|EDM||1||1||1||(null - null)||3|
|ANA||0||1||0||(null - null)||1|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Edmonton Oilers, growing accustomed to Dwayne Roloson's rock-solid goaltending, are heading home with a commanding lead in the Western Conference finals.
Roloson made 33 saves Sunday, Fernando Pisani and Chris Pronger scored key goals, and Edmonton beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 3-1 for the second game in a row.
The win gave the Oilers a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series and a six-game playoff winning streak. They will take both back home, where they've defeated the Ducks 12 in a row dating to 1999.
Game 3 is in Edmonton on Tuesday and Game 4 is there on Thursday.
The Ducks outshot the Oilers again in Game 2, 34-25, but Roloson allowed only Jeff Friesen's second-period goal.
As he had after the opening victory, Roloson credited his teammates' defense in front of him, but Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish and other Oilers said the goalie deserves a lot of credit.
"He's giving us terrific goaltending," MacTavish said. "I was saying to the coaches after the game that it's amazing what that quality of goaltending does for your defensive zone coverage.
"He's really into it."
The Oilers' Ryan Smyth added: "We knew they were going to come out strong, and obviously Rollie is our backbone. He's been doing it all along in the playoffs for us."
"It's great to see him really step up when he knew they were going to come out a little bit harder," Smith said.
Although the Oilers seem in great shape with a two-game lead and two games coming at home, MacTavish said they won't take anything for granted.
"We want to go back there with the mentality that we're down 2-0 and have a real hunger," the coach said. "Not that we won't anyway, but we want to play the type of hockey we played against San Jose when we were down 2-0.
"And to ride the emotion that our fans are going to give us in our own building and really make home ice a real advantage for us."
It wasn't an edge for Anaheim as Roloson, the 36-year-old goalie acquired from Minnesota in a March trade, kept the Ducks at bay despite almost constant pressure on him. He blocked, gloved, batted and kicked away almost everything the Ducks could send at him; the only puck that got past him was Friesen's point-blank shot in traffic.
Pisani scored the go-ahead goal at 17:09 of the second period. Michael Peca added an empty-net goal in the waning seconds in a game very similar to the Oilers' 3-1 victory in the opener.
"It was a better effort than we had the other night, and we have to find a way to change the momentum," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "We maintained a fairly good puck possession for periods of time, but we didn't find a way to get the puck inside often enough.
"Everything seems to be going their way at the moment, and we have to find some way to turn the tide."
A perfect pass from Sergei Samsonov set up Pisani's 20-footer from the slot. Skating in a crowd near the crease, Samsonov spotted Pisani and backhanded the puck to him. Pisani's one-timer sailed past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
"I got the puck and snapped it right away and it went in the top half of the net," Pisani said of his eighth goal of the postseason. "It's been one of those playoffs where we are capitalizing on our chances."
Bryzgalov, a 25-year-old rookie from Russia, made 22 saves. Although he lost for the second time in a row after logging a shutout string of 229 minutes, 42 seconds earlier in the playoffs, he still has allowed only four goals in the two losses to the Oilers.
Friesen evened it at 6:12 of the second period with his third of the postseason. With traffic in front of the Edmonton goal and the puck loose in the crease, Friesen sliced across from the left side, tapped the puck toward the right of the crease, then flipped a backhander that beat Roloson on the glove side.
Pronger opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period with Anaheim's Chris Kunitz off for high-sticking. The Oilers' 6-foot-6, 220-pound defenseman banged a 50-footer from just inside the blue line that sailed past Bryzgalov on the stick side for his third goal and 14th point of the playoffs.
Ales Hemsky, who scored the go-ahead goal for the Oilers in their Game 1 victory, and Smyth assisted on Pronger's score.
Notes: The Oilers ran their overall winning streak against the Ducks to 14 in a row, including four victories during this regular season. ... Edmonton finished eighth in the conference with 95 points, while the Ducks were sixth with 98. The Oilers shocked top-seeded Detroit by eliminating the league's best regular-season team in six games, then beat San Jose in six games after losing the first two. Anaheim outlasted Calgary in seven games in the opening series, then swept Colorado.
|PPG - Chris Pronger (3) Slapshot - ASST: Ales Hemsky (7), Ryan Smyth (9)|
1 - 0 EDM
|Jeff Friesen (3) Backhand shot - ASST: Samuel Pahlsson (2), Rob Niedermayer (3)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Fernando Pisani (8) Snap shot - ASST: Sergei Samsonov (8), Michael Peca (3)|
2 - 1 EDM
|EN - Michael Peca (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Fernando Pisani (2), Dwayne Roloson (2)|
3 - 1 EDM
|Steve Staios Delay of game|
|Corey Perry Interference on goalkeeper|
|Chris Kunitz Hi-sticking|
|Ales Hemsky Tripping|
|Joffrey Lupul Hi-sticking|
|Steve Staios Interference|
|Dwayne Roloson Interference|
|Ryan Smyth Holding|
|SA: 34||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 33||EV: 22 - 23|
|PIM: 2||PP: 11 - 11|
|SV%: .971||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 24||TOI: 59:22|
|Saves: 22||EV: 20 - 21|
|PIM: 0||PP: 2 - 3|
|SV%: .917||SH: 0 - 0|
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