- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

EDMONTON, ALBERTA (AP) - Ales Kotalik scored the shootout winner, and the Edmonton Oilers improved their playoff chances with a 2-1 victory over the hard-charging St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

Sheldon Souray also scored for the Oilers, who ended a skid of three consecutive overtime losses and moved into a tie with the Nashville Predators for seventh in the Western Conference with 75 points.

David Backes had the lone goal for the Blues, who have lost two of three after winning seven of 10 to get back into postseason contention. The Blues are three points behind the Oilers and Predators.

The Oilers nearly fell behind eight minutes in as goalie Dwayne Roloson came out near the blue line in pursuit of the puck, but gave it away. Edmonton escaped danger when the Blues failed to get a shot on the empty net.

Edmonton took a 1-0 lead just over 10 minutes in during a power play. Souray unleashed a slap shot from the point to beat goalie Chris Mason for his 20th goal.

The Blues tied it 2 minutes into the second on a power play as Backes took a pass at the side of the net, cut in front, and put the puck behind Roloson.

The Oilers had the best chance of the scoreless third period with 55 seconds left. Mason robbed Andrew Cogliano with a quick glove-hand save in tight to send the game into overtime.

Notes:@ Edmonton swept the four-game season series. The Oilers have beaten St. Louis seven straight times. … Roloson made his 25th consecutive start. … Mason is 15-6-4 since a 3-13-1 start. … Oilers D Ladislav Smid returned to the lineup after one game due to a neck injury.

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