Torres scores in shootout as Oilers get past Red WingsNov 19, 2006 - 6:26 AM
Torres scored his first goal in 12 games in the third period and added the clincher in the seventh round of the shootout for the Oilers, who won for the fourth time in five games with a 4-3 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings.
Playing the second contest of a seven-game homestand, the Oilers never trailed and raised their home mark to 8-2-0 this season. The defending Western Conference champions do not play on the road again until they visit Vancouver on December 4.
The teams exchanged tallies in the second and fifth rounds of the shootout before Torres gave Edmonton the edge by firing the puck between rookie goaltender Joey MacDonald's pads.
"I don't really know what I was doing," Torres said. "I was just going in and I wanted to make sure that I got a hard shot on net. I had the shakes going in there and I seen (Fernando Pisani) put it in under the five-hole, so I was just trying to get it off too."
"You see the benefit of (his third-period goal) because he had the confidence in the shootout to get another one," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "In this league, it's all about confidence."
Robert Lang had one final opportunity to extend the shootout. However, he was stopped on a pad save by netminder Dwayne Roloson, giving Detroit its second straight loss after a nine-game winning streak.
"They're playing really well right now," Oilers right wing Joffrey Lupul said of the Red Wings. "They came in here earlier this year and they look a lot better than they did, so you have to give them a lot of credit because they played a pretty good game on back-to-back nights."
"You look at our roster and I thought we were favored," MacDonald said. "But when it drags on to six or seven shooters, you never know what's going to happen. The fans love it. It's good entertainment, but it would have been nice to get the two points."
The Red Wings scrambled in the final seconds of regulation and tied the score with four seconds remaining when Jiri Hudler redirected Daniel Cleary's shot from near the right corner past Roloson, who lost his stick earlier on the play.
"I noticed the guy coming at me had no stick, so I faked to the point and I saw Hudler there," Cleary said. "I shot it at his stick and he made a nice deflection."
With the game tied, 2-2, Torres skated into the left faceoff circle and unleashed a wrister that deflected off MacDonald inside the left goalpost at 8:52 of the third period. It was his third goal of the season and first since October 23 against Phoenix.
"It's good to help out because you're looked upon to help your teammates," Torres said. "When you're not, it's good to break out and do something."
"He was awesome right from the start," Lupul said. "He was getting on the loose pucks, creating the turnovers for our line and he's a tough guy to play against. I know because I played against him in the playoffs and when he's banging, he's a nightmare."
Detroit defenseman Danny Markov netted his first tally in 88 contests dating to March 5, 2004, to even the contest at 5:11 of the second session.
Markov took Cleary's feed from behind the net and fired a shot from the right circle that deflected off Oilers center Marty Reasoner before sneaking between Roloson's pads, tying the game at 2-2.
Lupul and Shawn Horcoff added goals for the Oilers and Roloson made 38 saves to raise his record to 10-6-1.
Making his first career start because Dominik Hasek played against Calgary on Friday and Chris Osgood has a wrist injury, MacDonald stopped 18 shots.
"At least I got the one game," MacDonald said. "The last time I played, I think was in October in San Jose, so hopefully it won't take that long (to play again). ... There was some rust. I'd like to have back that third one but that's behind me now."
"Let's be honest. We had the puck a lot and their goalie was outstanding," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "Our goalie, you have to give the kid credit because he really hung in there. ... It's too bad we couldn't get it done for him in the shootout."
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