A tough night for Oiler goaltenders

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:02 PM ET

The 7-6 Wild West affair against Vancouver was certainly something memorable for the Edmonton Oilers unless you happened to be wearing goalpads.

It was a forgettable night for Jussi Markkanen who gave up four goals on nine shots.

For Ty Conklin, it really wasn't much better although he did get credit for the victory in relief and will get the start tonight against Los Angeles.

Conklin mustered up 13 saves against the Canucks but it will be a long while before his blundered clearing attempt that ricocheted into the net off Brendan Morrison won't be cause for some cringing.

"It was a bad decision," admitted Conklin.

"I got it in my mind that I had so much time that I would just shoot it down the ice. It would have been very easily avoided just by giving the puck to Bergie (Marc-Andre Bergeron)."

Conklin was bailed out shortly afterwards when the Oil tied it up - a goal that was originally given to Raffi Torres but then rightly changed yesterday to Chris Pronger.

The Oilers haven't had a solid start from a goaltender in three straight games yet they've managed three come-from-behind wins.

"I haven't seen anything quite like it," said defenceman Steve Staios. "We feel comfortable playing in tight games and we've seen the confidence building within this dressing room."

The Oilers are 6-1-3 in their last 10 and have moved into a tie with Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division.

The Kings are on a bit of a roll as well. They come into the game trying for the three-game sweep of Western Canada following wins over Vancouver and Calgary which put them in a tie with Dallas for tops in the Pacific Division.

NO TO DEVO: Radek Dvorak's bothersome groin injury kept him off the Czech Republic's roster for the 2006 Winter Olympics but he did have his name placed on the three-man taxi squad alongside injured Calgary Flames defenceman Roman Hamrlik.

Dvorak got a call from Czech head coach Alois Hadamczik informing him of the decision Wednesday night, but the Oilers winger was already aware that only healthy players were going to be selected.

"It's maybe a bit frustrating but I'm hurt and I don't know when I'm going to be back," said Dvorak, who has played for his country six straight years in elite tournaments and at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

OIL DROPS: There was an official scoring change on the Oilers fifth goal against Vancouver on Wednesday. Originally given to Raffi Torres, the goal, which tied the game 5-5, is now credited to Chris Pronger with assists going to Ales Hemsky and Jarret Stoll.


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