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Edmonton Oilers snap losing skid with 4-1 win over Panthers

The Canadian Press
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Edmonton Oilers\' Alex Hemsky, left, talks with teammate Ryan Smyth during the first period. (CP PHOTO/Jimmy Jeong) Author: The Hockey News

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Edmonton Oilers snap losing skid with 4-1 win over Panthers

The Canadian Press
By:

Fernando Pisani, Raffi Torres and Ales Hemsky also scored for the Oilers, who won their 1000th game in franchise history. Edmonton also snapped a four game losing skid and moved back over .500 at 19-18-2. Olli Jokinen contributed the lone marker for Florida.

The Panthers fell to 15-20-7 and remain in second last place in the Eastern Conference.

Edmonton goaltender Dwayne Roloson and Florida netminder Ed Belfour both had solid starts in a scoreless first period.

It wasn't until the 13:25 mark of the second period that the deadlock was broken. Torres took a low percentage shot from the right side boards that hit Belfour's pad and bounced around in his equipment before ending up in the Panther net for a 1-0 Edmonton lead.

The Oilers were able to take a two goal lead on the power play at 18:06 of the second when Hemsky outraced a pair of Panther defencemen and then waited for Belfour to go down before pulling the puck past him and putting a backhand shot into the net.

Edmonton controlled the play for the majority of the period, outshooting the Panthers 19-5.

The Oilers got another gift goal playing four aside midway through the third when Pisani took a wrist shot from the bottom of the circle that found a hole between Belfour and the post to make it 3-0.

Edmonton went up 4-0 with just over six minutes left when Smyth picked off a Mike Van Ryn pass deep in Florida territory and deked Belfour with a backhand goal, hitting the 20 goal mark for the fourth consecutive season.

The Panthers broke Roloson's shutout bid at 15:32 of the third when Jokinen blasted a shot past the Oiler goalie on the power play.

Both teams return to action on Thursday with Florida travelling to Calgary and Edmonton playing host to Dallas.

Notes: Centre Petr Nedved was unable to join the Oilers in time to suit up for the game against the Panthers. Nedved was claimed off of waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers earlier in the day and will be playing in his second stint with the Oilers, finishing off the final 16 games of the 2004 season with 15 points before leaving as a free agent. To make room for him, Edmonton assigned rookie Patrick Thoresen to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. . . . With the win the Oilers became the 18th franchise in NHL history to record 1,000 regular season victories. In their 2114th game, the Oilers became the third-fastest team in league history to reach the milestone. Only Philadelphia (2018) and Montreal (2064) have done it faster.

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Edmonton Oilers snap losing skid with 4-1 win over Panthers