Guerin Lifts Oilers Past Devils


Bill Guerin didn't turn the boos into cheers in his first game back in New Jersey since being traded. He just redirected them at the Devils.

Guerin had two goals

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  • and an assist in his return to the Continental Airlines Arena in leading the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-2 victory over the Devils on Saturday night.

    "This was pretty nerve wracking," said Guerin, a member of the Devils' Stanley Cup winner in 1995. "I spent a lot of years here. When I was in New Jersey, I really felt that I would be here my whole career."

    That all changed last year when Guerin got into a heated contract negotiation with Lou Lamoriello. He eventually signed in mid November, but he was traded to the Oilers less than two months later.

    Guerin played against the Devils in Edmonton last year, but this game was special, even for the fans. Every time Guerin touched the puck early, he was booed. By the end of the game, it was the Devils who were hearing it.

    "It didn't really bother me," said Guerin, who scored the first and last goals for the Oilers and barely missed a hat trick in the closing seconds. "I expected that. I had some fans saying some nice things during warmups."

    Ryan Smith and Andrei Kovalenko also scored and Mikhail Shtalenkov stopped 32 shots as the Oilers won their second straight on the road after opening the season with two losses at home.

    Guerin had the second assist on Kovalenko's goal midway through the third period that gave Edmonton a 3-1 lead.

    "The thing is he just got some clean shots with lots of tie to do whatever he wanted," Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said of Guerin. "When a guy with a lot of talent and speed gets that, he'll put some in there and he did tonight."

    Petr Sykora scored both goals for the Devils, who have now lost three of four games under new coach Robbie Ftorek.

    Smith, who didn't play in the Oilers' first two games because of his own contract talks, broke a 1-1 tie early in the second period by sliding the rebound of a Mike Grier shot that hit off the goal post into an empty net.

    Despite being outshot 27-13 in the first two periods, the Oilers entered the third period with a 2-1 lead on goaltender Martin Brodeur. Kovalenko and Guerin put the game out of reach in the third.

    Guerin had tied the game late in the first period with a power-play goal. Kovalenko set up Josef Beranek for a hard shot straight on. Brodeur made the save but Guerin came out from the side of the net, got the rebound and skated across the crease before beating a prone goaltender up high.

    Smith, who didn't sign until Monday, broke a 1-1 tie 5:07 into the second period.

    Sykora had given the Devils an early lead by beating Shtalenkov from the left circle on a power play. His second goal came with a little more than a minute to play.

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