Originally created 05/25/06

Flu-ridden Oilers looking for sweep and much-needed rest

EDMONTON, Alberta - The flu is giving the Edmonton Oilers a lot more trouble than the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the Western Conference finals.

So far, the bug has run through the Edmonton dressing room and even forced lineup changes. The Mighty Ducks have not put up much resistance and are just one loss away from elimination.

The Oilers want to finish off Anaheim quick to rest, recuperate and get ready for their first appearance in the Stanley Cup finals since 1990. Edmonton took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series with a 5-4 home victory Tuesday night.

The Oilers went ahead 4-0 in the third period but allowed the Ducks to rally with three goals in four minutes. Fernando Pisani stopped the rush and gave Edmonton a 5-3 lead. Now the Oilers can wrap things up on today with Game 4 on home ice.

"We don't want to go back to Anaheim. We want to end this thing right here, right now," center Jarret Stoll said.

The Oilers admitted Wednesday that they are tired and weakened after playing an NHL-high 15 playoff games. Several starters have been sidelined by the flu, and others like Shawn Horcoff and Jason Smith are fighting through it.

Left winger Raffi Torres has missed the past two games but the Oilers managed to get by without him.

"We play a high-energy game, especially in this building," defenseman Steve Staios said. "We haven't played our best. Our game will get better."

Now they want to finish off the Ducks before they can rebound as they did in the third period Tuesday.

"We gave them a little bit of belief that they could come back and win, but you just got to get past that and keep going," Stoll said.

Only two NHL teams have rallied from an 0-3 deficit to win a playoff series.


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