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Oliers Close Gap with 2-1 Win Over 'Canes

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

EDMONTON -- With the ice crumbling under their skates after two losses in Raleigh, the Edmonton Oilers moved back on to safer ground Saturday night at a frenzied Rexall Place, earning a 2-1 win that closed the Carolina Hurricanes' lead in the Stanley Cup Final to 2-1.

Ryan Smyth and Jussi Markkanen were the heroes for the Oilers, with Smyth's goal at 17:45 of the third period breaking a 1-1 tie and Markkanen stopping 24 of 25 shots to nail down his first victory of the 2006 postseason.

"I felt fine in Carolina and just tried to carry on that feeling to this game," Markkanen said. "I felt really good out there and obviously you can see that we came to play right away from the first minute. It helps a lot for our goaltending, too, when we play good.

"I felt fine and saw the puck really well," Markkanen continued. "The 'D' blocked a lot of shots, especially in the end and that helps. But I got to give a lot of credit to our forwards for coming back and help(ing) because Carolina's forwards are really skillful and if they get a lot of room, they can capitalize on their chances."

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