|CHI||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||1|
|EDM||1||0||1||(0 - 0)||2|
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -For one night, Dwayne Roloson and the Edmonton Oilers concentrated on having fun instead of trying not to lose.
It paid off when Roloson stopped 32 shots to lead the Oilers to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.
The win was the fourth in six games for Edmonton, which moved ahead of idle Colorado into ninth place in the Western Conference, six points out of a playoff spot.
"We've been talking about trying to have fun again," Roloson said. "Making the plays instead of worrying about making mistakes.
"We played with a lot of emotion tonight. That's what we have to do to win hockey games."
Martin Havlat scored for Chicago, which lost for the first time in three games. The Blackhawks had won four of their last five games after losing 10 straight.
Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish was content with his team's effort.
"We played a smart game and did what we had to," he said. "We managed the puck well and I thought we played a complete game.
"We played well on defense. Roloson didn't have to make too many five-star saves. Hopefully this is something we can build off of."
Despite the loss, the Blackhawks weren't disappointed by their performance.
"We played a pretty good game," Havlat said. "Especially in the first period.
"I feel we were the better team in that part of the game. We were all over them. They had one good shot and scored one goal. We just left it too late to come back, But I thought we played pretty well."
Defenseman Brent Seabrook agreed.
"I think we battled hard and played hard and got a lot of pucks at the net," he said. "We just have to capitalize on our opportunities when we get the chances."
The Oilers opened the scoring just 4:29 into the first period as Marc-Andre Bergeron made a cross-ice pass to Torres, who blasted a shot past Chicago starter Nikolai Khabibulin from the top of the circle.
Roloson had a solid first period, stopping 14 Chicago shots.
Chicago had the better chances in the listless second, but couldn't put one of its 11 shots past Roloson. The game ground down to such a standstill that a portion of the sold-out crowd of 16,839 started chanting "Let's go anybody."
Edmonton went ahead 2-0 at 3:04 of the third, converting its first power-play opportunity.
Horcoff had an open net, but lost control of the puck. It went through the crease to Ryan Smyth, who batted it toward the net. Horcoff deflected the shot in for the goal.
Havlat broke Roloson's shutout bid with 32 seconds left, scoring on a power play with Khabibulin on the bench for an extra skater.
"That was a little unfortunate," MacTavish said. "When you have a shutout and give it up with 30 seconds to go, you don't like to see that.
"But at this stage we aren't going to turn our noses up at the two points."
The Blackhawks play the sixth game of their seven-game road trip Sunday in Columbus. Edmonton concludes its three-game homestand Sunday against Atlanta.
Notes: The Oilers and Blackhawks split their previous two meetings this season. Edmonton won the first meeting at home 5-1 in November, but fell 4-1 in Chicago in December. ... Khabibulin has yet to record a shutout in 91 games for Chicago.
|Raffi Torres (11) Slapshot - ASST: Marc-Andre Bergeron (17), Shawn Horcoff (25)|
1 - 0 EDM
|PPG - Shawn Horcoff (12) Backhand shot - ASST: Ryan Smyth (19), Petr Sykora (24)|
2 - 0 EDM
|PPG - Marty Havlat (21) Snap shot - ASST: Cam Barker (3), Tuomo Ruutu (17)|
2 - 1 EDM
|Jan Hejda Hooking against Marty Havlat|
|Martin Lapointe Fighting (maj) against Zack Stortini|
|Zack Stortini Fighting (maj) against Martin Lapointe|
|Jan Hejda Interference against Craig MacDonald|
|Adrian Aucoin Interference against Toby Petersen|
|Bryan Smolinski Tripping against Fernando Pisani|
|Ales Hemsky Hooking against Duncan Keith|