Oilers two points behind eighth playoff spot


EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Looking at the logjam in the Western
Conference standings, the Edmonton Oilers know they have to fight
their way into the playoffs.

Mike Comrie scored early in the third period to lift the
Edmonton Oilers to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over the San Jose
Sharks on Wednesday night.

"At this point in time, it doesn't matter how we win -- two
points is two points," Edmonton's Eric Brewer said. "We battled
hard and got some timely goals, which hasn't been our forte. But we
got it done."

It was the Oilers' third win in a row.

Comrie broke a 1-1 tie at 4:46 of the third when he took a pass
from Anson Carter at the Sharks' blue line, broke in alone on
goalie Evgeni Nabokov and slid a backhander between the goalie's
legs. It was his fourth goal in five games and 29th of the season.

"I was able to get Nabokov to slide across and he gave me just
enough room," he said.

Jochen Hecht tied the game at 1 for Edmonton, which is 10th in
the Western Conference, two points behind eighth-place Dallas for
the final playoff spot.

"It's the way we have to play if we want to make the
playoffs," said Comrie. "It's not always easy, but we came

It was Comrie's fourth goal in five games and his team-leading
29th of the season.

Tommy Salo made 24 saves for the win.

Mike Ricci scored for the Sharks.

"We didn't expect them to do anything else but come out and try
to win as many games as they can to get into the playoffs," said
San Jose's Vincent Damphousse. "But we're in a battle of our

The Pacific Division-leading Sharks, two points ahead of Los
Angeles, have lost two in a row and are 4-3-1-0 in their last

Mike York, acquired from the New York Rangers for Tom Poti and
Rem Murray on Tuesday, was active in his first game as an Oiler.

San Jose won the first three games against Edmonton but couldn't
complete the season series sweep. All four games were decided by
one goal.

Ricci opened the scoring 9:04 into the game with his 17th of the
season. He centered the puck into a crowd from the behind the net,
circled around in front and one-timed Scott Thornton's blind,
behind-the-back pass into an open net.

Hecht replied at 14:41. Todd Marchant rushed across the San Jose
blue-line and dropped the puck to Mike Grier, who fed Hecht with a
cross-ice pass. Hecht ripped the puck into an open side for his

Sharks defenseman Marcus Ragnarsson left the game with a head
injury following a strange play with one minute left in the first

Ragnarsson tripped Ryan Smyth against the boards, drawing a
penalty. But Smyth's stick swung around and hit Ragnarsson in the
head, resulting in a double minor for the Oilers winger. Ragnarsson
did not return to the game.

"He's dizzy," said San Jose coach Darryl Sutter. "I don't
know if that's from Ryan swinging around him or Ryan hitting

Game notes
Edmonton C Domenic Pittis missed his 10th straight game
since suffering a concussion in practice on Feb. 21. ... D Sven
Butenschon and Ales Pisa were in the Edmonton lineup after being
recalled from Hamilton of the AHL. It's Butenschon's third stint
with the team this season, while Pisa was making his NHL debut. ...
San Jose has lost just five times in regulation this season
(27-5-4-1) when it scores first.... Carter has four points (three
goals, one assist) in his last three games.