|Edmonton's Sheldon Souray watches teammate Dwayne Roloson make a glove save with Vancouver's Mason Raymond and teammate Steve Bernier looking on during their game at General Motors Place on December 26, 2008 in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)|
Although the Canucks attempted a comeback by tallying two goals in the latter half of the game, the Oilers' three goals -- including two during five-on-three -- secured a Boxing Day win. Marc Pouliot, Shawn Horcoff, and Sheldon Souray scored for Edmonton, while Ales Hemsky and Lubomir Visnovsky earned two helpers each.
With Dwayne Roloson manning the visiting pipes at the opposite end of the ice, the Oilers tallied three shots on home goalie Curtis Sanford in the game's opening three minutes. At that point, scrappers Zack Stortini and Mike Brown dropped their gloves to earn the first penalties of the game.
Less than two minutes into the fighting majors, Vancouver's Kevin Bieksa was called for boarding, but Edmonton was unable to beat Sanford on their lone powerplay shot and the scoreless game continued.
At the 14-minute mark, the powerplay tables turned when Oilers blueliner Tom Gilbert took a cross-checking penalty. Like the Oilers, the Canucks failed to break the stalemate on their lone shot and the 0-0 game proceeded to the second period.
52 seconds into the middle frame, Sam Gagner earned a slashing penalty and the Canucks benefited from a second five-on-four. Despite playing shorthanded, Edmonton's Erik Cole had the best scoring chance of the two minutes but hit the post on his breakaway.
Marc Pouliot wouldn't suffer the same fate. At 4:27, Dustin Penner landed a crisp pass on his stick and, from above the hash marks, Pouliot wristed it past Sanford to put the Oilers up 1-0.
Four minutes later, overlapping Vancouver infractions resulted in a two-goal lead for Edmonton. With only three seconds left in a 32-second five-on-three, Shawn Horcoff ended the suspense by hitting the top shelf from inside the face-off circle.
In the final five minutes of the second, the Canucks suffered another pair of penalties and the Oilers benefited from their second five-on-three. Like in the first opportunity, the club excelled on the two-man-advantage. With help from Ales Hemsky and Lubomir Visnovsky, Sheldon Souray completed a textbook passing sequence with a killer slapshot and 3-0 Edmonton lead.
But the three-goal lead wouldn't last long. Just over two minutes later, Vancouver's Mason Raymond descended on Roloson and fired his own rebound into the Edmonton net to make it a 3-1 game heading into the third period.
After allowing two goals during five-on-threes, the Canucks benefited from their first two-man-advantage when Cole and Souray shared space in the penalty box for 1:27. Midway through the opportunity, Kyle Wellwood tipped in Alex Edler's slapshot to get his club within one.
A second consecutive penalty to Souray offered the Canucks their fifth powerplay and the home team assumed the shot lead on the man-advantage. But despite excelling on the powerplay, limiting the Oilers to three third-period shots, and swarming Roloson with six skaters in the game's dying minutes, the Canucks were unable to find the equalizer and the Oilers held on for a 3-2 Boxing Day victory.