The Edmonton Oilers were home for game three of their six game homestand. Tonight, the opponents were the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers had lost the first two games. Mathieu Garon started in goal. He had a shutout the last time these teams met.
The first chance of the game went to the Oilers as Robert Nilsson’s shot from the slot was saved. 2:18 gone and the Oilers got the first power play of the night, as Lukas Krajicek was called for hooking. Only 17 seconds on the power play, Tom Gilbert snuck in from the point and took a pass from Geoff Sanderson at the back door and had an open net to put it into.
Vancouver got their first good chance with four minutes gone as Marcus Naslund stepped into a shot but Garon was there to make the save. The next four minutes had some good end to end action but neither team was able to generate any chances. Some good hitting ensued as Raffi Torres hit Mike Weaver and then Weaver paid him back with a solid hit.
The 10 minute mark came, as did some more chances from the Oilers but Torres hit the side of the net on a good chance from in deep. The game settled into more end to end action. There was lots of skating but very few chances. With six minutes to go, the Oilers had some sustained pressure and shots from Nilsson and Hemsky both went wide. With 5:30 to go, Kyle Brodziak stole the puck at center and split the Vancouver defense. He lost possession of the puck and found it in the corner. His pass hit Marty Reasoner’s stick and trickled over the line.
The Oilers came close again as Jarret Stoll stole the puck deep in the Canuck’s zone and his pass found Torres and his shot was saved by Roberto Luongo. Vancouver came back and Brendan Morrison whistled a shot over the net. Morrison was called for goaltender interference as he continued on and through Garon.
30 seconds on the power play, Dennis Grebeshkov lost the puck and Alexandre Burrows had a short handed breakaway and his deke beat Garon.
It was a horrible play by Grebeshkov. He seems to be good for one of those per game. On the same power play, the Oilers came right back and with 12 seconds remaining in the period, Shawn Horcoff picked up a loose puck and fired a blast by Luongo.
3-1 Oilers and the NHL’s worst power play was now 2/2 on the evening.
The Canucks got the start they wanted to begin the second period, as Ryan Kesler skated hard into the Oiler’s zone, lost the puck but right to Brad Isbister and he rifled a shot into the top corner over Garon’s glove.
That goal was scored only 44 seconds into the period. The Canucks then continued with the pressure as their fore checking kept the Oilers off balance. The Oilers then got a chance to regain their two goal lead as Willie Mitchell was called for delay of game for shooting the puck over the glass. The Oilers had several chances on the power play, none better than the cross ice pass from Ales Hemsky to Dick Tarnstrom, but his shot was wide of the net. The Canucks finally killed off an Oiler power play on the evening.
With nine minutes gone in the period, Torres was on a rampage, as he hit a Canuck, got a good shot away and then hit another Canuck. Cogliano then had a partial breakaway but Luongo made a big save. The Canucks cleared the zone but the Oilers shot it back in and Krajicek interfered with Cogliano as he was chasing a loose puck down. The Oilers power play went to work again. Penner drove the net and Weaver was called for hooking, and the Oilers had a 5 on 3 for 1:11.
The Oilers had three shots during the two man advantage but couldn’t score. The Oilers continued to press and Luongo made a huge glove save off of a close shot from Gagner. The Canucks killed the second penalty as well, and the only reason it was still a one goal game was because of Luongo, as the first 15 minutes of the second period was all Oilers.
With just over four minutes to go, the Canucks tied the game, as a shot from the point by Alexander Edler somehow went under a fallen Canuck forward, Oiler defenseman Rourke, and the pad of Garon and trickled into the net.
The Canucks goal was the second of the period on only three shots. With 2:30 to go, the Oilers had a chance to take the lead, as Mitchell was called for high sticking against Ales Hemsky. For the 4th straight time, the Canucks were able to kill the penalty and the period ended 3-3.
The first chance of the third period went to the Canucks, as Cooke was set up alone in front and Garon made a big leg save off the shot. The start of the period was all Canucks as they controlled the play. With 3:45 gone, the Oilers had their early chance, but Reasoner’s shot from the slot was over the net.
The Canucks got their first power play of the game with 3:30 gone, as Tarnstrom was called for holding. One minute into the power play, it was the Oilers with a great chance short-handed, as Staios sent Brodziak and Reasoner in 2 on 1 but the final shot from Reasoner was saved by Luongo. The Canucks had several shots on the power play, but Garon made the saves and finally the Oilers killed the man advantage.
With 6:30 gone, the Canucks got their second power play of the game as Torres was called for roughing for a push at the end of the play. This time they made no mistake, as the Sedins passed the puck around and found Naslund on the far side. His shot beat Garon over the shoulder in the top corner.
One minute after the goal, the Oilers went back on the power play as Isbister was called for shooting the puck over the glass. It only took the Oilers six seconds seconds as some tick tack toe passing from the Oilers gave Dustin Penner a tap in from close range through the legs of Luongo.
4-4. The goal was less than a minute after the Canucks had taken the lead.
The Canucks got their third power play of the period and game with nine minutes to go as Jarret Stoll was called for hooking. The Oilers killed the penalty fairly easily, and at the end of the penalty Cogliano broke out with Stoll with Torres trailing—but the Canucks went back to the power play as Torres was called for tripping. The Oilers again killed the penalty thanks to a big block by Brodziak.
With four minutes to go, the Oilers came close, as a three on two resulted in a good chance by Gagner—but he was stripped of the puck before he could get the shot off. The fans began the chant of “Let’s Go Oilers” as they tried to cheer the team to a solid three final minutes. With just over two minutes left in the period, Marty Reasoner picked up the puck in the corner, and as he cut out to the net was hooked by Edler.
The Oilers had the power play for almost the remainder of the period unless they scored. The Oilers came close with 45 seconds left, as Tarnstrom snuck in from the point and Luongo made the save and no Oiler could bang the rebound that just laid there. The Canucks killed the penalty and the remainder of the period, and for the second straight game between these two teams we went to overtime (last week it was an exciting 0-0 game that the Oilers won in the shootout).
We had some great action to start the overtime, as the Sedins came close at one end, and Stoll and Torres came close at the other before Kesler came close again for the Canucks. The fans began chanting again. Great end-to-end action was the story of the overtime, as both teams took turns trying to get the extra point for the victory. No one managed to score, and again it was a shootout.
Morrison went first for the Canucks—he lost puck and Garon saved it. Gagner went first for the Oilers, and a great move gave him an open net, but Luongo got an arm back to stop the shot on the line.
Linden went second for the Canucks, and his shot beat Garon. Sanderson went second for the Oilers, and his shot was saved by Luongo.
Kesler went third for the Canucks and Garon made the save. Hemsky went third for the Oilers and his shot went through the legs of Luongo to take the shootout to extra shooters.
Naslund was fourth for the Canucks and again, Garon made the save. Stoll was fourth for the Oilers and his shot was saved by Luongo. Isbister went fifth and Garon made a big leg save. Horcoff went fifth for the Oilers and he beat Luongo to the bottom corner as his shot banked in off the post.
5-4 final for the Oilers.
This was the victory the Oilers needed on this homestand against a divisional opponent. Vancouver has only lost two of their last eight games against divisional opponents, and both have been against the Oilers.
The Oilers are now 5-1 in the shootout this season. Edmonton will continue their homestand on Thursday against the Avalanche, as Colorado will be on the second game of their Alberta trip.
The NHL’s worst power play clicked tonight for three goals on eight chances, as the Oilers seem to be finding their way with the man advantage.