Pronger Helps Ducks Rally Against Oilers

Wednesday, November 29th 2006, 6:30 am
By: News On 6

Chris Pronger kept his poise amid all the boos in Edmonton and made a perfect pass to start Anaheim's comeback.

Ryan Getzlaf scored 2:19 into overtime after teammate Chris Kunitz tied the score with 17 seconds left in the third period, and the Ducks beat the Oilers 3-2 Tuesday night in Pronger's return to Edmonton.

Pronger, who led the Oilers to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals last season and then asked to be traded, was jeered every time he touched the puck. However, he assisted on Teemu Selanne's power-play goal in the second period, cutting Anaheim's deficit to one.

``He thrives on this type of atmosphere,'' Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson said. ``When you have played as well as he has over the past, teams hate you and they want to come out and play hard on you, and the fans want to nail you, too.''

Pronger, the 2000 NHL MVP with St. Louis, stunned Edmonton in June when he asked for a trade but refused to publicly say why.

Many fans felt betrayed by the 6-foot-6, 220-pound defenseman _ and they let him know it Tuesday night. Oilers supporters in garish blue wigs booed Pronger in pregame warmups, standing up to flash homemade signs.

``Tell the Truth, Chris,'' read one.

``The Gap in Your Story is Bigger Than the Gap in Your Teeth.''

``Chris: 1985 Phoned; They Want Their Hair Back.''

During the game, the crowd serenaded Pronger with chants of ``You Sold Out!'' along with a drawn-out ``Prawwwwnnnngerrr!''

Unfazed, he never took his eyes off the ice.

``Obviously, you've got to expect the worst. It was respectful, I think,'' Pronger said. ``It's always nice to win when you come back and play a team you used to play for.''

In other NHL games, it was: Ottawa 4, Carolina 1; Pittsburgh 3, the New York Islanders 2; Atlanta 5, the New York Rangers 4 in overtime; Boston 4, Toronto 1; Montreal 1, Florida 0 in a shootout; Washington 5, Tampa Bay 2; San Jose 2, St. Louis 0; Calgary 5, Colorado 2; and Vancouver 1, Columbus 0.

Marty Reasoner and Ryan Smyth scored for Edmonton, which had won five straight.

The Oilers appeared to have this one in hand, too, but the Ducks pulled goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere for an extra attacker and scored late in the third.

``It looked inevitable that they would get the goal. We played basically the whole third period in our own zone,'' Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. ``We got basically what we deserved.''

Pronger, who leads NHL defensemen with 27 points, knew the tying goal was coming, too.

``We were coming on and they were going backwards,'' he said.

It was the second time this season the Oilers lost to Anaheim. Pronger had three assists in the previous matchup, the Ducks' 6-2 victory on Oct. 25.

``We knew it would be a bit difficult for him coming back in here and we wanted to support him as much as we could,'' said Anaheim captain Scott Niedermayer, who played in his 1,000th NHL game and got a rousing cheer when the milestone was announced.

Thrashers 5, Rangers 4, OT

Bobby Holik scored his second goal of the game against his former team 2:55 into overtime, and visiting Atlanta withstood a roller-coaster final few minutes.

New York tied it on Michael Nylander's power-play goal with 2:30 left in regulation. Marian Hossa broke out of a slump with a goal and three assists for the Thrashers, unbeaten in regulation in four games (3-0-1).

Senators 4, Hurricanes 1

Martin Gerber stopped 29 shots in his return to Carolina. Mike Fisher had a goal and an assist for the Senators, who have won five of six.

Penguins 3, Islanders 2

At Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby returned from a three-game injury layoff to set up Colby Armstrong's first two goals of the season.

Chris Thorburn, normally a checking line forward, scored the game-winner 36 seconds into the third period with a seemingly harmless shot from behind the net that banked off goalie Rick DiPietro's left skate. Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves as the Penguins halted a three-game skid.

The Islanders had won three in a row and were 6-1-1 in their previous eight games, but were without leading scorer Alexei Yashin. He is expected to be out two to four weeks with a sprained knee.

Canadiens 1, Panthers 0, SO

At Montreal, Cristobal Huet stopped two of three shots in the shootout and Alex Kovalev and Saku Koivu converted their opportunities against Florida's Alex Auld. The Panthers have lost four straight and nine of 11.

Bruins 4, Maple Leafs 1

Tim Thomas made a season-high 45 saves and Boston swept a two-game series in Toronto. Shean Donovan, Glen Murray, Marco Sturm and Brad Boyes scored for the Bruins, who won 3-1 at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday behind Thomas.

Capitals 5, Lightning 2

Olaf Kolzig made 48 saves and Alexander Semin had a goal and an assist in his return from a shoulder injury to lead visiting Washington.

The Capitals stopped a six-game losing streak behind Kolzig, who turned aside 16 shots in the first and 23 of 25 during the third. Washington is 4-0-2 when allowing 40 or more shots this season.

Sharks 2, Blues 0

At St. Louis, Vesa Toskala stopped 29 shots for his second shutout this season. Ryane Clowe and Joe Pavelski scored for the Sharks, who have won three straight and five of six.

Flames 5, Avalanche 2

Dion Phaneuf had a goal and an assist for host Calgary, which scored three power-play goals. Jarome Iginla, Roman Hamrlik and former Avalanche standout Alex Tanguay also scored for Calgary. Miikka Kiprusoff made 23 stops.

Canucks 1, Blue Jackets 0

At Vancouver, British Columbia, Markus Naslund scored midway through the second period and Roberto Luongo made 24 saves in his second shutout this season. The Blue Jackets have lost nine of 10 and are 1-2 under new coach Ken Hitchcock.