The Goods: Canucks drain Oil
On paper it was a mismatch: Players trying to earn jobs for the Vancouver Canucks versus regulars already slotted into the lineup for the Edmonton Oilers.
On the ice there was no mismatch to be seen.
The Canucks outworked the Oilers for the bulk of the first 40 minutes and despite being outplayed in the third, Vancouver held on for its second pre-season win in three tries.
Owen Nolan scored his first goal with the Canucks converting a toe pass from tac Mark Mancari and tic Andrew Ebbett for a power play score 12:42 into the opening frame.
That was all the scoring to be had until the final minute of the second when Mike Duco and Jordan Eberle traded goals in the span of just 17 seconds.
On Duco’s first goal of the pre-season, he bullishly made his way down the right wing and in on Yann Danis shorthanded getting a shot on net, but it was the rebound he was able to pot to give the Canucks a brief 2-0 edge.
Seventeen seconds later Eberle scored on the powerplay to cut the lead in half and that’s how it ended despite a strong push from Edmonton in the third period.
Eddie Lack was sensational in his second action of pre-season play, he stopped all 10 shots faced and has not allowed a goal on 22 shots so far. He started the game and was in net until mid-second period when Manny Legace went to work on an 11-save performance.
There’s always bad blood between division rivals and there were four fights in this game between Northwest foes, started off by Aaron Volpatti and Theo Peckham a mere 24 seconds into the game. Todd Fedoruk vs. Darci Hordichuk, Steve Pinizziotto vs. Alex Plante and Fedoruk vs. Hordichuk Part 2 rounded out an unexpectedly heavy fight card.
All in all this was as close to a perfect road game as the Canucks could have hoped for with no regulars in the line-up, compared to upwards of 12 for the Oilers.
It’s only pre-season, but it bodes well for the Canucks that hopefuls Nicholas Dimitrakos, Pinizzotto, Fedoruk, Ebbett and Mancari were able to best the likes of Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner, Magnus Paajarvi, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff.
Vancouver’s next action comes this weekend in back-to-back home games against the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks. Check back to Canucks.com early and often for updated line-up information.