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WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS!!

Saturday, 27.05.2006 / 11:39 PM / Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers
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WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS!!
"It's a great feeling," Oilers goaltender Dwayne Roloson said after the game. "Stanley Cup Finals got a great ring, but we still have a ways to go yet. We'll cherish this one for a bit and then get back on track and find out who we play next."

The story of the game and series was Edmonton's strong penalty kill. Anaheim went 1-for-11 with the man advantage in the game as the Oilers were able to stifle their attack.

"You don't get the finals if you don't have good penalty killing," said Edmonton head coach Craig MacTavish. "Penalty killing is about blocking shots and sacrifice and work ethic and we have lots of guys that are willing to do that and great goaltending."

Edmonton's Matt Greene took the game's first penalty a minute-and-a-half in. On the ensuing power play, Roloson made a good stop on Rob Niedermayer from the side of the net.

After a successful penalty kill, the Oilers went back on the attack. With Ryan Smyth in front, Ales Hemsky almost snuck a low shot on Jean-Sebastien Giguere. However, the Ducks netminder was there to make the save.

Seven minutes into the first, the Mighty Ducks went on their second power play after a hooking minor was assessed to Jaroslav Spacek. This time Anaheim capitalized as Francois Beauchemin ripped a point shot top corner behind Roloson to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead.

Edmonton's best chance of the opening period came courtesy of the Torres-Pisani-Peca line. Torres made a nice move to get around Beauchemin before firing it on net. Michael Peca's rebound attempt on the play just missed the mark.

Anaheim took its first penalty of the night when Samuel Pahlsson was sent off for hooking at 16:50. The Oilers were unable to generate much in the way of offence on that power play.

After one period, Anaheim had a 1-0 lead and were outshooting Edmonton 14-8.

An early second-period penalty to Dustin Penner gave the Oilers some momentum to start the period. Although the Oilers were unable to score on the man advantage, Ethan Moreau's first of the playoffs shortly after tied the game up.

Moreau took the puck behind the Anaheim net and wrapped it around on Giguere. The Ducks goaltender made the initial stop but Moreau was able to sneak the rebound in short side.

Five minutes later, the Oilers again failed to convert on the power play but again they scored after the penalty expired. Raffi Torres tipped a point shot from Marc-Andre Bergeron past Giguere for his third of the playoffs to put the Oilers in front for the first time in the contest.

The Mighty Ducks came close to tying the game midway through the period as Roloson made a trio of stops during a mad scramble in front.

The Oilers were starting to pressure for another goal to take a two-goal lead but Giguere stood his ground. On an odd-man rush, Shawn Horcoff tried to backhand the puck high but it was blocked by the Ducks netminder.

Shots on goal after two periods of play were 22-18 in favour of the host Mighty Ducks.

Rob Niedermayer almost tied the game 1:30 into the third as he had the puck in the slot but rang it off the crossbar behind Roloson.

At the other end, Giguere made a big stop off Samsonov as the Oilers winger cut to the slot before shooting low on net.

Anaheim's Andy McDonald looked to be breaking in alone on the Edmonton net but a great defensive play by Spacek broke up the scoring chance. Sergei Samsonov was sentenced for tripping on the same shift, putting the Mighty Ducks back on the power play. Edmonton was able to kill off that penalty, chewing some more time off the clock.

Midway through the period, Roloson made a huge save off a tipped shot from the point. The Oilers netminder went down to make a pad stack but after the puck was deflected he had to reach to get his glove on it.

Tensions started rising when Samsonov was sent off for cross-checking at 10:35 of the third, putting Anaheim on their ninth power play. Anaheim got a ton of pressure and several good scoring chances on the ensuing man advantage, but the Oilers were able to hold off the Mighty Ducks.

A penalty for too man men by Edmonton put Anaheim on its 10th power play with 3:50 to play in the third. With their season on the line, the Mighty Ducks pulled goaltender Giguere with almost three minutes left in the game to get a six-on-four advantage.

With 2:18 left, Chris Pronger cleared the puck over the glass to make it a six-on-three.

As has been the case throughout this series, the Oilers' penalty killing stood tall. Ryan Smyth hit the post on the empty net in the final minute but it didn't end up costing the club.

NOTES: Both Anaheim and Edmonton went with the same lineup as Thursday... The Oilers advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1990.
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