Vancouver 5, Edmonton 2
Oilers rookie forward Sam Gagner
carries the puck behind the Vancouver net.
- photo by Andy Devlin Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club
Two quick goals early were the difference as the Oilers fell to the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 Friday night despite outshooting their opponent 30-19.
Edmonton had the first good scoring chance of the game when Hemsky stripped a Canucks player of the puck at the Vancouver blueline before dancing into the slot and snapping a wrister on Luongo.
Vancouver had a chance at their end going back the other way but Matt Cooke was robbed by a Garon glove save when it looked like he had a wide open net.
Geoff Sanderson then used his speed to outrace a couple of Canucks for the puck down ice and Luongo had to be sharp in kicking away his shot.
Vancouver took a 1-0 lead midway through the first thanks to Kevin Bieksa's timely pinch. He carried the puck with the puck deep into the Edmonton zone, fed it to Daniel Sedin who set up his brother Henrik Sedin at the side of the net.
The Canucks doubled that lead several minutes later. Rick Rypien, just called up from the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League, picked up a rebound in the slot and backhanded by Garon.
Late in the period, MacTavish went with some different line combinations in an effort to spark some offence. He moved Hemsky to a line with Sanderson and Reasoner and shuffled Gagner up with Penner and Horcoff.
It seemed to pay off as with 10 seconds left in the first period, Gagner had the puck on the half boards where he threaded a great pass across the slot to Souray at the right faceoff circle. Souray teed up a shot that flew out of the net quicker than it went in, making it 2-1.
Shots on goal were 13-10 for Edmonton after one.
Edmonton went on the power play early in the second but the Canucks struck for a shorthanded goal to take a 3-1 lead. Alexandre Burrows created a turnover in the Vancouver zone and used his speed to break in alone on Garon. His shot snuck in under the crossbar for the goal.
After the goal, Oilers coach Craig MacTavish replaced Garon in goal with Dwayne Roloson.
Midway through the second, Geoff Sanderson had the puck squirt loose to him sending him in alone on Luongo. His wrist shot was turned away by the Vancouver netminder, however.
Steve Staios had a great chance to make it a one-goal game just as a penalty to Jarret Stoll was expiring. Edmonton had a three-on-two and Staios picked up a Reasoner rebound in front. Longo was flat on his stomach but managed to sneak across and get a glove on the puck to deny Staios on the backhand attempt.
A minute later, Matt Greene and Byron Ritchie dropped the gloves. It was a quick fight with neither combatant getting much of a punch in.
Strong forechecking by the Sanderson-Hemsky-Reasoner line resulted in a holding penalty to Henrik Sedin. Sedin held up Hemsky behind the Vancouver net and received two minutes as a result.
On the ensuing power play, Raffi Torres jammed in a rebound to score Edmonton's first power play goal of the season and close the gap to 3-2.
But 20 seconds later, Brendan Morrison picked the corner over the right shoulder of Roloson to give Vancouver a two-goal lead once again.
Shots on goal were 20-14 for Edmonton after two.
MacTavish shook up the lines again in the third. Jacques, Stoll and Torres made up an effective trio as they had several chances in the first six minutes of the third. The best chance came on a Torres wrister from the slot that went off Luongo's shoulder and into the crowd.
With 13:17 to go in the period, Mattias Ohlund took two minutes for hooking Sam Gagner
as Edmonton pressed around the Vancouver net.
On the ensuing power play, the team came close on several occasions but couldn't beat Luongo.
With 2:10 left in the third, Markus Naslund scored from a weird angle at the bottom of the right faceoff circle to increase Vancouver's lead to 5-2. NOTES:
After the game, the Oilers announced that they have reassigned forwards J-F Jacques and Robert Nilsson to Springfield (AHL). The club also recalled centre Rob Schremp and right wing Zack Stortini
|Sam Gagner is denied on a wraparound attempt by Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo.
- photo by Greg Skafte edmontonoilers.com
|Three star selections