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Home, sweet home as Oilers reverse skid vs. Capitals

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- The Edmonton Oilers rebounded from a
particularly rough road trip with another excellent performance at
home.

Ryan Smyth had a goal and an assist and Dwayne Roloson stopped
19 shots as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Washington Capitals 4-0 on
Saturday night.

Fernando Pisani, Joffrey Lupul and Marty Reasoner also scored
for the Oilers who were coming off a pair of 6-2 losses on a
two-game road trip to Anaheim and Phoenix.

The Oilers (7-4) improved to 6-0 at home.

"It's a little bit of a change from last year," Roloson said.
"Last year when I got here we were a great road team and at home
we weren't as great. But we'll be fine on the road. We have a long
trip coming up in a couple weeks and I'm sure we can turn it around
then."

Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish is pleased with his team's
play at their rink, but says they need to improve on the road.

"We haven't had a lot of success on the road this year," he
said. "We've only won one game out of five, which is certainly not
the level we want to be at."

The Capitals, who lost 3-2 in a shootout on Friday night in
Vancouver, felt better about their play in this game despite the
loss.

"That is likely our best game of the three-game trip so far,"
Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "To me, it wasn't really a
four-goal game. I almost have a better feeling tonight than I had
after taking a point in Vancouver. It's a long process to get where
we want to go this year but I think we looked farther ahead tonight
than we did the night before."

The Capitals dropped to 3-3-4, though MacTavish agreed that
Washington played better than the score indicated.

"They played us hard," he said. "They are going to win some
games."

Midway through the first period, Smyth blasted a slap shot to
the top corner that blew by goalie Brent Johnson. The power-play
goal was Smyth's sixth of the season.

After a scoreless second period, the Oilers took a 2-0 lead five
minutes into the third when defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron drifted
a knuckleball at the Capitals net and Pisani tapped it in.

Edmonton put the game away with just under four minutes left
when Johnson allowed a big rebound on a shot by Petr Sykora and
Lupul capitalized for a power-play goal.

Reasoner added an empty-net goal.

It was the first time Alexander Ovechkin, last season's rookie
of the year, played against Edmonton.

Game notes
The last time these teams met was on Jan. 11, 2004, when
the Capitals beat the Oilers 1-0 in Washington. ... The Caps lost
their previous six games in Edmonton, outscored 31-11 over that
span. ... Entering the game against the Oilers, the Caps had scored
eight power-play goals this season, seven by either Alexander Semin
or Ovechkin. ... Semin leads Washington with eight goals. Last
season, the Capitals did not have a player other than Ovechkin get
eight goals until Matt Pettinger scored on Dec. 23. ... Oilers F
Jarret Stoll recorded his 100th career point with an assist in the
first period.