The Oilers' victory over the Coyotes at Rexall Place gave Edmonton five wins in five home games this season. The Oilers have started a season with wins in their first five home games two previous times in franchise history, in October 1986 and October 1985.
Sykora had a goal and three assists, Hemsky and Thoresen chipped
in three-point performances and the Oilers downed the slumping
Phoenix Coyotes 5-2.
Shawn Horcoff and Jarrett Stoll each added their first goal of
the season for the Oilers (6-2-0).
Sykora said the line, which was retooled to give Norwegian
rookie Thoresen a more prominent role after a strong start, is
starting to mesh.
"Everybody is skating and making plays and looking for each
other out there and that is why we have had success. It's why the
puck is going in for us," said Sykora, who leads the Oilers with
13 points. "Right now we are getting our chances and we are
scoring on them. Patrick is making some great plays out there right
Edmonton head coach Craig MacTavish also praised Thoresen, who
doubled his season point total and has looked good since replacing
Raffi Torres on the line.
"I was super impressed with him in camp and he just continues
to get more impressive," said MacTavish. "I don't know that we
have a player that thinks the game positionally as well he does
right now. He checks and all those things. He thinks the game well
offensively and has really meshed in with [Hemsky], who was
spectacular tonight, as was [Sykora]."
Thoresen, just the fifth player from Norway to play in the NHL,
is just glad to be getting a shot.
"It's such a bonus for me to create points right now," he
said. "Every time I am out there I'm just trying to work hard and
to do my job on the line. I'm just trying to work hard to make room
for Hemsky and Sykora because they are two of the most skilled guys
in the league."
Jeremy Roenick and Mike Comrie scored for the Coyotes (2-7-0),
who have lost six of their last seven and are off to their worst
start since moving to Phoenix from Winnipeg for the 1996-97 season.
"We need to ... win, however we do it," said Roenick. "We're
not going to do it sitting in the penalty box all night. We're the
most undisciplined team in the league and it has to stop. It's
"We're killing our goaltenders with barrages of shots because
we are killing penalties all ... night. We keep doing the same
The Oilers jumped out to a 2-0 start 12 minutes into the first
period, scoring two goals in 59 seconds.
Torres beat Phoenix goaltender Curtis Joseph with an easy tap-in
after a perfect cross-ice pass from Thoresen. A minute later, and
with the Oilers on the power play, Stoll ripped a slap shot from
the point past Joseph for his first goal of the season.
Early in the second period Horcoff blasted in a slap shot off
the post to give Edmonton a 3-0 lead.
Phoenix finally put one past Oilers goaltender Dwayne Roloson
four minutes later as Ladislav Nagy hit Roenick with a pass as he
charged the net. Roenick's first of the year broke a string of
147:50 without a goal for the Coyotes.
The Coyotes pulled within one on a second-period power play when
Comrie batted a puck through Roloson's legs during a scramble in
front of the net.
Edmonton went up 4-2 in the third when Sykora blasted his sixth
goal past Joseph.
Sykora got his fourth point of the night on another Oiler power
play, although it was Hemsky that did the work, circling around at
the point before wristing a shot over Joseph's shoulder for the
game's final score.
The Coyotes take on the Flames in Calgary on Tuesday night,
while Edmonton starts a two-game road trip at Anaheim on Wednesday.
... Former Oiler Georges Laraque returned to the Coyotes lineup
after missing one game as a healthy scratch. In his seven previous
starts this season he was minus-5 with zero points.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Rexall Place Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Referees: Chris Rooney, Brad Watson Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Vaughan Rody
Attendance: 16,839 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Raffi Torres (2)
Assists: Patrick Thoresen, Petr Sykora
Jarret Stoll (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Ales Hemsky, Petr Sykora
Shawn Horcoff (1)
Assists: Daniel Tjarnqvist, Jarret Stoll
Jeremy Roenick (1)
Assists: Ladislav Nagy, Zbynek Michalek
Mike Comrie (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Shane Doan, Keith Yandle
Petr Sykora (6)
Assists: Ales Hemsky, Patrick Thoresen
Ales Hemsky (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Petr Sykora, Patrick Thoresen