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Associated Press
11/25/2006 12:19:34 AM


EDMONTON (CP) - The streaking Edmonton Oilers only needed two decent periods to get past the struggling Chicago Blackhawks.

Petr Sykora had a goal and an assist as the Oilers extended their winning streak to a season-high five games with a 5-1 victory over the Blackhawks on Friday.

Jarret Stoll, Marty Reasoner, Raffi Torres and Marc-Andre Bergeron also scored for the Oilers while Michael Holmqvist had the lone goal for the Blackhawks.

The Oilers got to Chicago early, put things away late and overcame some second-period lethargy which threatened to let Chicago back into the game.

''We kind of let down in the second period and gave them a lot of chances to come back,'' said Sykora. ''They could have easily done that. But in the third we kind of went back to basics and didn't make the same mistakes or turn the puck over.''

Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish credited Dwayne Roloson with making the big saves during the second period slowdown to earn his 12th win of the season.

''He didn't have to be spectacular tonight,'' he said. ''He was when he had to be for some short times in the second period after we got a little casual with the puck.

''When we were up 3-0 we were trying to paint a picture every time we touched the puck instead of making it easy on ourselves. Instead we made it a little difficult on (Roloson) when it didn't have to be.''

The victory improved Edmonton's overall record to 13-8-1 - and its home record to an impressive 10-2 - while keeping the Oilers in a tie with Minnesota for first place in the Northwest Division.

The Blackhawks, who lost all three of their games on a Western Canada swing, now sit at 7-12-2.

Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who played the final two periods in place of starter Brian Boucher, said his team had little chance of escaping the early hole.

''It's hard to come back against a team like the Oilers, especially when they are playing at home,'' he said. ''I just came in and tried to do my best to keep us in it and I think we had a chance there in the second period.''

It didn't take long for the Oilers to take the lead, scoring on a power play just over two minutes in when Shawn Horcoff made a nice feed to Stoll in the high slot. Stoll then blasted a one-timer cleanly past Boucher.

The Oilers struck again five minutes later as Reasoner snuck out from behind the goal-line and lifted a backhand into the net - a play Boucher would love to have back. Captain Jason Smith assisted on the goal and hit the 150-point plateau in his NHL career.

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