several chances, they were unable to convert.

Shots on goal after 40 minutes were 22-17 Carolina but game was tied 3-3.

With 15:37 remaining in the third, the Oilers had a chance to take the lead on the power play. After Mike Commodore lost his stick with Edmonton pressuring to tie it up, the big defenceman took a holding penalty.

As has been the story throughout the series, Carolina's penalty kill stepped up to kill off the two minutes and then also kill off the following penalty to Josef Vasicek for hooking Ryan Smyth.

With seven minutes to go in the third and Carolina pressing for the go-ahead marker, Jussi Markkanen made a huge glove save on Ray Whitney to keep the game tied. Whitney looked to have the open side but Markkanen dove across to get a glove on the puck.

With five minutes left in the third, shots were 6-1 Oilers in the period and 23-22 Hurricanes overall.

In the final minute of the period, Carolina pressed hard for the Stanley Cup winning goal but could not find the back of the net.

The Oilers ended up outshooting the Hurricanes 5-2 in the third but Carolina still had a 24-22 edge in shots overall.

Edmonton had the best chances early. Cam Ward made a nice pad stop off Radek Dvorak in the slot and a good save on a wraparound attempt by Jarret Stoll as well. Several minutes later, Peca rang a wrister off the post.

3:03 into overtime, Steve Staios was sent off for tripping to give Carolina the power play, setting up the Pisani winner.

NOTES: Todd Harvey drew into the lineup for Edmonton, replacing Georges Laraque for Edmonton's only lineup change... Carolina defenceman Aaron Ward left the game early in the first period with an apparent wrist injury but returned late in the third... Pisani's goal was the first shorthanded overtime goal in Stanley Cup Final history.
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