OILERS ADVANCE!!

Monday, 01.05.2006 / 9:34 PM / Edmonton Oilers
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OILERS ADVANCE!!
Hemsky initially tied the game with 3:53 to play. He hammered away at the puck at the right side of the Detroit net and it appeared he may have kicked it in before it crossed the line but after a lengthy video review it was ruled a goal.

Less than three minutes later, Hemsky struck again to put the Oilers ahead. He cut in on the left side and took a feed from Sergei Samsonov before chipping it past Legace.

"He just took off on the winner," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "He's won three huge games for us in this building: San Jose, Anaheim and tonight."

The win capped a remarkable playoff series that saw the Oilers skate with Detroit stride-for-stride.

"Obviously we didn't do enough good things because we weren't good at this time of year," said Wings head coach Mike Babcock, who went on to compliment the play of Dwayne Roloson.

"Since they got into the playoffs, I think he's relaxed. He's playing like he did with Minny."

Babcock also noted that he liked the Oilers' chances moving forward.

"They've got some good players, good balance and good speed," he said. "I always thought (Pisani) was a pretty good player. I thought Horcoff played really well for them and Stoll played really well."

MacTavish alternately, had some nice words for his fallen opponent.

"It was a very difficult task to beat that team. We feel very fortunate to be moving on right now," he said.

The crowd was rocking, particularly in the third period as the team rallied to get back in the game.

"That's the loudest I've ever heard it," remarked MacTavish. "They just blew the roof off Rexall."

Detroit went on the attack early, pinning Edmonton in their zone for the first 90 seconds of the game but were only able to generate one shot from the sequence.

Edmonton received the game's first power play when Mikael Samuelsson was sent off for hooking at 4:19. On the ensuing power play, the Oilers fired four shots on Legace including good scoring chances by Hemsky and Spacek but could not convert.

After Detroit took a 4-1 lead in shots, momentum shifted Edmonton's way thanks in large part to the man advantage and the Oilers rattled off seven consecutive shots on the Red Wings goal.

With 5:24 left in the first, Detroit struck first to take a 1-0 lead. Henrik Zetterberg chipped the puck around Jaroslav Spacek before deking Roloson in-close for his sixth goal of the series.

With 3:31 to go in the opening frame, Samuelsson clipped Jason Smith with a high stick to give Edmonton its third man advantage of the period.

On the ensuing power play, Jaroslav Spacek rang a shot off the left post in what was Edmonton's best chance. After 40 seconds, Chris Pronger was sent off for interference.

Shots after one period of play were 15-10 for Edmonton.

Detroit almost doubled their lead midway through the second period after Dan Cleary came out of the corner and fired the puck low on net. Roloson stood his ground and made the save. He also stopped the rebound as Cleary tried to jam it in.

Detroit continued to create chances as Steve Yzerman rang a shot off the left post behind Roloson. Less than a minute later, Brendan Shanahan tried to go five-hole on a partial break but was denied.

Shots on goal 13 minutes into the second period were 9-1 Detroit.

With Chris Pronger in the box for high sticking, Detroit struck for their second of the night. Robert Lang picked up the puck in the slot and wristed it low behind Roloson. Steve Yzerman got an assist on the play.

In the second period, Detroit outshot Edmonton 17-2 for a total of 27-17 through 40 minutes.

"We couldn't regroup in the second period," noted MacTavish. "We were very fortunate to be down by two."

Early in the third, Ryan Smyth had a chance to make it a one-goal game but couldn't jam the puck past Legace. After the play, Jason Williams gave Smyth a shot from behind and was sent off for two minutes.

On the ensuing power play, Jarret Stoll took a shot from the side of the net and Pisani was in the slot to put home the rebound and make it a 2-1 game.

After the Pisani goal, you could feel momentum swinging Edmonton's way. The crowd was re-ignited and the Oilers started to create the balance of scoring chances.

It eventually paid off as Pisani scored again just under four minutes later, taking a feed from Jason Smith and deking Legace five-hole to tie it up at 2-2.

Just past the midway point of the third, Dan Cleary blasted a shot from the right point that hit the post behind Roloson. The puck sat in the crease behind the Oilers netminder where Johan Franzen jammed it in to give Detroit a 3-2 edge.

With 5:36 to play in the third, Ryan Smyth was tripped by Dan Cleary in front of the Red Wings' net giving Edmonton perhaps their last chance to get the game back on even terms.

NOTES: Steve Yzerman returned to the lineup for Detroit after missing Game 4 and Game 5 due to injury... With an assist on Robert Lang's goal, Steve Yzerman moved into sole possession of eighth on the NHL's all-time postseason scoring list with 185 points. He is also the league's active leader in that category... Hemsky's goal was his first career playoff marker... With the Oilers' series victory, the eighth seed improved to 7-17 against the top seed since the league switched to the conference format in 1994... The Oilers are now 16-7 in series-clinching games at home.
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