Cory Cross and Shawn Horcoff scored early in the third period,
and the Oilers rallied to snap a season-worst winless streak of six
games with 4-3 victory Saturday night over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"It's a big relief," Ryan Smyth said. "When you're
struggling, it's frustrating. You're squeezing your stick, losing a
bit of confidence. But tonight we decided the game was in our
"There's no easy teams in this league anymore. Pittsburgh is a
young team but they work hard and don't quit. But we knew we had to
take this game."
The Oilers, losers of four straight coming into the contest,
fired a season-high 42 shots at Pittsburgh's rookie goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury. But Edmonton trailed 3-2 until the goal by Cross
25 seconds into the third.
Adam Oates won a faceoff back to Cross, who ripped a shot past
Fleury from the top of the circle. Oates earned an assist, his
first point in four games as an Oiler since being signed as a free
Horcoff gave the Oilers a 4-3 lead at 2:56, scoring his first
goal in 10 games. Georges Laraque dug the puck out of the corner
and drove the net. His shot was stopped, but Horcoff knocked the
rebound off Fleury and into the net.
"In the third period, it was just a matter of staying
confident," Horcoff said. "You know that somebody will score when
you keep getting all these shots."
Mike York and Smyth also scored for the Oilers, 1-5-1 in their
last seven games.
"We had our chances in the second period," Pittsburgh coach
Eddie Olczyk said. "It was a two-goal lead we had -- haven't had
many of those -- and the puck took a funny bounce in the corner and
Ryan Smyth put it in."
Fleury faced 10 shots in the first 10 minutes and 31 over the
first two periods. His best stop came five minutes into the second,
when he robbed York with his glove on a 2-on-1.
York opened the scoring 2:51 into the game. Ales Hemsky waited
for Fleury to commit while cruising past the crease, then slipped a
pass in front to York for an easy tap-in.
Boileau evened the score with a power-play goal at 9:29 of the
first with a point shot that deflected past Ty Conklin.
Malone gave the Penguins a 2-1 at 19:31 of the first, stripping
the puck from Oilers defenseman Scott Ferguson and beating Conklin
to the short side.
Holzinger opened up a 3-1 Pittsburgh lead with a power-play goal
two minutes into the second. The Penguins passed the puck smartly
around the Edmonton zone before Holzinger hammered a shot low to
the far side past Conklin after taking Boileau's cross-ice pass.
Smyth trimmed the score to 3-2 just over a minute later, at
3:04, with his first goal in nine games. The puck bounced in front
to Hemsky, whose shot was blocked. But Smyth was there to pop in
Saturday's game was the only meeting between the Oilers and
Penguins this season and Pittsburgh's first visit to Edmonton since
Jan. 19, 2002, a 1-0 shutout over the Oilers. ... Edmonton's top
goalie Tommy Salo, who has missed the last 13 games with a hip
injury, should be ready to start at home on Tuesday night against
the Carolina Hurricanes. ... Dick Tarnstrom earned an assist on
Brian Holzinger's goal, extending his scoring steak to eight games
(three goals, six assists).<
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Rexall Place Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Referees: Blaine Angus, Dan O'Halloran Linesmen: Lyle Seitz, Mark Wheler
Attendance: 16,839 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Mike York (6)
Assists: Ales Hemsky, Ryan Smyth
Patrick Boileau (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Aleksey Morozov, Ramzi Abid
Ryan Malone (7)
Brian Holzinger (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Patrick Boileau, Dick Tarnstrom
Ryan Smyth (6)
Assists: Ales Hemsky, Zack Stortini
Cory Cross (3)
Assists: Adam Oates, Zack Stortini
Shawn Horcoff (3)
Assists: Georges Laraque, Cory Cross