Wednesday, Feb. 28 9:00pm ET
Edmonton wins fourth straight game
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) They way they're playing these days,
the Edmonton Oilers don't mind when they allow the tying goal in
the third period.
"Lately, we've been able to get goals when we need them," Mike
Grier said after scoring the game-winner midway through the third
period, leading the Oilers to a 5-3 victory Wednesday night over
the St. Louis Blues.
Edmonton matched its season-high with its fourth straight
"The other teams seem to get lucky goals to tie it up, but we
don't seem to get our heads down on the bench," added Grier, who
one-timed Ethan Moreau's pass under Roman Turek at 11:20 of the
third to break a 3-3 tie.
Pierre Turgeon had pulled St. Louis even at 7:49 of the third,
beating a screened Tommy Salo with a fluttering wrist shot from
just inside the blue line.
But Moreau broke through a pair of defenders and hit Grier with
a perfect pass from his knees, and Edmonton regained the lead.
"It was a great individual effort by Ethan on Mike Grier's
goal," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "It seems like there's
a pattern starting here. We go into the third period up, relinquish
a goal and battle back to win it."
Last Sunday, the Dallas Stars tied the game 2-2 in the third,
but Todd Marchant scored the winner in overtime for Edmonton.
"Every time we win it's going to take a collective effort, a lot
of hard work," said Moreau. "If we're going to move up in the
standings, it's going to take a lot of work."
The Oilers, who also won four in a row from Oct. 11-17 and from
Oct. 30-Nov. 5, are just one point behind Phoenix for seventh place
in the Western Conference.
Doug Weight, Tom Poti, Shawn Horcoff and Daniel Cleary, into an
empty net, also scored for Edmonton, which split the four-game
season series with St. Louis, each team winning twice at home.
"They had a lot of play around the net, passes through the
crease, deflections and traffic," said Turek. "They should win
when they score that many goals at home."
Scott Young had the other two goals for St. Louis, 2-5 in its
last seven. The Blues head into the stretch run without injured
stars Chris Pronger, Al MacInnis and Pavol Demitra.
"We've been doing a good job the last few games, but of course
we miss them," said Turek.
Weight's back-hander off a rebound on a power play 3:08 in gave
Edmonton a 1-0 lead.
Young pulled the Blues even at 16:35 of the first with a
power-play goal. Turgeon won a faceoff in the Oilers' end, tied up
his man and left the puck loose for Young, who beat Salo through a
Young has 15 points nine goals in his last 12 games.
Poti made it 2-1 at 4:51 of the second, scoring his 10th goal.
Rem Murray hit Poti with a long cross-ice pass and the defenseman
pulled the puck to his forehand while cutting alone toward the net
and tucked a shot past Turek's glove.
Horcoff extended the lead to 3-1 at 6:41, deflecting Jason
Smith's point shot into the roof of the net.
"I thought we gave up too many easy goals tonight," St. Louis
coach Joel Quenneville said. "Every goal they got was a gift."
Young cut the gap to 3-2 with a short-handed goal at 11:14,
redirecting Marty Reasoner's pass over Salo for his 33rd goal. The
Blues lead the NHL with 14 short-handed goals.
Edmonton D Sean Brown injured his right hand in the second
period, during which he picked up two majors for fighting, and did
not return. ... Weight extended his scoring streak to six games.
... Entering, St. Louis outshot Edmonton 104-53 in three previous
meetings this season. On Wednesday, the Oilers outshot the Blues
24-16. ... With Chris Pronger, Al MacInnis and Pavol Demitra
currently injured, St. Louis is missing three players with a
combined total of 129 points, 23 percent of the team's total points
this season before Wednesday.
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Doug Weight puts the backhand past Roman Turek for the first-period goal.
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