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Sykora, Hemsky shine as Oilers remain perfect at home

Oct 24, 2006 - 4:36 AM EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) -- Petr Sykora commented Saturday how "fun it is to be out there with (Ales Hemsky)." On Monday, they invited the Phoenix Coyotes to their party.

Sykora and Hemsky combined for two goals and five assists as the Edmonton Oilers remained perfect at home with an impressive 5-2 victory over the Coyotes.

Just eight games into the season, Sykora and Hemsky look like they've played together for years. They have combined for eight goals and 13 assists as the Oilers have won six of their first eight games.

"Ales was really spectacular tonight, as was Petr," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "Those guys have been good for us all year and this is what can happen when guys like that get some space on the ice. And tonight they got some space."

Sykora, who signed a one-year contract in August, acknowledged after Saturday's 3-1 triumph vs. Detroit that Hemsky makes the whole line work. Sykora scored the game-winner in that one, but shared the spotlight with his new friend in Monday's win.

"It's really easy to play with Hemmer and he's made it easier to fit in with the team," Sykora said. "His vision is so good - how he sees the ice - that I need to always be ready to get the puck. Because sometimes when I don't think he will get it to me, it ends up on my stick."

With the Oilers clinging to a 3-2 lead early in the third period, Hemsky stole the puck along the left boards and flipped a pass into the high slot for Sykora, whose one-timer flew past goaltender Curtis Joseph.

"Petr is just such a good player, he always finds the open ice," Hemsky said. "I don't have to look for him because I always know he is going to be open in the slot or finding space out there. ... I don't think it is anything special we are doing together, but we do seem to have some chemistry."

Hemsky made it 5-2 with 8:05 remaining, netting a power-play goal on a nifty individual effort. The talented Czech carried in the right faceoff circle before curling around to generate momentum. He skated into the high slot and, with the Coyotes' defenders looking for a pass, unleashed a wrist shot just under the crossbar.

"I think Petr is going to be mad at me for not passing on that one," Hemsky joked. "I just hit it and it went in."

Sykora also had three assists and Hemsky, one of the league's top playmakers, set up a pair of tallies. Raffi Torres, Jarret Stoll and Shawn Horcoff also scored for Edmonton, which improved to 5-0-0 at home this season.

Patrick Thoresen added three assists as the 22-year-old rookie displayed impressive chemistry with Hemsky and Sykora.

"It's pretty crazy how good those guys are," Thoresen said. "I just try to stay out of their way. They were really clicking tonight and that makes it easy for me on that line."

Dwayne Roloson made 28 saves for the Oilers, while Joseph turned aside 34 shots.

Jeremy Roenick and Mike Comrie scored second-period goals for the Coyotes, who have lost three straight contests and seven of their first nine this season.

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