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Strong Salo makes 28 saves in victory

11/20/2002

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Tommy Salo is back in top form, and
he's getting plenty of help from his penalty killers.

Salo made 28 saves, and Ethan Moreau and Steve Staios scored
shorthanded goals in the first period to lead the Edmonton Oilers
over the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 Tuesday night.

''There's a sense in here that we are turning the corner,''
Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said.

After a shaky start this season, Salo has allowed only seven
goals in his last four appearances.

''I felt pretty good,'' he said. ''The guys scored two big goals
shorthanded and you usually don't get that. We'll take them both.''

Staios' goal was his second of the season, both shorthanded. He
redirected a pass from Mike York past goaltender Jocelyn Thibault.

''We really wanted to get going here at home,'' said Staios, who
had a gash on his chin after getting hit by a puck. ''We're getting
some good chances on the penalty kills. Guys are creating
turnovers. We've been working hard trying to get down-ice pressure
on teams on the penalty kill.''

Moreau scored 17:14 into the game when he took the puck from his
own end and fired a slap shot over the shoulder of Thibault.

''On a thousand shots like that, I'll do the same thing a
thousand times,'' Thibault said. ''You get scored on once in a
while. I wish I could have had that one. That's the way I play -- I
go down on that shot. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I'm going to
make the save.''

Moreau has five goals and 12 points this season after getting 16
points all of last season.

''When you have a three-on-one, the goalie's trying to guess,''
Moreau said. ''We stressed getting the pucks up on Thibault.''

Sergei Berezin scored Chicago's goal in the second period, and
Ryan Smyth added one for the Oilers in the third.

Edmonton has won three of its last four games. The loss snapped
a six-game unbeaten streak for the Blackhawks.

''They really made the best of their opportunities in the first
period,'' defenseman Phil Housley said. ''We worked very hard, but
we have nothing to show for it so it defeats the purpose. There's
such a fine line between winning and losing right now. You make a
couple of mistakes and you're playing catch-up hockey, especially
on the road, it's a tough way to play.''

The Oilers have scored four shorthanded goals this season --
three in their last three games. The last time Chicago allowed two
shorthanded goals in a game was Feb. 2, 2000, a 4-1 loss to
Edmonton.

''Anytime you get two shorthanded goals you should win the game,
especially out of the gate,'' MacTavish said. ''That gives a team a
heck of a lift.''

Chicago outshot the Oilers 29-20.

The veteran Blackhawks had trouble keeping pace with Edmonton
early on. The Oilers, who have the second-youngest team in the NHL,
made the most of their opportunities.

Thibault's loss was his first since Nov. 3, a 4-1 setback
against the Oilers in Chicago. He was shaken up midway through the
third period when he took Eric Brewer's wrist shot in the chest,
but he remained in goal.

The game was the first of seven straight on the road for the
Blackhawks.

Game notes
Georges Laraque returned to the Edmonton lineup after
missing five games with a sprained wrist. ... Chicago has scored
two goals in its last three games at Skyreach Centre dating to last
season. ... Oilers center Mike Comrie, the team's leading scorer
last season with 33 goals, got his 30th penalty minute of the
season after being called for tripping in the first period.