Oilers doubled-up by Canucks 4-2
|Edmonton's Steve Staios shoves Vancouver's Mats Sundin during second period action at Rexall Place on January 7, 2009. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
By Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
A flurry of second-period goals -- including two by Steve Bernier in 12 seconds -- helped push the Vancouver Canucks over the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 Wednesday night.
Robert Nilsson and Erik Cole scored for Edmonton, while Dwayne Roloson stopped 21 shots in the loss.
Shortly after the Mats Sundin saga came to an end with his first shift as a Vancouver Canuck, Edmonton's Lubomir Visnovsky took a tripping penalty to give the visitors the game's first powerplay. Despite tallying one shot on the man-advantage, the Canucks were unable to beat Dwayne Roloson and both clubs continued to strive for the opening goal.
Six minutes into the game, Vancouver's Willie Mitchell plowed Tom Gilbert
into the far boards, sending the young Oilers defenceman to the ice. After a quick on-ice assessment by team trainer Ken Lowe, Gilbert returned to the bench and was back on the ice a few shifts later.
Although the Oilers assumed a 4-2 shot lead following the hit, the Canucks quickly carried the play back in on Roloson. Ryan Kesler fired the puck and the deflection went out to Mitchell, who lit the lamp by going top shelf. But to the delight of Oilers fans, Alexandre Bolduc took a penalty on the play, disallowing the goal and putting the home team on the man-advantage.
Edmonton couldn't get the puck past goalie Jason LaBarbera on the powerplay, a situation that would repeat itself twice more in the latter half of the opening frame. By the first intermission, the Oilers were 0-for-3 on the man-advantage but led the shot count 8-5.
25 seconds into the second period, Sheldon Souray
objected to Mattias Ohlund's hit on Erik Cole and proved his point in front of the Canucks bench. After dodging a swing, Souray made the crowd wince by planting a painful-looking punch squarely on Ohlund's nose and tumbling to the ice with the Swede. Both players earned fighting majors for the altercation.
Shortly after Souray left the penalty box, Zack Stortini
assumed his spot due to a boarding penalty, but the infraction failed to result in a goal and the scoreless game continued.
With six minutes left in the frame, the flood gates opened. After surging up the slot, Alexandre Burrows dug deep and one-timed the puck past Roloson to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead. 1:30 later, Robert Nilsson tucked the puck between LaBarbara's skate and the post to tie the game at one.
But in the span of two minutes, the Canucks regained their lead and added one more. After Steve Bernier dropped the puck off to Ryan Kesler, Kesler returned the favour, setting up Bernier for a one-timer that would put Vancouver up 2-1. 12 seconds later, Bernier added a second goal to set the score 3-1 heading into the third period.
Early in the final frame, Stortini earned his second boarding penalty to put the Oilers on the penalty kill for the fourth time, but the club outlasted the two minutes to stay within two goals.
At 8:48, Erik Cole narrowed the gap to one. Although Steve Staios slapped the puck just wide of the net, Cole was on hand to tip in the shot for his eighth of the season and Edmonton's second of the game.
The Oilers had a handful of excellent scoring opportunities midway through the third, but LaBarbera stood strong to keep his club ahead. Edmonton opted for six skaters in the final minute, but Vancouver's Pavel Demitra capitalized on the empty net to secure a 4-2 victory for the visitors.
|Three star selections