Are Oilers hooped?

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

PHOENIX -- The Oilers have lost forward Ethan Moreau indefinitely after he sprained his right ankle while playing basketball with teammates after a training session at a local fitness club yesterday.

Contrary to early reports that Moreau might have suffered a broken leg, team spokesman J.J. Hebert said yesterday afternoon X-rays showed no fracture of the ankle.

Coach Craig MacTavish indicated somebody might have to be summoned from the minors for Thursday's game with Columbus, but said no decision has been made. That's a call that will be made today.

With Michael Peca sitting out Sunday because of the flu and Moreau out pending further assessment, the Oilers have just 10 healthy forwards.

ON THE EDGE: Radek Dvorak had more on his mind than scoring as he skated in on Curtis Joseph in Sunday's shootout against the Phoenix Coyotes - he wanted to avoid falling.

The Oilers forward, who'd lost an edge on one of his skates in overtime, stayed on his feet and tucked a backhand past Joseph for a 4-3 win.

"I had to skate straight," Dvorak said.

When Dvorak took his first strides in on Joseph he knew something was amiss, so he avoided trying any kind of lateral move, instead pushing the puck in front of him before veering to his backhand,

"It was a great play," coach Craig MacTavish said. "I thought Radek was real effective all night. That was maybe his best game of the year, certainly very close."

ONE-IN-A-MILLION: MacTavish has drawn up countless set plays like the one he diagrammed against the Coyotes with 2.2 seconds remaining, but the events that led to Chris Pronger's tying goal at 19:59 isn't something you can plan.

Marty Reasoner didn't win the draw against Mike Ricci cleanly, leaving Fernando Pisani to swat the puck, which was intended for Marc-Andre Bergeron, towards Pronger.

He got lots of wood on the bouncing rubber and it fooled Cujo.

"A lot will be made of it because it's a one-in-a-million situation, but I can only remember one other time, of all those plays, where it ever worked," MacTavish said.

"It's a one-in-a-million thing. You get one of those losses a year, where it's a real stinger. There's always one game in a year where you say, 'How did we lose that game?' That was their turn (Sunday) night."

MO-MENTUM: Mike Morrison is 7-0 on the road and is 4-0 in shootouts, having stopped 13 of the 16 shots he's faced. He was having an ordinary night before he stiffed five of six Coyotes in the shootout to secure the Oilers two points.

SMITH OUT? Captain Jason Smith is questionable for Thursday's game at Rexall Place with Columbus after suffering a bruised toe when he was hit by a puck in the second period Sunday.

"You know when Jason can't go in the third, it's like an amputee," said MacTavish of his hard-nosed captain.


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