Oilers 5, Canucks 4, OT
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)—Mike Peca had a choice: shoot forehand but maybe miss the net, or go to the more conservative backhand.
He picked the latter and netted the winning goal for the Edmonton Oilers.
Peca scored 4:08 into overtime and the Oilers stopped the Vancouver Canucks’ four-game winning streak with a 5-4 victory Saturday night.
The Oilers broke into the Canucks’ zone on a 2-on-1 with Ales Hemsky sending Peca in behind the Vancouver defense. Peca faked to his forehand and then sliced a backhand over the shoulder of Maxime Ouellet to win it.
“They were being real aggressive all night,” Peca said “On the power play and on the 4-on-4, the defenseman were really pushing up. For me it was really just a matter of trying to get the puck to Hemsky because he had already made the turn and had some speed. When the puck came back to me I thought about trying to go far side high but didn’t want to miss the net at that point so I went to the backhand and was fortunate that it went in.”
Shawn Horcoff sent the game into extra time when he tied it with 7:27 left in regulation. His fifth of the season came with the Oilers short-handed and the Canucks pressing for an insurance goal.
Ethan Moreau found Horcoff alone along the near boards, setting him up for a slap shot that beat Ouellet from 40 feet.
Horcoff’s goal capped off a third-period comeback that saw the Oilers rally from a 4-2 deficit. Marty Reasoner, with the Oilers’ third power-play goal of the night, cut the deficit to 4-3 just 3 minutes into the period.
Hemsky and Ryan Smyth also scored for the Oilers, who improved to 18-11-4.
“This was huge for us. Anytime you are down two goals, twice, to a team like Vancouver and be able to come back to win in overtime it’s a big boost,” Horcoff said. “It’s a big confidence boost but I think as a team we have come to expect that of ourselves, we are team that can contend and we don’t give up on games anymore. We just feel a lot more confident now that we are going to be able to come back and get those goals.”
Todd Bertuzzi scored twice for the Canucks, who squandered leads of 2-1 and 4-2.
“It’s just frustrating that we didn’t get rewarded for the effort we gave 5-on-5 ,” Bertuzzi said. “We worked pretty hard but had some breakdowns on the specialty teams that just shouldn’t happen.”
Bertuzzi has 11 goals this season and is showing signs of returning to the form that made him an All-Star before his long suspension for his blindside attack on former Colorado forward Steve Moore.
The 6-foot-3, 245 pound winger has a point in four straight games and is tied for second in Canucks scoring with 29 points, trailing captain Markus Naslund by six.
“I knew sooner or later that I would hit my stride and start getting my speed back, and my legs underneath me,” Bertuzzi said. “It makes your time at the rink feel a whole lot better when you are feeling like that.”
It was Bertuzzi’s first game back in Vancouver since going public early in the week with his desire to remain with the Canucks. Bertuzzi was responding to published reports that he had requested a trade, a notion that was also dispelled by general manager Dave Nonis.
Ouellet made his debut for the Canucks on Saturday, the ninth game of his NHL career. Ouellet, recalled this week from Manitoba of the AHL because of Dan Cloutier’s knee injury, was acquired from Washington for a fifth round draft pick earlier this month.
“I thought Maxime was OK, he made enough saves for us,” Canucks coach Marc Crawford said. “As a team we just gave up too many scoring chances late in the game. He gave us an excellent chance to win and as a team we should have found a way to get the job done.”
Edmonton outshot Vancouver 37-22.
Henrik Sedin had one assist for the Canucks, extending his point streak to seven games. The Sedin twins (Daniel and Henrik) have combined for six goals and 17 points during that stretch. … The Oilers went 3-for-10 on the power play against the Canucks, who were ranked 11th in the NHL in penalty killing entering the game. Vancouver went 0-for-6 with the man advantage.