Vaulting out to a 9-0 shot advantage, the Canucks made early chances count, as Henrik and Daniel Sedin each recorded a goal and an assist through 60 minutes, helping to propel Vancouver to a 5-2 win over the Oilers Sunday night at Rexall Place.
With the Oilers scrambling and unable to gain possession of a loose puck, an Alex Burrows centering pass connected with a wide-open Henrik Sedin in the slot. Nikolai Khabibulin had overplayed the pass and, as such, No. 33 tapped the puck into the gaping cage to put the Canucks up 1-0 53 seconds in.
At 5:42 and with the Canucks leading 6-0 in shots, Ben Eager was assessed a cross-checking minor. To make matters worse, Ladislav Smid was charged with high-sticking 30 seconds later, putting the visitors on a 1:30-long 5-on-3 advantage.
It took Vancouver only 22 seconds to make good, as Henrik Sedin (on his 300th-career NHL point) dished to the slot where a wide-open Sami Salo hammered the puck past Khabibulin's blocker side on the the Canucks' ninth shot.
Still reeling from the club's early disadvantage, the Oilers picked up another penalty when Ales Hemsky high-sticked Chris Tanev 175-feet from his own net. While the Canucks poured an additional three shots on the Oilers' veteran netminder, the home side held their opponent at bay, keeping the 2-0 score on the board just before the man-advantage turned; Vancouver's Aaron Rome was assessed an interference minor at 15:13.
The Oilers maintained possession for most, but were unable to direct anything of consequence on Cory Schneider.
Just when it appeared as though the damage had been done for the period, an ill-crafted play by Ryan Smyth at his own blueline pushed the Canucks in with an odd-man rush on Khabibulin. The puck eventually pinballed in but, after review, it was determined the puck was kicked across by line by Manny Malhotra.
As such, the Canucks lead 2-0 on the scoreboard and 17-5 in shots after 20 minutes.
After allowing two goals on 17 shots, Khabibulin was replaced with Devan Dubnyk to start the period. It was later revealed that the 39-year-old was suffering from a sore groin.
Whatever was said during the intermission, it appeared to have worked. Just 1:08 into the period, Smyth placed a pass to Shawn Horcoff in the slot, and the captain made no mistake in rifling a wrister through Schneider to bring the Oilers back in it, 2-1.
Following a dominant opening period, the Canucks still hadn't registered a shot through 11 minutes, but a high-sticking minor to Anton Lander provided the visitors with an excellent chance to. Even with the two-minute advantage, the Canucks failed to test Dubnyk.
While the power-play was unsuccessful, the visitors came back with four attempts shortly thereafter in quick succession. On the Canucks' 21st shot, Kevin Bieksa unleased a bullet from the point that beat a screened Dubnyk, glove side, at 15:01.
1:39 and one shot later, the lead was extended to a 4-1 advantage. Chris Higgins corralled a Jannik Hansen pass at the near circle, stopping for a quick moment before snapping a shot upstairs on No. 40's glove side once more.
But there was no quit in the home side. With 1:37 on the clock, the Oilers rushed up-ice and completed a beauty play to make it a 4-2 game. Ales Hemsky, racing up the boards, made a 40-foot cross-ice pass to an awaiting Magnus Paajarvi on his opposite wing; the sophomore one-timed the puck with a half-slapper past Schneider, notching his second goal of the season.
With 40 minutes in the books, the Canucks led 4-2 and were up with a 22-12 advantage in shots.
Just 33 seconds into the period, the Oilers' comeback try was quelled with another Vancouver goal. With the puck popping into the slot at the top of the circle, Daniel Sedin ripped a bullet that eluded Dubnyk's grasp, making it 5-2.
Up 27-18 in shots, Andy Sutton was charged with slashing Max Lapierre when the speedster was sprung on a partial break. The attempt was stopped, but the Canucks went to their four power-play. Just like the previous three, shots were added to the visitors' total, but no goals were scored.
The Oilers clawed back on the shot clock, ending the game in a 31-28 disadvantage, but it wasn't enough as the Canucks cruised to the buzzer in a 5-2 victory over the Oilers.
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