Game 54: Spoiled by Oil
The Canucks hope it won't ever get to that point but, if it does, they can look back to Monday night at Rogers Arena and a loss to the Western Conference’s worst team as a contributing factor.
David Perron scored three times while Jesse Joensuu tallied the eventual game-winning marker early in the third period to lift the visiting Oilers to a surprising 4-2 win over the Canucks.
The loss was the Canucks' first to an Alberta-based team this season and dropped their record on their current four-game home stand to 1-2-0.
Jordan Schroeder, playing in his first game for the Canucks since October 19 when he suffered an ankle injury, scored both goals for the home team in the losing effort.
Vancouver began the night sitting 25 points ahead of Edmonton in the standings and having won all three previous head-to-head meetings in the season series but did not dominate this game as perhaps many would have expected.
Instead, the Canucks were forced to play catch-up all night long managing to erase a pair of one-goal deficits but could not find another equalizing marker after Joensuu put the visitors up for good at 2:20 of the third period.
Perron would seal the deal for the Oilers completing the hat-trick with an empty netter with 69 seconds remaining in regulation.
Roberto Luongo, making his second start in as many nights, made just 16 saves on 19 shots in the loss.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 25 of 27 shots in the victory for Edmonton.
The Canucks close out their four-game home stand on Wednesday when they host the Chicago Blackhawks.
WELCOME BACK JORDAN: Monday's loss put a damper on a strong return to the lineup for Jordan Schroeder who tallied his first two goals of the season after missing over three months of action recovering from an ankle injury. It was the second two-goal game of Schroeder's young NHL career. His first came back on February 13, 2013 against the Flames – the same night he scored his first NHL goal.
TWO TO FORGET: Roberto Luongo would probably like to erase the memory of his last two starts, not to mention burn the game tape before anyone involved with Canada's Olympic team has a chance to take a good look at them. In his last two starts, Luongo has allowed seven goals on just 52 shots for a save percentage of .865. He has allowed three-or-more goals in consecutive starts for the first time mid-October.
NOTES AND NUMBERS: The Canucks have surrendered a hat-trick in consecutive games... David Perron's hat-trick was the second of his NHL career. His first came back on November 10, 2009 as a member of the St. Louis Blues against the Canucks... The Canucks went 0-for-2 on the power play and have now gone four straight games without a power play goal... Alexander Edler, Jason Garrison and Chris Higgins all finished with minus-three ratings.