Fri, Jun 09, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Hurricanes seize control with Oilers rout

AP , RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

Cam Ward saved 25 shots and the Carolina Hurricanes seized control of the Stanley Cup finals by routing the Edmonton Oilers 5-0 on Wednesday to go up 2-0 in the series.

The Oilers didn't reveal their replacement goalie for the injured Dwayne Roloson until Finland's Jussi Markkanen led them onto the ice for the opening face-off -- the first goalie in 45 years to make his first playoff start in the finals.

After vowing to rally around their new goalie, the Oilers didn't play with any sort of passion, especially after Cory Stillman scored a back-breaking goal with 2.4 seconds left in the second period to make it 3-0.

Edmonton finds itself in a huge hole heading back to Alberta.

Carolina became the 30th team to sweep the first two games of the best-of-seven series at home. The Chicago Blackhawks in 1971 are the only team to have blown such a lead, losing to the Montreal Canadiens in seven games.

Game 3 is tomorrow.

The Hurricanes poured it on in the final period, getting every break while the frustrated Oilers turned chippy.

Doug Weight appeared to kick in a deflected shot early in the third and the referee waved it off immediately. But, after viewing an overhead replay, it was clear that Weight managed to graze the puck with a swipe of his stick as it was on the way to the net -- making it a legal goal.

The call was overturned, Carolina celebrated and the Oilers fumed. Shortly afterward, Ethan Moreau threw a punch at the face of Hurricanes defenseman Glen Wesley as the two came together at center ice.

Georges Laraque delivered an even more flagrant hit, pummeling Carolina's Andrew Ladd with a shot from behind in the closing minutes to get tossed out of the game.

Maybe he was just mad at Ladd, who scored off a deflection in the first period. Frantisek Kaberle made it 2-0 just past the midway point of the second with a shot through Markkanen's legs.

With Moreau in the penalty box, Carolina swarmed in front of Markkanen until Mark Recchi got free in front to deflect the puck past the shellshocked goalie.

The Carolina fans spent the rest of the game heckling Markkanen with chants of "You-seee! You-seee!"

Markkanen was picked to fill in after Roloson, Edmonton's playoff star, sustained a series-ending knee injury in Game 1. The 31-year-old Finn had last played on March 1, but Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish decided he was a better option than Ty Conklin.

The Hurricanes overcame a 3-0 deficit to win Game 1 -- matching the largest comeback in finals history -- and have now outscored Edmonton 8-1 over the last 83 minutes of the series.

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