Hemsky had a goal and an assist in the Oilers’ 3-2 victory Thursday night over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“Guy gets one shot and it’s in the net—give him credit where credit is due,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said.
The Oilers won their fifth straight while Toronto’s winless streak was stretched to five games (0-2-2-1).
Edmonton goaltender Ty Conklin stopped 31 shots to win his fourth consecutive start and earn his fifth victory in six since replacing Tommy Salo (hip). Conklin has allowed just five goals in four games, stopping 119 shots.
Edmonton broke a 1-1 tie by scoring twice in the second period. Roberts converted a rebound at 15:28 of the third to make it close.
The Oilers had to kill a slashing penalty on Steve Staios with 2:33 left. Conklin stopped Mikael Renberg from in close with 44 seconds remaining to preserve the lead, and Ryan Smyth blocked a shot at the blue line in the final seconds.
“Down by a goal, obviously they’re going to really start pressing,” Conklin said. “It got really hectic at the end, but that’s to be expected.”
York put Edmonton up 2-1 at 13:16 of the second, tapping Jason Smith’s pass behind Ed Belfour from the side of the net. York’s sixth goal extended his scoring streak to six games (three goals, five assists).
Hemsky made it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 18:35, his fourth. Belfour stopped Smyth’s backhand shot but the rebound bounced in the slot to Hemsky, who scored with a backhander.
“Like any offensive hockey player, you get some success early in the game and your confidence is high,” MacTavish said. “He made that great pass to Bergie early and then got the one-timer backhand. You don’t see too many players who can do that.”
Edmonton was 2-for-6 on the power play after scoring just two goals in 29 chances in its last seven games.
Toronto was 1-for-5 with the extra man.
“We’re still making too many mistakes,” Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin said. “We had turnovers and mistakes all over the ice.
“Bottom line, we’re not playing good enough to win hockey games. We have to pull out of this as a group.”
Tucker opened the scoring with a power-play goal 10:57 into the first.
Bergeron made it 1-1 at 16:37, also on the power play. Radek Dvorak earnedan assist, extending his point streak to four games (two goals, four assists).
: It was the Oilers’ first home game since their arena changed its name from Skyreach Centre to Rexall Place. … The Oilers signed Staios to a three-year contract extension that will pay him $2 million next season and $2.125 million in each of the following two years. … Joe Nieuwendyk, who missed seven games with back spasms, returned to Toronto’s lineup Tuesdayagainst Calgary but sat out Thursday.
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