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Back to Edmonton

By Wire services
Published June 15, 2006

RALEIGH, N.C. - Put the champagne back on ice, Caniacs.

Fernando Pisani scored short-handed in overtime, giving Edmonton a 4-3 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday. The Hurricanes still lead 3-2, but the Oilers have life.

Saturday, they will continue their quest to become the only team besides the 1942 Leafs (who trailed 3-0) to rally from a 3-1 series deficit in the Cup final.

"We've still got a lot of work to do," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "But nobody wanted to see that trophy."

Carolina had the upper hand when Steve Staios dragged down Mark Recchi breaking toward the Edmonton goal 3:03 into the extra session.

But Cory Stillman made a bad pass to Eric Staal. Pisani stole it at the blue line, broke in alone on Cam Ward and beat him with a high shot into the corner of the net at 3:31.

"It looked like he was cheating to one side," Pisani said. "I picked the top part of the net to shoot at. It's great, especially when our backs are up against the wall and it's do or die."

Staal took the blame for not corraling Stillman's slow, cross-ice pass.

"(Pisani) was coming at me hard," Staal said. "I didn't see him until the last second. I needed to make a play, and I didn't. I've got to make a better play than I did."

With Edmonton 2-of-32 on the power play during the series, it was appropriate they scored the winner short-handed.

"Certainly, that's not what you are hoping for when you get a power play," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "The power play had been so effective all night. It's an opportunity to win the hockey game, and it didn't happen. Everybody is upset, obviously. But it's one game. We'll wake up (today), go back to work, go back to Edmonton."

Staal scored his first two goals of the series for Carolina, which had a chance to win its first Stanley Cup on home ice and even went to the trouble of freezing a gold dollar under center ice for good luck.

Edmonton's Ryan Smyth spotted the coin and dug it up during the morning skate, but the Hurricanes apparently stuck another one just under the ice before the game, "like a dog burying a bone," MacTavish said, joking.

"Maybe we'll plant a loonie on Saturday," he added, referring to a good-luck charm that worked for Canada at the 2002 Olympics.

Staal scored two of Carolina's three power-play goals. But Jussi Markkanen, who took over for Dwayne Roloson when Edmonton's playoff star was injured in Game 1, had another solid game with 21 saves.

"The guys have definitely been playing well in front of me," Markkanen said. "So it makes it way more easy for a goaltender."

Staal, who broke out of an eight-game goal slump, tied it 9:56 into the second.

During a delayed penalty, Ray Whitney's shot from the point caromed off the boards behind the net. Markkanen appeared to have the puck frozen at the side of the net, but Staal poked it free and put it in off the goalie.

That left the Hurricanes one goal away.

Whitney almost got it, but his redirection of a pass from Matt Cullen hit the left post with 7:47 left in the third and Markkanen facing the other way. Todd Harvey, inserted into the Edmonton lineup after a six-game absence, had a great chance late but was stopped at the left post by Ward.

Pisani deflected in Pronger's shot from the point only 16 seconds after the opening faceoff, six seconds short of matching the Cup final record. But the Oilers trailed 2-1 10 minutes later after power-play goals by Staal and Whitney.

Edmonton killed Hemsky's tripping penalty that came at 2:27, but Matt Greene's consecutive infractions 4:03 apart turned the Oilers' lead into a deficit.

Markkanen blocked Staal's first try but couldn't deny the rebound as he sprawled on his stomach in the crease at 5:54.

Whitney gave the Hurricanes the lead at 10:16 when his shot from the right circle beat Markkanen, left standing with his arms outstretched as Doug Weight jumped in front to screen him.

But Edmonton got its second power-play goal of the series when Hemsky sent a fluttering shot over Ward's left shoulder, tying it at 2 with 6:25 left in the period.

Michael Peca got to a loose puck that bounced to him in front off the skate of Hurricanes captain Rod Brind'Amour and knocked it in as the teams skated four-on-four with 18 seconds left.

Stars keep top scorer

The Stars picked up the one-year option on right wing Jere Lehtinen, their top goal-scorer this season. Lehtinen, 33, a three-time Selke Trophy winner as top defensive forward, scored a career-high 33 goals and a team-high 14 on the power play. Dallas also re-signed left wing Niklas Hagman for two years. He had six goals and nine assists in 54 games after being acquired from Florida on Dec. 12.

WILD:

Chris Snow, 24, who covered the team for the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2003-04, was named director of hockey operations. His responsibilities will include stat analysis, contract research and providing content for the team's Web site.

TRADE:

Vancouver acquired right wing Tommi Santala and a 2007 fifth-round pick from Atlanta for a 2007 fourth-round pick. Santala spent last season in the Finnish Elite League, totaling nine goals and 23 assists in 43 games. In 33 games with the Thrashers, he had one goal and two assists.

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