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Shawn Horcoff has goal and assist as Oilers slip past Blackhawks 2-1

The Canadian Press
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Edmonton Oilers Raffi Torres (left) stands in front of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin during the second period of NHL action at Rexall in Edmonton, Alberta, Friday. (CP PHOTO/Jimmy Jeong) Author: The Hockey News

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Shawn Horcoff has goal and assist as Oilers slip past Blackhawks 2-1

The Canadian Press
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The Oilers (27-24-4) have now won four of their last six and moved ahead of Colorado for ninth in the Western Conference, six points out of a playoff spot. Chicago (21-27-7) had a two game winning streak snapped. The Blackhawks had won four of their last five games after losing 10 in a row.

Raffi Torres scored the other Oiler goal while Dwayne Roloson stopped 32 shots to earn the win. Martin Havlat had the lone reply for Chicago.

The Oilers started off the scoring just 4:29 into the opening frame as Marc-Andre Bergeron threaded a cross-ice pass to Torres, who put a bullet past Chicago starter Nikolai Khabibulin from the top of the circle.

On the other side of the ice Roloson had a solid first period, stopping 14 Chicago shots.

Chicago had the better chances in the listless second period but were unable to get one of their 11 shots past Roloson. The game ground down to such a standstill that a portion of the sold out crowd of 16,839 started chanting "Let's go anybody."

It was the Oilers that finally got going again at 3:04 of the third period, scoring on their first power-play opportunity. Horcoff had a wide-open net to shoot for but lost the handle on the puck. It skittered through the crease to Ryan Smyth, who batted it towards the net. Horcoff was able to touch it on its way in to put Edmonton ahead 2-0.

The Hawks finally broke Roloson's shutout bid with 32 seconds left as Havlat scored on the power play with an added attacker on in place of Khabibulin.

The Blackhawks play the sixth game of their lengthy seven game road trip on Sunday in Columbus. Edmonton concludes their three game homestand on Sunday against Atlanta.

NOTES: The Oilers and Hawks split their previous two meetings this season. Edmonton won the first meeting at home 5-1 in November but fell 4-1 in Chicago in December. . . . Going into Friday's match the Blackhawks were 15-14-3 and averaged three goals a game (95 goals total) with Martin Havlat in the lineup. Without Havlat, Chicago averaged 1.8 goals a game (40 goals total) and had a record of 6-12-4. . . . Patrick Lalime backed up Khabibulin in the Chicago net. Lalime earned the shutout in a 3-0 victory over Vancouver on Wednesday, his first NHL start this season after surgery to repair a herniated disk in September. Khabibulin has yet to record a shutout for the Hawks in 91 games.

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Shawn Horcoff has goal and assist as Oilers slip past Blackhawks 2-1