Oilers 7, Canucks 6
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)—The Edmonton Oilers won a good old-fashioned Western Conference shootout with Vancouver.
Ryan Smyth scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, helping the Oilers extend their winning streak over Vancouver to four games with a 7-6 victory Wednesday night.
Marty Reasoner added a power play goal just over two minutes later as Edmonton moved into a tie with the Canucks atop the Northwest Division.
“A wild, wild game in the wild, wild west,” Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. “It was last goal wins tonight.
Actually, Daniel Sedin scored that last goal for Vancouver on a two-man advantage with 53 seconds left, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Canucks from losing their third straight at home after starting the season winning 13 of 14.
Vancouver has blown multiple leads and given up a short-handed goal to tie in all three losses.
“Of course it’s alarming, we wouldn’t be human if we weren’t a little upset about this,” Vancouver coach Marc Crawford said. “We were far too sloppy and we didn’t play with the urgency we needed. We got what we deserved tonight.”
The Canucks scored on 5 of 9 power play chances, but in a game that featured plenty of strange bounces and very little defense, it wasn’t enough to win.
Harvey opened the scoring 3:11 in after Ed Jovanovski’s bad giveaway, but Bertuzzi jammed in a power play goal at 11:53 and Rypien scored in his first NHL game just over three minute later to put the Canucks ahead 2-1.
It was the first of four straight one-goal Vancouver leads. None lasted long.
Horcoff tied it 1:13 later on a rebound.
Ruutu restored the Vancouver lead on a rebound of his own just 1:15 into the second period, but Hemsky tied it on a long shot 59 seconds later.
Henrik Sedin beat Jussi Markkanen with a soft shot from the top of the circle two minutes later, ending the Edmonton goalie’s night early after giving up four goals on eight shots.
Peca tied it on a short-handed breakaway less than two minutes later. But Ty Conklin, who replaced Markkanen, gave the lead back on the same power play 33 seconds later when his attempt to clear the puck from the front of his own net bounced in off a ducking Morrison.
“Those games start off intense and then because of the route the game goes it goes from the sublime to the ridiculous,” MacTavish said.
This time it took the Oilers three minutes to tie the game. Raffi Torres beat Alex Auld, who finished with 30 saves, with a screened power-play point shot at 9:14, and Edmonton never trailed again.
Smyth s long blast over Auld s glove on the far side was the only goal Crawford blamed on his 24-year-old goaltender.
“You can look at just about everybody in our lineup and we were all guilty of not playing a strong game on the defensive side of the puck,” Crawford said.
Conklin finished with 13 saves in relief—the third straight game Edmonton has pulled its starting goaltender and won. Markkanen won the first two in relief of Mike Morrison, who watched this one from the press box.
“I made the mistake of starting our relief guy tonight,” MacTavish said. “And you can never expect to get nine innings out of your relief guy.”
^Notes: Canucks D Nolan Baumgartner left two minutes into the game after the tip of the ring finger on his left hand was severed blocking a shot. The tip was reattached and Baumgartner said he expects to be out as long as two weeks. Rypien was undrafted out of junior, but signed after a tryout with Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba in March and played well enough to earn a contract in October. … The Canucks, who are 5-8-3 against the Northwest Division and 11-2-1 against the rest of the Western Conference, host Calgary their next two games.