Satan, Sykora help Penguins edge Oilers

By Chris Adamski
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) — The Pittsburgh Penguins thought they were
on their way to a rout, but the Edmonton Oilers had no intention
of letting them turn it into a laugher.

Miroslav Satan and Petr Sykora each tallied twice as the
Penguins held on for a 5-4 victory over the Oilers after nearly
squandering a five-goal lead on Thursday.

Satan and Maxime Talbot scored in the first period, and Sykora
tallied twice in 99-second span midway through the second to
highlight a three-goal outburst in the session as the Penguins
built a 5-0 lead.

“It was up and down with no defense,” Sykora said. “It’s fun to
play, but it doesn’t work in this league anymore, and we almost
paid for that one.”

Fernando Pisani and defensemen Tom Gilbert and Sheldon Souray
helped the Oilers rally back, while Ales Hemsky extended his
streak of points on the road to seven games with a goal in the
third. Hemsky has notched at least one point in nine of the
Oilers’ 10 road contests this season.

“We let them hang around,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said.
“We got caught, really, not playing the right way (and) started
to cheat a bit.”

Evgeni Malkin collected three assists in support of Marc-Andre
Fleury, who made 27 saves in helping Pittsburgh post its second
straight win following a three-game losing skid.

Satan opened the scoring 9:14 into the first, and the Penguins
got a shorthanded goal less than seven minutes later to double
the lead. Crosby collected a loose puck along the boards in his
own zone and carried it down the ice on a 2-on-1 rush with
Talbot, who banked in a rebound from the right side.

“I think it was an exciting game for the fans, but not for us,”
Satan said. “We just made it a little harder on ourselves than
we had to.”

Satan scored his second of the game at 7:05 of the second and
Sykora followed with his first less than 4 1/2 minutes later.
Sykora increased the bulge to 5-0 on the power play, grabbing
the rebound of Malkin’s slap shot from the point and tapping it
past netminder Mathieu Garon from the left side of the crease.

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“Halfway through the game, we were playing a great hockey game,”
Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said. “We started to be really
sloppy midway through the second period. That’s why we lost
momentum. We lost our focus, the way we are supposed to play.

“We were glad to get the two points, but in the meantime, it was
a good lesson. We lost total momentum in this game, and it was
tough to get it back.”

Oilers coach Craig MacTavish pulled Garon after he allowed five
goals on only 20 shots, and something started to click with
Edmonton’s offense shortly thereafter.

“We did a lot of things well early, we just were running into
trouble in front of our net,” Oilers captain Ethan Moreau said.
“We need to get into a little better shooting lanes. They’ve
got some pretty good players and they played real well tonight,
but it definitely shouldn’t have been 5-0.”

Pisani scored with 87 seconds left in the middle period, when
his backhander from the right faceoff circle sailed over the
shoulders of Fleury, cutting the deficit to 5-1.

Gilbert began Edmonton’s third-period surge with a wrister just
2:57 into the session and Hemsky capitalized on a mistake 28
seconds later to draw the Oilers within two. Hemsky took
advantage of defenseman Rob Scuderi’s turnover at the blue line
and converted a backhander on a breakaway.

“It was great resilience by this team to come out and get
themselves back in the game like that,” MacTavish said.

Less than two minutes later, Pittsburgh received a five-minute
power play – including a 5-on-3 for two minutes courtesy of a
roughing penalty on Souray. After serving his infraction, the
blue-liner emerged from the penalty box, received a pass from
Kyle Brodziak and beat Fleury on a breakaway to pull the Oilers
within 5-4.

“With the way it is now, you can just never quit on the game,”
Souray said. “We were positive and we had a feeling we could
come back in between the second and the third. It’s always
easier to say than do, but we had some good efforts in the
third. Just too little, too late.”