Shawn Horcoff's shootout goal lifted the Edmonton Oilers out of the Western Conference basement with a 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.
“I was out challenging him, and you would have to ask him, but I think he fanned on it a little bit there, so it went off the post and in,” said Roberto Luongo on Horcoff’s game winner. Horcoff, Tom Gilbert, Marty Reasoner and Dustin Penner scored in regulation as Edmonton snapped a two-game losing streak.
The Canucks had a two-game winning streak snapped but they have recorded points in their last seven outings. It was also just their second loss to a Northwest Division opponent in 10 games, the other a 1-0 shootout loss at home to Edmonton last Wednesday.
The teams entered the third period tied 3-3 before Vancouver took its first lead 7 1/2 minutes in during a power play as Brendan Morrison made a long cross-ice pass to Naslund, whose chip shot beat goalie Mathieu Garon high.
But the Oilers were able to tie it with a man-advantage goal of their own less than a minute later. Horcoff made a nice touch pass to Penner stationed in front and he put it through the legs of goalie Roberto Luongo to make it 4-4. It was the third power-play goal of the night for the Oilers, who entered the game with just seven on the season.
It was definitely a story of special teams that made the difference Tuesday night as the Oilers scored three of their four goals with the man advantage and Canucks managed the go-ahead goal in the third on the power-play.
Opened scoring for the Oilers and added an assist. Led all skaters with 28:30 TOI.
Scored a power-play goal and shootout winner.
Had a two-point night including a goal and an assist. Led all skaters with five shots.
“First of all we didn't play well for the first 40 minutes. We were lucky we had Louie back there to save us,” said Naslund. “We have to play better but overall I thought it was a fair score. We probably didn't deserve to win but obviously we had the lead and if we could have stayed out of the box a little bit more than we did tonight, we could have won the game.
“In the second we took a lot and that gave them a lot of momentum, especially when they've got a 3-1 lead so you know we got a couple of lucky bounces and were able to tie up the game,” said Luongo, who made 25 saves through 65 minutes of play. “We were pretty lucky to get a point.”
The Canucks doubled the Oilers’ penalties, which included two delay of game penalties when the puck was cleared over the glass.
“You don't want to know what I was thinking,” said Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. “I'm not going to do what the coach in Tampa Bay did because I know the repercussions.”
“I don't know why we started in that fashion. We talked before the game about respecting Edmonton. You've got to respect an opposition where you just played them and lost 0-0 in a shootout. They're a team that works really hard and it's always a great game against them. Give them credit.”
The Oilers got to Luongo early with a power-play goal. Just 2:35 in, Geoff Sanderson sent the puck from behind the goal line to Gilbert, who was pinching deep. He tapped the puck in for a 1-0 Edmonton lead.
The Oilers made it 2-0 with just over five minutes to go in the period as Kyle Brodziak sent a pass toward the net with Reasoner crashing. Reasoner directed the puck toward the goal, and the shot bounced off defender Edler's skate and in.
Vancouver got a big break late in the period when Denis Grebeshkov gave up the puck at the Canucks blue line. Burrows streaked in and deked Garon for a short-handed goal.
Edmonton got the goal back on the same power play when Aaron Miller fanned on a clearing attempt. Horcoff pounced on the puck and snapped a shot into the top corner with just 13 seconds remaining in the first to give the Oilers a 3-1 lead.
Vancouver cut the deficit to a goal just 44 seconds into the second. Ryan Kesler broke in on the Oilers net but lost the puck while trying to shoot. Isbister was trailing directly behind Kesler and used him as a screen to beat Garon to the glove side.
The Oilers had the bulk of the quality chances in the second as Luongo held his team in it, but the Canucks struck next. With four minutes remaining, Edler's point shot trickled behind Garon, who had Henrik Sedin draped all over him in the crease, to tie it at 3 heading into the third.
Edmonton outshot Vancouver 14-4 in the second and 25-11 through the first 40 minutes.
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