Saturday, December 17, 2005


Oilers 5, Canucks 4 (OT)
CP photo -- Richard Lam

[posted in full Thu ~8:48p]

This team can't beat teams within its own division, for whatever reason. I have no idea what it is. In this one, they blew a two-goal lead they'd built up over the first 40 minutes of play. This was the first Vancouver start for backup goalie Maxime Ouellet. Vancouver's home record fell to 13-1-1.

1st period
Matt Cooke waited on a wrist shot from the high slot and beat Mike Morrison stick side for an early Vancouver lead. Ryan Kesler netted his first assist of the season, putting an end to the local Vancouver riddle, "which will come first, Christmas or a Ryan Kesler assist?"
»» 1, VANCOUVER, Matt Cooke 5 (Richard Park, Ryan Kesler) 3:44
Steve McCarthy followed his own rebound and passed to Todd Bertuzzi behind the net. Bertuzzi powered out quickly and stuck a backhanded wraparound past Morrison. Steve McCarthy snapped a 17-game pointless streak thanks to his pass to Bertuzzi before the goal. Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish pulled Morrison in favor of Jussi Markkanen. He wouldn't regret it.
»» 2, VANCOUVER, Todd Bertuzzi 10 (Steve McCarthy, Brendan Morrison) 7:03
The action was going so fast that the Canuck radio broadcast didn't take a station break until 8:01 had ticked off of the game clock. Ales Hemsky found Ryan Smyth wide open to Ouellet's right side with that whole side of the net uncovered. Coverage was shoddy on the play.
»» 3, EDMONTON, powerplay, Ryan Smyth 14 (Ales Hemsky, Jarret Stoll) 12:13
Shots were nine apiece in the period. Edmonton was 1-for-2 on the power play, while Vancouver was 0-for-1.

2nd period
Hemsky camped out before unleashing a laser wrist shot from left of the slot to beat Ouellet low on the glove side.
»» 4, EDMONTON, powerplay, Hemsky 7 (Chris Pronger, Stoll) 7:57
Markus Naslund rushing down the right side passed to Bertuzzi at the right dot, where he bore down on Markkanen and went top shelf above the left shoulder to give Vancouver the lead back.
»» 5, VANCOUVER, Bertuzzi 11 (Markus Naslund, Ed Jovanovski) 8:23
A rebound of a Mattias Ohlund left-side slapshot got loose in front of the net for a few seconds before Anson Carter stuck it through.
»» 6, VANCOUVER, Anson Carter 11 (Mattias Ohlund, Nolan Baumgartner) 9:59
Shots were 12-6 for Edmonton in the period (21-15 overall). Edmonton was 1-for-3 on the power play (1-for-5) while Vancouver was 0-for-2 (0-for-3).

3rd period
Fernando Pisani threaded the needle with a cross-ice pass in the Vancouver zone that found Marty Reasoner on Ouellet's glove side again with half the net uncovered.
»» 7, EDMONTON, powerplay, Marty Reasoner 7 (Fernando Pisani, Marc-Andre Bergeron) 3:14
On a shorthanded rush off a blocked Naslund shot, Shawn Horcoff blasted a slapshot that beat Ouellet stick side.
»» 8, EDMONTON, shorthanded, Shawn Horcoff 5 (Ethan Moreau, Igor Ulanov) 12:33
Shots were 11-6 for Edmonton (32-21 overall), who was 1-for-5 on the power play (3-for-10). Vancouver was 0-for-3 (0-for-6).

Michael Peca and Hemsky got onto a 2-on-1 with just under a minute remaining. Peca chipped a backhander over Ouellet, and that was your game.
»» 9, EDMONTON, Michael Peca 3 (Hemsky) 4:08
Shots were 5-1 for Edmonton in overtime (37-22 total). No penalties were called in the overtime.

Three stars -- (1) Bertuzzi, (2) Edmonton's Jarret Stoll, (3) Edmonton's Ales Hemsky

skater, goals-assists-points
Bertuzzi 2-0-2
Carter 1-0-1
Cooke 1-0-1
Jovanovski 0-1-1
Kesler 0-1-1
McCarthy 0-1-1
Morrison 0-1-1
Naslund 0-1-1
Ohlund 0-1-1
Park 0-1-1
H Sedin 0-1-1

Well, that was disturbing. The Canucks blew two-goal leads twice and were badly outshot in both the second and especially third periods, along with overtime. However, in the third period, the Canucks were stuck killing penalties from the 2:44 mark until the 9:36 mark, for which all but 26 seconds of the 6:52 was spent on the kill. The Reasoner goal didn't take Vancouver off the power play, but rather it made a two-man advantage a simple power play for Edmonton. As for the new backup goalie in town, I'm not sure one can make a realistic assessment off of him in just one game, and the defense was crap and everything, but overall, the results weren't good.

In the faceoff circle, Vancouver was 26-for-64 (41%). Brendan Morrison was 8-for-17, Trevor Linden was 3-for-12 (ouch), Ryan Kesler was 6-for-11, Henrik Sedin was 7-for-18, and Todd Bertuzzi was 2-for-5.

Bertuzzi led the team with four shots, and Daniel Sedin had three. Matt Cooke led the team with six hits, while Mattias Ohlund delivered five and also blocked three shots. Plus skaters (all plus-1) included Ohlund, Nolan Baumgartner, Bryan Allen, Morrison, Richard Park, Markus Naslund, Kesler, Cooke, Steve McCarthy, Bertuzzi, and Anson Carter. All other Canuck skaters were even.

The game pushed the Canucks to a 20-9-3 record (1-1 in shootouts, two overtime losses), good for 43 points and a slim one-point Northwest Division lead over the Calgary Flames. Edmonton inches one point closer with their win and are now three points back of the Canucks in third place.

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