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Oilers goalie Mathieu Garon makes the save during first period action against the Islanders Monday...

Oilers goalie Mathieu Garon makes the save during first period action against the Islanders Monday night. SUN MEDIA/Jason Franson

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

Sometimes, all you need to change your momentum is a Starter and the Stopper.

It seems to be working for the Edmonton Oilers.

They're 2-0 since Ales Hemsky came back and Mathieu Garon was named the starter.

Last night Hemsky kick started their stagnant offence with his third and fourth points since coming back and Garon posted a shutout.

It added up to a convincing 3-0 win over Mike Comrie and the New York Islanders - convincing because it was the first time they've won in regulation since Dec. 2, some 17 games ago.

The win, their second in a row against a New York team, (they beat the Rangers in a shootout), improved Edmonton's record to 19-21-4 and lifted them past Chicago and into 13th place in the Western Conference.

When you're that far back, every little step counts.

This one never seemed to be in doubt. The Oilers, given a day off Sunday to rest, showed all kinds of pop in their most spirited effort in weeks.

And Hemsky had a lot to do with it, leading the offensive charge in the second period. He made it 1-0 Edmonton by using Brendan Witt as a screen on his snap shot from the high slot -- a shot Hemsky never used to take back in his over-passing days -- and set up Shawn Horcoff's goal at 6:31 to make it 2-0. The goal was the 100th of Horcoff's NHL career.

In previous games, a 2-0 lead would have meant shutting it down and trying to win 2-0, but they kept going forward last night, and made it 3-0 on Marty Reasoner's redirection at 11:28, essentially putting the game out of reach.

The third period was all about preserving the shutout.

Garon, who now faces the pressure of having been declared the No.1 guy, responded will a steely effort, stopping 35 shots to up his personal record to 12-9-1.

Jarret Stoll scored on a power play point shot to make it 4-0. It gives him two goals in the last two games, signalling, perhaps, a return to his pre-concussion form.

The Oilers are now 2-0 on their current five-game homestand, with dates against Phoenix, Calgary and LA still to come before a five-game trip through the NHL's soft, white underbelly -- the Southeast Division.

"From now till the All Star break reeks of opportunity and we have to take advantage of it," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "We need to capitalize. We need to get some wins and string some games together to get ourselves back in this thing. From now till the All-Star break is a critical stage for us because there is some opportunity there."

BOOS: The sold out crowd booed Mike Comrie all night, prompting a few out of town visitors to laugh at the pettiness of Edmonton's fans, and wonder if it has anything to do with having to live here.

"What do they do for excitement in Edmonton that they're still booing Mike Comrie," asked a scout.

Ouch.

HE SAID IT: MacTavish had this to say when a New York reporter asked him about what it's like having the youngest team in the league. "It's been fun. It's just after the game, sometimes it's not all that fun. But the next day you pick yourself up and get yourself going."

LATE HITS: Robert Nilsson was a healthy scratch against his former team. "I've been happy with the progress from him. He's been willing to put the work in," said MacTavish. "It doesn't hurt young players to miss a game or two if they use the time to their advantage"


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