SUN Hockey Pool

Stoll steps it up

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

ST.LOUIS -- The success the Edmonton Oilers have enjoyed since snapping a seven-game losing streak hasn't come cheaply.

Fresh from an overtime victory over Detroit, the injury-riddled Oilers hobbled into a rink where they hadn't won in their last 11 visits, an 0-8-3 mark dating to February 1999.

Craig MacTavish knew he'd need something from the bodies he had left to end the misery in Missouri, and he got it from Jarret Stoll, a 17-year-old with the WHL's Kootenay Ice when the Oilers last got a sniff here.

BEST NIGHT OF HIS CAREER

Stoll had the best night of his NHL career with two goals and two assists to lead the way in a 7-2 romp that sends the Oilers to Texas for the third game of their longest road trip of the season on a five-game winning streak.

Just what the doctor ordered.

"We had to have everybody step up," said Stoll. "We've got some key guys out of the lineup and we're shorthanded right now, but everybody is picking it up a notch. That covers it."

Stoll's four-point night, two goals by Ryan Smyth, including one on a penalty shot, and a stellar night by Jussi Markkanen, in his 10th straight start, was plenty to keep the Oilers rolling on a night Chris Pronger's first game back in St. Louis was a sidebar - at best.

The play of Stoll, Smyth, who has goals in five straight games, Raffi Torres, who had assists on the Oilers first three goals, and a diligent night's work from the rest of the lineup to send the Blues to their seventh straight defeat was the story.

"It's a pretty crucial stretch of our schedule right now, but I feel more comfortable with the adaptability of our veteran players in a situation like this," MacTavish said of his decimated ranks.

"The MO for us in the past would be to come in here feeling really good about the game the previous night and lose a sloppy game in here. I have a sense that we're better than that."

With fans barely settled into a half-empty building for Pronger's return - a fact that barely registered, outside a smattering of applause when No. 44 was announced in the starting lineup - Stoll got things going in a hurry.

He zipped a snapper top shelf on Patrick Lalime on a feed from Torres 1:45 in. Leading 2-1 after Alexei Semenov and Bryce Salvador swapped goals, Stoll made it 3-1 on a power play when he banged Ales Hemsky's rebound past Lalime.

"We played a simple game," Stoll said. "We worked hard and we worked simple. Coming off the game (in Detroit), that's the way we needed to play this game."

THE BLUES WERE DONE

When Smyth tucked a backhand behind Lalime on a penalty shot in the second period to make it 4-1, the Blues were done.

"Injuries play a factor in the game today. We're going through that," Smyth said.

"We have to find ways to win and get the points.

"It's nice to put them in the bank right now."

AROUND THE RINK: Dan Syvret, recalled from Hamilton after the win in Detroit, was originally credited with an assist on Jani Rita's 7-2 goal, but Markkanen ended up getting the helper ... centre Marty Reasoner, who suffered a bruised right hand blocking a shot against the Red Wings, was scratched ... the Blues were without Doug Weight (concussion) and Keith Tkachuk (fractured ribs).


Videos

Photos