NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Edmonton
(Monday, April 3rd)
Final Score: Edmonton 7, Phoenix 1
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Sergei Samsonov and Marc-Andre Bergeron both tallied a goal and two assists for Edmonton, which cruised past Phoenix, 7-1, at Rexall Place.
Michael Peca and Ethan Moreau each totaled a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who have 88 points, one ahead of Vancouver for seventh place in the Western Conference.
"We had a meeting this morning, and it wasn't one of those types where everyone gets to air their beefs," Peca said. "The message today was that this game is supposed to be fun, and that we should lighten up, and enjoy this run to the playoffs. We've played a few games lately where we were really uptight, and tonight you could see some smiles out there, so I think the message was received."
Keith Ballard and Mike Johnson assisted on Mike Comrie's first-period goal, the only one of the contest for the Coyotes, who saw a three-game win streak come to a screeching halt. Phoenix's playoff hopes are fading, as the Coyotes are 11 points behind Vancouver.
Dwayne Roloson was solid in net for the Oilers as he stopped 33-of-34 shots. Curtis Joseph had a tough time in net for the Coyotes as he allowed six goals on 25 shots in two periods before being replaced by David LeNeveu at the start of the third period. LeNeveu stopped 10-of-11 shots in the third period.
"I didn't have my 'A' game tonight and I think there are a lot of guys in here who would say the same thing," Joseph said. "Give them credit, they played desperate hockey, had guys driving to the net, and that's how you score goals in this league."
The Oilers got off to a fast start by scoring two goals in the opening four minutes of play. Pouliot tallied his first NHL goal to put Edmonton on top. Brad Winchester and Fernando Pisani were each stopped by Joseph on their shot attempts but Pouliot was positioned in front to stuff home the second rebound.
Only 26 seconds later the Oilers tallied again as Bergeron wristed a shot from the top of the right circle that Joseph got a pad on. However the rebound caromed right to Horcoff, who was charging the net on the play, and he easily wristed the puck by the scrambling netminder for a 2-0 Edmonton lead.
Phoenix cut the lead to 2-1 with 1:49 to play in first period on Comrie's 28th goal of the season. Comrie was the beneficiary of a scramble in front of the Oilers net as Roloson stopped a pair of Coyotes shots, but found himself down and out of position as Comrie skated in and wristed the loose puck over the prone netminder.
Edmonton seized control of the game with four goals in the second period.
The first goal came at the 6:08 mark as Peca slid a pass from the left circle through the slot to Moreau who was set up in the right circle. Moreau controlled the pass and snapped a quick shot over the left shoulder of Joseph, who was unable to make the post-to-post save.
Bergeron gave the Oilers a 4-1 lead as he ripped a slap shot from the high slot that trickled between the blocker of Joseph and his body and into the back of the net.
Less than two minutes later, Peca collected a loose puck in the left circle and fired a slap shot between the pads of Joseph for a 5-1 Edmonton lead.
With 3:56 left in the period Samsonov scored the Oilers sixth goal as he took a pass from Chris Pronger in the right circle and snapped a quick wrist shot that beat Joseph stick side.
Radek Dvorak scored the only goal of the third period for the Oilers, giving them a 7-1 lead.
Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky returned to the team just before the game after tending to an ill relative on Sunday... The two teams have now split their four meetings this season, 2-2...The Oilers converted 2-of-4 power play chances while the Coyotes did not convert either of their two opportunities with the man advantage...The Oilers begin a four- game road trip on Thursday in Minnesota.
04/04 01:00:40 ET