SUN Hockey Pool

Jussi loves roast Duck

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- Like Disney, Jussi Markkanen has owned the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Unlike the entertainment conglomerate, Markkanen isn't ready or willing to let go of the Mighty Ducks like the folks at Disney, which in June 2005 sold the team to billionaire Henry Samueli.

Boasting four straight career wins against Anaheim, including a pair of shutouts, when he took his place between the pipes for the Edmonton Oilers at The Pond last night, Markkanen made it five straight in the win column with 19 saves in a 6-3 decision his team desperately needed.

He should have his own parking stall here.

"Jussi played really solid," Craig MacTavish said.

"He was really sharp right from the outset. He gave us an opportunity tonight. That's the goaltending you need. Saves like that on shots that are normally in the back of the net inspire your team."

FOUR GOALS IN THE THIRD

On a 1-3-2 slide and with just three wins in their last 10 games coming in, the Oilers twice overcame two-goal deficits and won it on four third-period goals - including two by Chris Pronger, who got the winner with 9:43 to play with his first, and hit 100 goals for his career with his second.

"He came up with a huge game for us," Pronger said of Markkanen. "He made some huge stops. We get goaltending like that, we're going to win a lot of games if we get that."

While Markkanen kept his cool early with the Mighty Ducks carrying the play, Anaheim's Jean Sebastien Giguere lost his late, putting his team in the penalty box and the soup for going after Ryan Smyth on two different occasions in the third period.

"I've never seen a guy implode at that level in a game this meaningful," MacTavish said of Giguere, who took three minors and a 10-minute misconduct for losing it on Smyth.

"Wow, that would be hard to handle if you're Anaheim. That's pretty selfish to do that. We had a few breaks coming to us and he took care of a lot of them tonight."

Aided by four power plays, including two 5-on-3 advantages, the Mighty Ducks pumped 13 shots at Markkanen in the opening 20 minutes. Only Chris Kunitz, deflecting Ryan Getzlaf's point shot on a power play, beat the Finn as the Oilers hit the first intermission fortunate to be trailing just 1-0.

Teemu Selanne made it 2-0 less than two minutes into the second period, then, after Marc-Andre Bergeron cut the lead to 2-1 at 5:53, he went to work again, restoring a two-goal lead just 16 seconds later, banking a shot off Steve Staios past Markkanen.

"We're playing against the teams we're battling with for a playoff spot," Selanne said. "These are huge games and the schedule is tough, but it's going to be a nice challenge for us.

"We've been playing really well lately and we have to keep it going and get this thing rolling."

MAKING AMENDS

Staios made amends with just two ticks remaining in the period, blowing a slapshot past Giguere to cut it to 3-2, and when Ales Hemsky beat Giguere high to the glove side less than four minutes into the third period, this one was up for grabs.

That was at least until Pronger made it 4-3 and Giguere blew his top, beefing that Smyth had interfered with him on the shot. Giguere got his licks in on Smyth, but paid for them when Pronger sifted a slapper past him for his 100th and a two-goal bulge.

"I was just creating havoc," smiled Smyth, who got Giguere's goat by tapping the stopper's stick to aid Pronger's winner. "I hate to say it, but that cost them the game, I think."

AROUND THE RINK: Pittsburgh defenceman Dick Tarnstrom, one of the players the Oilers have inquired about in trade discussions in the last 72 hours, was a healthy scratch against Washington last night ... Hemsky left the game late in the third with a sprained right ankle ... Matt Greene picked up his first NHL point with an assist on Hemsky's 3-3 goal.


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