The Vancouver Canucks raced out to a 3-0 lead then held on as the Edmonton Oilers attempted a valiant comeback on Boxing Day at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Monday night. Jordan Eberle, Corey Potter and Ryan Smyth got the goals for the Oilers in the defeat.
Just over a minute into the game, the Oilers took the game's first penalty after Ladislav Smid was sent off for interference.
On the ensuing power play, the Canucks buzzed around the Oilers zone for almost the entire two minutes with plenty of outstanding scoring chances but Nikolai Khabibulin did a good job turning them all away.
However, just as the penalty expired, Vancouver scored to open the scoring. Chris Higgins fired a shot from the side boards that was deflected on its way to the net by Andrew Ebbett just past the Oilers netminder after taking a few wild hops.
Several minutes after the goal, Ryan Kesler was sent off for charging to give Edmonton its first man advantage of the night. Kesler took a run at Tom Gilbert but mostly hit the glass - glass which then took well over five minutes to repair. With the shot count 6-0 for Vancouver at this point, 5:22 in, it gave the Oilers a chance to get a bit of a breather and reset.
The best chance on the power play came when Jordan Eberle teed up a one-timer from the left circle but Luongo stuck out his right pad and made the stop.
Less than a minute after the Kesler penalty expired, Daniel Sedin took a pass at the top of the crease and roofed it to give Vancouver a 2-0 lead.
Vancouver's lead was extended to 3-0 with 3:09 to play in the first after Ebbett scored his second of the game. Ebbett swooped in to redirect a Jannik Hansen pass past an outstretched Khabibulin.
The first period ended with the Oilers down 3-0 and outshot 13 to 5 by the host Canucks.
Edmonton opened the middle frame with the man advantage but was unable to generate much in the final 90 seconds of the power play. A Horcoff penalty a minute later gave the Canucks their third five-on-four of the night but they were also unable to generate much of anything.
Dale Weise blindsided Alex Plante into the boards with 11:32 to go in the second. For his efforts, Weise received a five-minute charging major and a game misconduct.
A minute into the power play, Nugent-Hopkins threaded the needle straight to the stick of Ryan Smyth at the doorstep of Luongo's crease but the Canucks netminder was able to sneak his pad over to make the denial.
With 2:39 to go in the major, Jordan Eberle swooped in to pound in a rebound after Corey Potter took the initial shot to narrow the gap to 3-1.
46 seconds later, Vancouver struck for a shorthanded marker to make it a three-goal game once again. Ryan Kesler found Alex Burrows in front for a quick tap-in and a 4-1 game.
The Oilers made it a two-goal gap once again less than a minute later as Ryan Smyth put one past Luongo from in close. Oilers trailed 4-2 with the second period now well past the midway point.
The second period came to a close with the Oilers outshooting Vancouver 9 to 5. Overall after 40 minutes, shots were 18 to 14 for the Canucks and 4-2 on the scoreboard.
With both teams playing four-on-four, the Canucks extended their lead to 5-2 early in the third period after Kesler hammered home a Burrows feed at the 3:14 mark.
Less than two minutes later, the Oilers got that goal back as Corey Potter hammered a shot at the right point which was tipped in front by Ryan Jones. The goal made it a two-goal game once again, Edmonton trailing 5-3.
A tripping penalty to Henrik Sedin with 8:01 to play in the period gave Edmonton perhaps its final opportunity to make a real push to tie the game up. Unfortunately, the Oilers weren't able to generate much before the penalty was ended 10 seconds prematurely due to a Ryan Smyth interference minor.