Henrik Sedin scored three points and an inspired Vancouver Canucks team fired on all cylinders early, never looking back on their way to a 6-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers tonight in their home opener.
"If you're not going to compete like every shift is your last, you're not going to win," Head Coach Dallas Eakins said following the defeat. "That was very evident tonight."
"We got out-played right from the start of the game," added Taylor Hall. "There are a lot of things we need to improve on from that effort."
Vancouver rebounded, setting the tone after that goal with physical play and aggressive forechecking. Down 1-0, the Canucks then went on a three-goal tear in the opening frame while piling on the shots in the Oilers end.
3:42 into the first, Brad Richardson went on a shorthanded breakaway for Vancouver. He deked forehand to backhand to forehand and shimmied his way to score five-hole on Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk.
The home team made it 2-1 at 18:27 of the first when defenceman Dan Hamhuis scooped up the loose puck after a neutral zone draw and shot the puck from the point. The shot deflected off Petry's stick and floundered past Dubnyk short-side underneath his blocker-side arm.
The offensive onslaught continued just 18 seconds later on a pretty tic-tac-toe play by the Canucks. After an Edmonton turnover in their zone, Henrik Sedin passed the puck from the face-off dot to his twin Daniel Sedin at the top of the crease. Daniel then passed it out to the slot to Jannik Hansen who buried the one-timer and gave the Canucks the 3-1 lead heading into the locker room at the first intermission.
At the 7:21 mark of the second period the Canucks increased their lead to three when Henrik Sedin spun around and fed a perfect cross-ice pass to his brother on the power play and Daniel Sedin buried the puck on the power play to give Vancouver a large 4-1 lead.
Another turnover in the Oilers zone proved costly for Edmonton as the puck bounced to a waiting Ryan Kesler who shot it past a screened Dubnyk, chasing the Oilers netminder as Jason LaBarbera entered the game at 13:56 of the second period. Dubnyk finished the game with 26 saves on 31 shots.
Edmonton got its second goal of the night to draw within three when Ales Hemsky set up Boyd Gordon in the slot with less than five minutes remaining in the second. It was Gordon's second goal of the season and cut the Canucks lead to 5-2.
Jason Garrison iced the game with 1:45 remaining, shooting the puck off the glass behind Luongo and watching as the puck slid all the way down the ice and into Edmonton's empty net.
Edmonton forward Jesse Joensuu was experiencing back pain during the game and did not return following the second intermission. The loss dropped the Oilers to 0-2-0 on the season and they'll look to get in the win column on Monday when the New Jersey Devils visit Rexall Place.
"We have to wake up tomorrow positive and regroup," Hall said. "All it takes is one shift, one period next game to get back on track."
"We can't play like that," Smid added. "We have to draw the line. If we want to make the playoffs, we have to wake up and win some games."