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Oilers Get Break Versus Blues

The Edmonton Oilers won just by a neck over the St. Louis Blues.

A freak goal that bounced off Rem Murray's neck at 11:34 of the second period helped the Oilers to beat the Blues 2-1 Friday night.

The goal, Murray's second of the night, was reviewed by the video goal judge to see if Murray's foot was in the crease. It was not and the goal stood.

"It was a huge emotional lift for our hockey club that something did go in and it wasn't disallowed," said Oilers coach Ron Low after his team moved within two points of Calgary for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

The power-play goal came off a point shot from defenseman Tom Poti.

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  • "When they see the scores in the paper, they don't ask how they went in," said Murray.

    Murray wasn't sure if the goal would be allowed, especially when several minutes passed before referee Terry Gregson signalled it a goal.

    "I wasn't sure how close I was with my toe in the crease," said Murray.

    Scott Young scored for St. Louis.

    Murray's second goal, 2:44 later, was also somewhat unusual.

    Oilers center Doug Weight passed the puck over the net to Bill Guerin, who relayed it to Murray. He slapped the puck out of mid-air and into the net.

    "He bats one out of the air," Weight said. "That's great for Rem."

    Goalie Tommy Salo was also outstanding for the Oilers. He shut out St. Louis until Young scored on a slap shot from the faceoff circle with 41 seconds left in the third and an extra attacker on the ice.

    "Instead of him giving us a chance to win the game, tonight we gave him a chance to win a game," said Low.

    Salo made 21 saves for his second win in four games since being acquired in a trade with the New York Islanders.

    Murray admitted that his 15th and 16th goals of the season were among the biggest of his career, "especially at crunch time"

    The Oilers exhibited more enthusiasm than they have in some time, outplaying the Blues in the first two periods with a 22-10 edge in shots on goal.

    "We came out of the gate a very excited team," said Weight. "We outplayed them and outshot them. We rolled the bench. Everybody played great."

    Defenseman Jason Smith, acquired from Toronto on the trade deadline last Tuesday, was outstanding for the Oilers.

    "Smitty's tough," said Low. "He plays physical. He also does a good job pinching the wall."

    Edmonton right wing Ryan Smyth, who has been out since March 10 when he broke his jaw against Dallas, is expected to play in Sunday's game against San Jose.

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