Oilers give Ducks the slip


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves, Fernando Pisani and Chris Pronger scored key goals, and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 3-1 Sunday night to take a commanding lead in the Western Conference finals.

The Oilers own 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 there on Thursday.

Roloson, the 36-year-old goalie who was with Minnesota when the Wild lost to Anaheim in the 2003 playoffs, kept up his outstanding play for the Oilers, who acquired him in a March trade.

Anaheim kept steady pressure on Roloson, but he blocked, gloved, batted and kicked away almost everything the Ducks could throw at him.

The only puck that got past him was Jeff Friesen’s point-blank shot in traffic in the second period.

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 series opener.

A perfect pass from Sergei Samsonov set up Pisani’s 20-footer down 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 and into the net.

Bryzgalov, a 25-year-old rookie from Russia, made 22 saves. Although he lost for the second game 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 1-1 at 6:12 of the second period with his third of the postseason, the goal set up by Samuel Pahlsson and Rob Niedermayer.

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 at 13:08 of 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 down the slot and 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 Ryan Smyth assisted on Pronger’s score.

Notes: Anaheim lost all four to the Oilers in the 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.

AP-ES-05-21-06 2343EDT