Go Oil!!

Oilers force Game 6
RALEIGH, N.C. (CP) – The Edmonton Oilers continue to amaze.
They didn’t qualify for the NHL playoffs until the 81st game of their 82 in the regular season. They fought their way to the championship series as the first No. 8 seed ever to do so. They were given little chance in the final after losing first-string goalie Dwayne Roloson in the first game. They were all but written off after the Carolina Hurricanes took a 3-1 series lead.
Yet, they’ve forced the series back to Edmonton for a Game 6 Saturday night.
Fernando Pisani’s second goal of the game 3:31 into overtime, on a short-handed breakaway, gave them a 4-3 victory Wednesday night. Ales Hemsky and Mike Peca also scored for the Oilers.
“That’s all we were thinking about – just trying to get back to Edmonton for Game 6,” said Oilers defenceman Chris Pronger. “It’s huge going back home.”
Cautioned goaltender Jussi Markkanen: “We still have a long way to go.”
It was 3-3 after 40 minutes and it stayed that way until Pisani ended it.
He intercepted a weak pass from Carolina’s Cory Stillman, broke in alone on goalie Cam Ward and flicked a wrist shot into the top inside corner of the net.
“It happened so quick,” said Pisani. “The pass was coming slow so that’s why I jumped up.
“I decided to go for it and it worked out well.”
Eric Staal, with two goals, and Ray Whitney scored for the Hurricanes – all on power plays.
The Oilers remain convinced they are the better team and can best survive a long series.
“You get a sense that you’re giving yourself an opportunity to get back in the series,” said Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish. “We all sensed that.
“We really had a sense that we were starting to turn the tide and momentum .n.n. this puts us right back into it.”
Carolina lost two players in Game 5: defenceman Aaron Ward left early in the second period with an upper body injury, and centre Doug Weight hurt his right shoulder early in the third.
Heavy rains that flooded parts of the city earlier in the day didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 18,974 in the RBC Center. Fans were tailgating under tarps and awnings hours before the opening faceoff.
The Oilers started quickly in their bid to extend the series. Pronger slapped a blue-line drive that Pisani deflected through Ward’s legs after only 16 seconds.
“We wanted to get off to a better start and we certainly did that,” said Pronger.
Referees Paul Devorski and Mick McGeough dealt Edmonton the first three penalties, and Carolina jumped ahead 2-1 on power plays.
Staal shoved his own rebound past Markkanen at 5:54 and Whitney connected with a high slapshot from the circle to the left of Markkanen, who was screened by Weight. Matt Greene was in the penalty box on both goals, and coach Craig MacTavish used him sparingly the rest of the night.
Entering the game, Carolina was 5-for-25 and Edmonton 1-for-25 on power plays. It was a factor that had swung the series in Carolina’s favour.
The Oilers needed to do better, and they did on Carolina’s first penalty. With Matt Cullen off, Dick Tarnstrom slid the puck to Hemsky, and Hemsky fired a high bullet from the circle to the right of Ward that found the top of the net at 13:25 for Edmonton’s first power-play goal since Game 1.
The Oilers went up 3-2 when Hemsky stickhandled to Ward’s doorstep, the puck slid loose to Peca at the side of the crease as Ward was falling, and Peca lifted it into the top of the net at 19:42.
Staal tied it 3-3 at 9:56 of the second period with yet another Carolina power-play goal. Steve Staios was in the penalty box. Ray Whitney’s shot missed the net, hit the back boards and bounced off the back of Markkanen’s left leg. Staal banged at the puck and it went in for his ninth goal and league-best 27th point.
“It’s was breakneck pace – lots of energy, lots of action, lots of chances,” said MacTavish. “Heck of a hockey game.”
The Hurricanes had to be confident they could win the game and the series in the final 20 minutes because they had outscored opponents 25-10 in their 22 previous playoff games this spring.
But the Oilers hung in there with great defensive play, and Markkanen kept the score even when he got his left shoulder in front of a Whitney shot as the ‘Canes stormed his crease with eight minutes left in regulation. The Oilers held Carolina to two shots on Markkanen in the third, and got off five of their own. They were still very much alive, and Pisani proved it.
Notes: Shots on goal were 24-22 in Carolina’s favour during regulation time . . . On power plays, Carolina was 3-for-7 in the game to go to 8-for-32 in the series, while Edmonton was 1-for-7 to slip to 2-for-32 in the series . . . Stillman extended his point streak to 13 games with an assist on the Whitney goal . . . Edmonton inserted Todd Harvey in place of Georges Laraque.