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Oilers score three unanswered goals in final period

3/12/2003

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- The Edmonton Oilers endured an emotional
day of trade activity that saw two of their top players dealt away.
It didn't affect them once they took the ice.

Georges Laraque scored the go-ahead goal at 8:02 of the third
period, his first goal in 18 games, and the Oilers scored three
unanswered goals in the final 12 minutes to beat the Calgary Flames
5-2 on Tuesday night.

"It's extremely tough when you lose teammates in a trade,"
forward Mike Comrie said. "It's all a part of the business and
that's where we really have to be professional and go out and just
worry about the on-ice stuff and not worry about what's happening
off the ice even though it's tough to do."

In two deals, Edmonton traded defenseman Janne Niinimaa, leading
scorer Anson Carter, and rookie defenseman Ales Pisa.

"It's like family around here, so to lose members of our family
like we did today is tough," said Edmonton's Todd Marchant, who
had a goal and an assist.

Of the three players Edmonton picked up in its trades with the
New York Rangers and New York Islanders, only Brad Isbister arrived
in time to play.

"It's important that you establish yourself as a team that can
have success right away after a trade in spite of the fact we never
had a couple of the players," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said.
"It's important for the confidence of the team."

Isbister made a good first impression on Shawn Horcoff.

"Just meeting Izzy tonight, he's such a standup guy. He's going
to fit right in," Horcoff said.

The Edmonton-born Isbister was happy to be joining his hometown
team.

"They're a great bunch of guys here, they welcomed me right
away and made me feel a part of the team," said Isbister, who had
an assist while playing on a line with Mike Comrie and Jason
Chimera. "I'm really excited to be here and be a part of this
organization."

Right wing Radek Dvorak and defenseman Cory Cross, acquired from
the Rangers, will join the Oilers tomorrow.

Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff and Comrie also scored for Edmonton.
Rookie right wing Ales Hemsky continued his inspired play,
assisting on two goals to extend his point-scoring streak to six
games.

The Oilers hold the final playoff spot in the Western
Conference, and moved seven points up on Nashville.

Chris Clark and Craig Conroy scored for Calgary, which had its
season-high, four-game winning streak snapped.

"We knew they had played last night and we said the third
period was going to be our period as it has been for us for the
past four or five games," Conroy said. "But we took some
penalties that put us in a hole early and we then we lost our
composure a bit."

Trailing 2-1 in the second period, the Oilers pulled even with
1:48 left in the period when Marchant knocked in a rebound after
Roman Turek couldn't control a slap shot from Eric Brewer.

Calgary took the lead for the second time at 10:14 when Conroy
took a pass from Jordan Leopold and from the top of the circle
fired a quick shot that beat a screened Tommy Salo inside the near
goal post.

After squandering two, two-man power plays in the first period,
the Oilers made good on a one-man opportunity 19 seconds into the
second when Smyth neatly converted a pass from Marchant.

The Oilers lost Jason Chimera in the third period when he
hobbled off the ice after taking a heavy hit along the boards from
Calgary defenseman Denis Gauthier.

Game notes
Edmonton D Andre-Marc Bergeron played his first NHL game.
Recalled from Hamilton of the AHL late Monday night, Bergeron took
Niinimaa's spot. ... Niinimaa was sixth in the NHL in average ice
time (26:29). ... The Flames drop to 8-5-4-1 against Northwest
Division opponents. ... Calgary's line of Chris Drury, Oleg
Saprykin, and Martin Gelinas had 19 points over the previous four
games. ... The only healthy scratch for either team was Edmonton C
Brian Swanson.

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