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Oilers 5, Hurricanes 4 (OT)

The SportsXchange

EDMONTON, Alberta -- After blowing a 4-1 lead to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Edmonton Oilers emerged with a 5-4 win Tuesday at Rexall Place when right winger Jordan Eberle scored a power-play goal at 1:48 of overtime.

The win improved Edmonton to 7-3-1 in its past 11 games and helped the Oilers make good on a challenge they made a month ago not to lose two games in a row.

It was harder than it should have been, though.

Trailing 4-1 early in the second period, Carolina went on the attack. The Hurricanes had a 10-1 lead in second-period shots when center Jordan Staal closed the gap to 4-2 at 9:37.

Carolina pulled within 4-3 on a short-handed goal from center Eric Staal at 7:47 of the third period. The Hurricanes' momentum was halted when former Oilers center Riley Nash hit Corey Potter from behind -- an ugly hit that sent the Edmonton defenseman to the dressing room and drew a five-minute major and game misconduct.

However, even that wasn't enough for the Oilers to put the game away. Their power play didn't generate a thing, and shortly after the five minutes had expired, forward Jeff Skinner tied the score on a point shot at 14:46 to force overtime.

The Oilers began the night with tremendous jump and didn't waste any time grabbing a 1-0 lead, thanks in large part to the line of Sam Gagner centering wingers Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov, who took control of things on their first shift.

Gagner set up Hall on a two-on-one at 1:33. After Carolina right winger Tuomo Ruutu tied it on a power play a few minutes later, Hall set up Yakupov for a one-timer to make it 2-1 Edmonton at 11:04.

For Hall, it was his fifth goal in the past three games, while Yakupov snapped an eight-game goal-scoring drought.

With 1:46 left in the first period, Edmonton center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made it 3-1 on a one-timer over goalie Cam Ward's shoulder, giving the Oilers three first-period goals from three consecutive first picks overall.

The Oilers, 4-2-0 when they lead after 20 minutes and 6-16-3 when they don't, had a fairly comfortable lead at the first intermission.

Edmonton went up 4-1 just 1:40 into the second period when left winger Jesse Joesuu, back after a two games in the press box, scored from the doorstep.

NOTES: Edmonton LW Ryan Smyth, bothered by a sore neck that he hoped would ease up enough for him to play, was a last-minute scratch. LW Jesse Joensuu, a healthy scratch the previous two games, took his place. ... Carolina LW Jeff Skinner was selected the NHL's first star of the week on the strength of five goals and one assist in three Hurricanes wins. Oilers LW Taylor Hall was chosen the NHL's second star of the week on the strength of four goals and two assists in three games. ... Carolina RW Alexander Semin still isn't quite ready to return from his concussion, but the Canes say he is close. ... D Mike Komisarek (lower body) and LW Drayson Bowman (lower body) also sat out for Carolina. ... The Hurricanes played the second game of a back-to-back set after losing Monday to the Canucks in Vancouver. They endured two sets of back-to-back games in a span of five days.
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