Series (Game 2 of 4)

Edmonton leads 2-1

Game 1: Sunday, November 3rd
Game 2: Tuesday, November 19th
Game 3: Saturday, February 8th
Game 4: Sunday, March 30th

Blackhawks 1

(9-6-0, 21 pts)

Oilers 3

(7-8-1, 18 pts)

9:00 PM ET, November 19, 2002

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
CHI 0 1 01
EDM 2 0 13

E. Moreau (Oilers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

T. Salo (Oilers - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .966

S. Staios (Oilers - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Strong Salo makes 28 saves in victory

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

Tommy Salo

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press