Oilers top Canucks 5-3
|Sam Gagner slips the puck past Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo during the third period of Oilers-Canucks at Rexall Place on Saturday, April 4, 2009. The Oilers won 5-3. (Photo by Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
- Sam Gagner, EDM - Goal + two assists
- Dwayne Roloson, EDM - 43 saves
- Mats Sundin, VAN - Assist + four shots
- With the win, Edmonton remains in a tie with Minnesota for 10th spot in the West, three points behind eighth-place Nashville and St. Louis. Minnesota has a game in hand over the three clubs.
- Edmonton continues their six-game homestand Tuesday, April 7 vs. Los Angeles. Game time is 7:00pm MDT.
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
The Rexall Place floodgates opened wide in the third period, with the Oilers and Canucks trading five goals through the final 20 minutes. In the end, Sheldon Souray
's slapshot and Ales Hemsky
's empty-netter sealed a 5-3 win for the Oil.
led all skaters with a goal and two assists for first-star honours, while Dwayne Roloson stopped 43 shots for the win.
Strong starts have been an issue for the Oilers all season, but not Saturday night. Only 27 seconds in, Ales Kotalik pounced on Sheldon Souray
's rebound and directed it past Roberto Luongo for an early home lead.
Consecutive Oilers penalties to Theo Peckham
and Ales Hemsky
gave the Canucks two powerplays in the first half of the frame, but the visitors were unable to match the home team despite owning the shot lead through -- and after -- the man advantages.
The powerplay chances evened out later in the period when Vancouver's Alex Edler and Henrik Sedin earned a hooking and holding minor respectively, but Edmonton's special teams had the same success as Van's.
At the buzzer, Zack Stortini
and Rick Rypien participated in a vigorious punch-up near the Oilers blue line, resulting in fighting majors to both players.
The Canucks started the middle frame on the attack, descending in on Dwayne Roloson. Ryan Kesler had an excellent scoring opportunity only 45 seconds after puck drop, but Roloson's right post made the stop.
The Canucks hit 20 shots by the eight-minute mark, and though the Oilers trailed by eight attempts, they required only one more to double their lead. After Sam Gagner
's slapshot was blocked by Edler, the puck bounced off the back boards and out towards the net. Defenceman Denis Grebeshkov battled for position near the crease and, while falling to the ice, shoveled the rebound into the net to make it 2-0.
A late penalty to Steve Staios pushed Vancouver over the 32-shot mark in the final minute of the second, but Roloson held out for the buzzer to keep his club up by two goals heading into the final frame.
After allowing 22 second-period shots, the Oilers tried to divert attention from Roloson to Luongo during the club's third powerplay early in the third. But Ryan Kesler was able to serve his entire two minutes and Edmonton dropped to 0-for-3 on the man-advantage.
Three minutes later, Mason Raymond posted Vancouver's 36th shot and first goal of the game. While poised at the corner of the net, Raymond caught Mats Sundin's rebound and forced it past a crouching Roloson to get the Canucks within one.
The one-goal game would last only four minutes. After snagging the puck in the neutral zone, Gagner skated up the right wing, split Steve Bernier and Willie Mitchell, dodged Luongo and backhanded the puck across the line for a 3-1 Oilers lead.
Unfortunately for the Oil, the back-and-forth game ebbed back to the West Coast club. With the home team deep in the Canucks zone, Henrik Sedin got the puck and fed it to odd-man-out Alex Burrows. The agitator surged in on a breakaway, and though Roloson stopped the initial shot, Burrows quickly redirected the rebound to make it 3-2.
Less than two minutes later, the flow went back to Edmonton. From the top of the left face-off circle, Sheldon Souray
slapped the puck through traffic and past Luongo for a 4-2 Oilers lead and just over five minutes left in regulation.
A late slashing penalty to Ethan Moreau threatened Edmonton's lead, and with only nine seconds left in the infraction, the Canucks got their goal. With a cluster of players crowding Roloson's crease, Kyle Wellwood found the puck and lifted it into the net.
The Canucks pulled Luongo shortly after the goal, but speedy Hemsky took advantage of the opportunity by beating a Canuck to the puck and tossing it into the open net to seal a 5-3 victory for the Oilers.
|Three star selections