Canucks 5, Oilers 4
Monday, 06.18.2012 / 11:14 PM
VANCOUVER - A young Canucks side managed to squeeze every drop out of their preseason experience waiting till the final three seconds of the game to burn the Oilers Thursday night.
Edmonton rallied with a pair of third-period goals to tie the game 4-4, before ex-Oiler Brad Isbister won it for the home side.
Isbister scored on a 2-on-1 break with 2.5 seconds left, snapping a low shot over Mathieu Garon's blocker only seconds after Vancouver killed off a Patrick Coulombe penalty.
“Yeah, it felt really good,” said Isbister. “It was a game that I think we deserve to win, and fortunately we got the right result.”
Ryan Kesler had a goal and assist, and Mason Raymond, Daniel Sedin and Brad Moran also scored for the Canucks who improved to 2-0-1 this preseason.
Moran and Raymond scored back-to-back power-play goals late in the second to give the Canucks a 4-2 lead after the home team spent most of the first period shorthanded.
Vancouver was slapped with seven minors in the first, but all a young Oilers’ side could manage was a 1-1 tie.
“We got to take into consideration also that Edmonton had a lot of guys that weren’t there,” said Alain Vigneault. “They were also playing a lot of their younger players to get a read on them. So both teams were pretty balanced as far as veteran players on the ice and it turned out our guys did alright.”
The Edmonton vets did all the damage in the third as Ethan Moreau scored five minutes into the final frame and Ales Hemsky tied it with 3:22 left, but they couldn’t get the Oiler bus over the hump despite a power-play in the final three minutes.
The loss is Edmonton’s first of the preseason after three games.
“It definitely feels good,” said Daniel Sedin
, who skated on a line with brother Henrik and Ryan Shannon. “I think we deserve the win that game. There was a little slight letdown in the third, but we got what we deserved.” Shannon, who played his third game in four nights after Jannik Hansen
had to sit out with a broken thumb, made the most of his opportunity with the Twins.
“Shannon didn’t make one faux paux all night long with the puck,” said Vigneault. “He made the right decisions, and this was his 3rd game in four nights, so he did really good.”
“It was great,” said Shannon. “I was really excited about it going into the game. They make it very easy because they slow it down.”
“When they do have the puck, it’s your responsibility just to get open, because they’ll find you. I thought we had some good chances tonight.”
Raymond also made a solid impression in his second NHL contest scoring a pretty goal after blowing by an Edmonton defender at the blue line and lifting a Ryan Kesler
feed over a diving Mathieu Garon.
“It worked out good,” said Raymond. “Grabner and Kesler made a couple good plays for me to go in there all alone and I was fortunate to get to the front of the net.”
Vigneault jammed all the legs onto one forward unit playing Kesler between Michael Grabner and Raymond. The move paid off as Kesler found the score sheet twice.
“Hopefully I can do this every night,” he said. “It’ll be a fun year if I can.”
“I thought everybody did really well. We had a lot of young defensemen - they were our backbone tonight - and they really helped us get us going.”
Lukas Krajicek was the lone vet on the ice for the Canucks who dressed Shaun Heshka, Luc Bourdon, Zack Fitzgerald, Maxime Fortunus, and Coulombe.
“That young defensive group did alright in those circumstances,” said Vigneault.
“It’s always good to see where [the young players] are, but also we have to keep in mind that both teams are missing almost 10 regulars. So it’s a good calibre right now, but it’s not what it’s going to look when the season starts.”
Prize free agent addition Sheldon Souray scored in his Oilers debut ripping a first-period power-play slap shot past Cory Schneider
who faced just five shots through 29 minutes and give up a pair of goals.
Tom Gilbert had the other goal for the Oilers, also on the power play. QUOTES
“Their penalty killing was alright, Schneider should’ve had that second goal there, he didn’t pick it up and next time he’ll pick it up.” - Vigneault on Gilbert's second-period goal that fluttered past a screened Schneider from just inside the blue line.
“I think I’ve had a one-second tying goal, but it still felt good.” - Isbister on his dramatic game-winning goal, albeit in pre-season.
“I thought Kesler was very good with the two kids, he showed a lot of speed and a lot of determination on the ice. It’s a pretty quick line there.” - Vigneault on his "speed" line of Kesler, Grabner, and Raymond.