After keeping it scoreless through the first 20 minutes, the Oilers slipped off their game-plan in the following 40, eventually tumbling to a 6-1 defeat in Vancouver Friday night. Ales Hemsky scored Edmonton's lone goal in the final second of the second period, while Nikolai Khabibulin posted 28 saves in the loss.
Under the Scope
The Oilers held a slim 2-1 shot lead in the first few minutes of the game, but the Canucks soon found some traction and tested Khabibulin with six more shots by the eight-minute mark.
At that time, Dan Hamhuis was called for high-sticking and the Oilers went on the power-play. The visitors added two shots on the man-advantage, but home goalie Cory Schneider turned them both away to keep it scoreless.
It would stay that way until the end of the first, with the Canucks carrying a 14-6 shot lead into the second period.
Only 30 seconds into the middle frame, the Canucks broke the stalemate. On the opposite wing as his twin, Daniel Sedin caught a quick pass from Henrik and tapped the puck past Khabibulin to make it 1-0 Vancouver.
1:34 later, the Canucks scored again. After receiving the puck from Andrew Alberts, Ryan Kesler skated up center ice and fired on Khabibulin from mid-slot. Although the Oilers goalie caught a piece of the puck, it flipped over the top of his glove and bumbled across the line to set the score 2-0.
A trio of infractions kept penalty box doors swinging following the goals, but penalty killers and goaltenders prevented another goal until the return of five-on-five.
Once that happened, it didn't take long for the Canucks to add a third. One minute after Kevin Bieksa completed his hooking minor, the Sedin brothers joined forces on a two-on-one for another goal.
Edmonton picked up the pace in the latter half of the frame, eventually outshooting Vancouver 12-8 in the period. The Oilers last attempt, courtesy of Ales Hemsky, slipped inside Schneider's right point just as the buzzer sounded. After video review, the goal was deemed good and the Oilers got on the board, trialing 3-1 heading into the final frame.
After dropping the puck for the remaining 0.3 seconds of the second period (strange, I know), the teams switched sides and dropped the puck for the third. Within the first minute, Theo Peckham accidentally directed a clearing attempt at Hemsky's face. The Oilers forward covered his head and dropped to the ice before skating to the bench, but he did not require medical attention in the dressing room and was shortly back in action.
At the five-minute mark, the Canucks extended their lead. While an initial point shot didn't make it through to the net, a second attempt courtesy of Hamhuis was expertly deflected by Kesler, renewing Vancouver's three-goal cushion.
2:40 later, Steve MacIntyre amped Edmonton's aggression by plowing Alberts into the corner. The hit prompted a short-lived scrap between both players that warranted one roughing minor to MacIntyre and two to Alberts. The Oil failed to capitalize on the resulting man-advantage, their fourth of the game.
The power-play tables quickly turned. At 10:34, Theo Peckham earned four minutes for tripping and roughing, and only 22 seconds into the five-on-four, Kesler struck again to secure a hat-trick and make it 5-1. The power-play goal ended Edmonton's impressive multi-game stretch of perfect penalty-killing.
Before Peckham was able to complete his final two minutes, Hemsky and Jason Strudwick joined him in the penalty box, along with Raffi Torres on the other side of the glass. Peckham was able to rejoin the play, but five seconds later, Alex Edler joined the Canucks assault and scored his fourth of the season.
The goal sealed a 6-1 victory for the Canucks, in which the Oilers were out-shot 34-24.