for this game

Sykora, Roloson help Oilers turn away Blackhawks

Nov 25, 2006 - 5:00 AM
EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) -- With Chris Pronger's return just around the corner, the Edmonton Oilers did not look past a struggling opponent.

Petr Sykora had a goal and an assist, captain Jason Smith collected two assists and Dwayne Roloson stopped 27 shots to lead the Oilers to their fifth straight victory, a 5-1 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Pronger, a former Hart and Norris Trophy winner who helped Edmonton reach the Stanley Cup Finals last spring, will make his first appearance here Tuesday since being traded to the Anaheim Ducks on July 3.

However, the Oilers did not take the Blackhawks lightly, scoring three times on seven shots in the opening period against netminder Brian Boucher to win their fourth consecutive home contest.

"We've got depth and guys that are chipping in," Sykora said. "We don't rely on just two or three guys to score goals to win hockey games. We need everybody but guys chip in at key times and (Roloson) is making the saves."

"We played pretty decently early but didn't play a good 60-minute game," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "We're a lot more opportunistic than we used to be. Petr gets the opportunity in the third and puts it in the back of the net, and then we get the power-play one and put the game out of reach."

Jarret Stoll scored his fifth goal of the season, Marty Reasoner added his third and Raffi Torres netted his fourth in the opening session, prompting Chicago to replace Boucher with Nikolai Khabibulin to start the second period.

"It was a great pass by Horcoff," Stoll said of his opening tally at 2:09. "We try that play quite a bit, but they haven't seen us play too much so maybe they weren't really prepared for it."

"I didn't get it done for the team," Boucher said. "When you get down 3-0, you can come back but for the most part, it's lights out. Especially against a team like that that is on a roll right now. You can't spot them three. That's for sure."

After scoring twice in Tuesday's victory over the Calgary Flames, Sykora netted his team-leading 12th tally at 4:53 of the third period before setting up defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron's second goal of the campaign nearly nine minutes later.

"I don't even know where the puck was going," Sykora said of his goal. "I was trying to go five-hole but I don't even know if it did. I had some chances before and (Khabibulin) made some good saves on me and I just tried to hit the net."

Despite yielding a second-period goal to Michael Holmqvist, Roloson posted his sixth consecutive victory after facing only five shots in the third session.

"In the second (period), we sort of pulled back a little bit by not running good routes and turning the puck over in critical areas," Roloson said. "The third period, we did a better job and got back to our game plan. Mentally, we have to still learn from everything and make sure we play 60 minutes."

"I think (Roloson) is the only guy that has been there in every game for us," Bergeron said. "Every once in a while, you get one of those nights, but he for sure has been the best player on our team, and we're proud to have him back there."

Khabibulin made 15 saves in the final two periods for Chicago, which fell for the fourth time in five games and is just 3-7-2 on the road.

"I liked a lot of the things we did except obviously the score," Blackhawks coach Trent Yawney said. "We were much sharper with the puck but we were playing against a good team and when you make a mistake, a team like that is going to make you pay."






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