San Jose vs. Edmonton - Game 4, Western Conference semifinal
By Jesse Campigotto
How quickly fortunes can change in the Oil business.
Edmonton was on the brink of falling into a 3-0 series hole on Wednesday night before the Oilers' Raffi Torres beat San Jose goalie Vesa Toskala on a nifty wrist shot with less than seven minutes left in regulation to tie Game 3 at 2-2. Then, in the third overtime period, Shawn Horcoff converted a nice pass from Ryan Smyth to win it for Edmonton.
Another win tonight and business will again be booming for the Oilers.
GAME OVERThanks for joining us tonight. Check back tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. ET for live commentary on Game 5 of the Senators-Sabres series. G'night!
THIRD PERIOD, 20:00Final score: Edmonton 6, San Jose 3. A great game by the Oilers, who overcame two two-goal deficits. The crowd shows its appreciation by going bonkers. Should be quite the night on Whyte Ave. The series now heads back to San Jose tied 2-2. Game 5 goes Sunday night.
THIRD PERIOD, 17:50After scoring five (as yet) unanswered goals, the Oilers have gone into defensive mode as they protect a three-goal lead. I wouldn't say there's much danger in that lead vanishing.
THIRD PERIOD, 14:00Edmonton 6, San Jose 3. And it's a runaway. Jarrett Stoll breaks his stick on a one-timer and the changeup fools Nabokov. The Oilers still have a power play.
THIRD PERIOD, 13:14With San Jose shorthanded, Nabokov makes another big save. A point shot caroms off the boards and bounces right to an Edmonton player off to the side of the net an Nabokov slides over nicely to block it. The Sharks get calle for a penalty on the play, giving the Oilers a two-man advantage.
THIRD PERIOD, 10:15Nabokov is tested quickly as the Oilers come in on a 2-on-1 and the new (old?) Sharks goalie is up to the task, stopping a shot by Peca.
THIRD PERIOD, 8:19Edmonton 5, San Jose 3. All the pressing pays off for Edmonton as they go up by two on a beauty. Ryan Smyth finds a streaking Hemsky charging to the net and feeds him for a tap-in. San Jose coach Ron Wilson promptly pulls Toskala and replaces him with (here's a name from the past) Evgeni Nabokov.
THIRD PERIOD, 7:12The Sharks kill off the penalty but the Oilers really have them on their heels.
THIRD PERIOD, 6:14The Oilers are really flying. They're getting some good chances in pressing for an insurance goal and now they're on a power play. This could be a key moment.
THIRD PERIOD, 2:57Edmonton 4, San Jose 3. Wow, what a game. A hard-working but hungry game blogger can't even go out to grab a quarter chicken dinner without missing something good. A goal by Jason Smith gives the Oilers their first lead.
SECOND PERIOD, 20:00A terrific second period comes to a close with the teams tied. San Jose had a 15-9 shot advantage in the period. Hopefully the teams can keep this pace up in the third.
SECOND PERIOD, 15:35Edmonton 3, San Jose 3. The Oilers tie it on a weird one. After San Jose gets a flurry of chances on a power play, Sergei Samsonov comes out of the box just in time to chase down the puck, which had deflected out of the Edmonton zone off Roloson's blocker. Samsonov loses a race to the puck with Toskala, but Toskala's pass attempt hits Samsonov and he puts the puck into an open net. What a sequence.
SECOND PERIOD, 12:28San Jose 3, Edmonton 2. Mike Peca bangs in a rebound and, suddenly, we've got something of a shootout on our hands. Hughson tells us that was Peca's first playoff goal as an Oiler.
SECOND PERIOD, 11:13Maybe his skirt got in the way. Off a 2-on-1, Thornton semi-fans on a one-timer and it goes off the post. Allright, no more Thornton-skirt jokes. Promise.
SECOND PERIOD, 9:02San Jose 3, Edmonton 1. So how long does it take a broken foot to heal? Pronger turns the puck over in the Oilers' zone, leading to Cheechoo converting a pass from that no-good, skirt-wearin' Thornton.
SECOND PERIOD, 8:10Apparently I've been too hard on Chris Pronger. Word on the street is he played the Olympics on a broken foot.
SECOND PERIOD, 6:49A great play by Chris Pronger as he bats a puck out of the air that was heading into a gaping Oilers net. Again, where was this guy during the Olympics?
SECOND PERIOD, 5:03Presumably for comfort, Joe Thornton has been wearing pads that he's cut up the back of each leg. As my Dad says, it looks like he's wearing a skirt out there. The nerve of that hippy.
SECOND PERIOD, 1:02Horcoff is back and, it seems, none the worse for wear after taking that hit from behind.
FIRST INTERMISSIONThis is interesting. Shots on goal in the first period: 15-4 in favour of Edmonton. Wow.
FIRST PERIOD, 20:00After a hearty B--- S---! chant from the Oilers faithful, the period ends with the Sharks holding a one-goal advantage. Some good action to end the period. Things are heating up.
FIRST PERIOD, 18:08Ales Hemsky gets a good chance when he takes a pass and breaks down the right wing, but he fires right at Toscala. The Oilers are getting chances but Toskala has been excellent.
Moments after that, Horcoff is nailed from behind into the boards behind the San Jose net by Kyle McLaren. It was pretty much the same hit for which Georges Laracque got a match penalty in Game 3, when he hit Cheechoo. The only difference is that the hit on Horcoff didn't draw blood. I never understood why blood should matter. Laracque seems to be thinking the same thing as he lobbies with the refs for a penalty on McLaren.