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Oilers score four power-play goals in victory over Blues

Nov 17, 2006 - 4:48 AM EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) -- Ryan Smyth has earned a reputation as the heart and soul of the Edmonton Oilers. On Thursday, he pumped some life into his team's floundering offense.

Smyth scored twice and Joffrey Lupul and defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron each added a goal and an assist as the Oilers skated to a comfortable 6-2 victory over the undisciplined St. Louis Blues.

Ales Hemsky had three assists as the Oilers won consecutive games for the first time this month. They set a season high with four power-play goals with their longest-tenured player setting the tone just 2:07 into the first period.

The Oilers opened the scoring when Smyth was the beneficiary of Fernando Pisani's hustle. Pisani dove behind the Blues' net to poke away the puck from goaltender Manny Legace. He then sent a feed to Petr Sykora, who centered a pass to Smyth that the gritty left wing stuffed home for his 13th goal.

"(It was) a little luck here and there for me," Smyth said. "Sometimes when you hover around the net, good things happen and as a result it's going in for me."

Marty Reasoner tallied at 8:30 and Smyth made it 3-0 with Edmonton on a two-man advantage about 3 1/2 minutes later. Smyth was, as usual, camped out in front of the net when he got a piece of Bergeron's blast to deflect the puck past Legace.

"One (of Smyth's goals) was about an inch over (the goal line) and the other was off his skate," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish joked. "Some things in this life are beyond explanation and it's just how he continues to be productive in scoring those goals is just a testament to his willingness. His one asset is his persistence, that he'll go in there and you can't get him out of there and that's a good lesson for a lot of guys."

Lupul and Pisani also had power-play goals for the Oilers, who went 4-for-10 with the extra skater after entering ranked 23rd in the NHL in power-play percentage. They had scored two goals or fewer in four of their last six games.

"Any time you get a power play, you want to make sure that you're moving the puck around well and taking pucks to the net, getting shots to the net," Pisani said. "We did a really good job of that tonight."

Dwayne Roloson made 25 saves, Sykora had two assists and Marty Reasoner also scored as Edmonton avenged a 5-3 defeat to St. Louis on Sunday.

"All in all, I thought we played a well-rounded game," Smyth said. "We had to redeem ourselves from the last game we played against them."

Keith Tkachuk and Ryan Johnson tallied for the Blues, who went 0-for-3 with the man advantage in losing for the fifth time in six games.

"When you're working hard and you're trying and it's not working for you, it gets frustrating," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "That's when you end up taking penalties and we've got to get by that and be bigger than that."

Legace finished with just 22 saves in falling to 3-6-1 on the season.

"I think Manny is fighting it just like everyone else, so I mean we are all squeezing the sticks and we aren't getting too many breaks," Kitchen said. "And that's why we are spending most of the game in the penalty box. We've become very undisciplined."

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