SUN Hockey Pool

Raffi and Roli team up

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

PHOENIX -- Turns out all they needed to snap out of their slump was a little R and R.

And we're not talking about golf and team dinners, because the freshly-bonded Edmonton Oilers didn't look much better after their team building exercise in Phoenix than they did before it.

But the R and R tandem of Raffi and Roli saved their bacon.

Torres supplied Edmonton's energy up front, scoring twice, and Roloson bailed the club out from an abundance of mistakes in their own end, allowing Edmonton to sneak out of Phoenix with a 4-2 win.

"Those were definitely the two bright spots of the game," said head coach Craig MacTavish, whose club was outshot 41-18 in the win, and 14-3 in the third period. "Raffi, that was the best game he's played in a long time - not just the productivity that he had, but every time he touched the puck he made a play.

"It wasn't a pretty game overall, but the way he played was really encouraging for us.

"And Roli, we need a game like that. We put a little pressure on him, coming off two losses to Vancouver and Roberto Luongo, and he stepped up and played very well."

MacTavish sensed Torres was going to have a game, so he moved him with Edmonton's two best playmakers.

SWITCH WORKED OUT

"Mac made the switch early, putting me with (Andrew) Cogliano and (Ales) Hemsky," he said. "And with those guys you just have to get open and they'll find you."

The Torres game winner at 11:56 was part amazing and part lucky. He cruised in on Hemsky's rebound and took a blind, spinning backhand shot that went through a couple of Phoenix bodies and banked in off of Alex Auld's pads.

"I saw the puck at the last second and I was kind of twisted around," said Torres.

"It worked out well. I was just trying to spin and get it on net. I didn't really see it."

Nobody could believe it went in, not even the goal judge.

"I just saw Raffi standing with his arms in the air; I didn't see a red light or anything," said Roloson. "I wondered what he was doing. Then the red light came on. I was ecstatic to say the least."

"That's the thing we've been needing, a big time goal like that," said Kyle Brodziak, who also scored for Edmonton.

"We haven't been getting a lot of timely goals this season."

The Oilers came into this one on a four-game losing streak and on a four-day break between games, during which time it was revealed that Ethan Moreau's foot is cracked, not bruised, and Sheldon Souray's shoulder is separated.

The last thing they needed was more bad news heading into a Saturday night showdown in Calgary.

"That's an understatement," grinned Roloson. "After a four-game skid you have to do whatever it takes to win a hockey game."

UNDESERVING

On merit, the Oilers probably didn't deserve this one as much they deserved at least a split out of their two games with Vancouver, but nobody wanted to hear excuses after those two losses so they're not going to justify this win.

"We needed a win," said MacTavish.

"There's lot's of nights so far this year that I've felt good about the way that we've played and lost a game. Tonight was maybe the polar opposite, where you win the game and you don't feel good about the way you played.

"Hopefully we'll play well and win, get the double whammy in Calgary."


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