Oilers rout Luongo, hold off Canucks 3-2
Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 12:23 AM
The Edmonton Oilers
needed just five minutes in the second period to send Roberto Luongo
to the bench. They spent the rest of the night hanging on -- just barely.
, Shawn Horcoff
and Taylor Hall
scored in a 5:02 span early in the second period to end Luongo's night, and the Oilers survived a 37-shot barrage to edge the Vancouver Canucks
3-2 at Rexall Place on Tuesday night.
The Oilers improved to 4-2-2 with their first win in five tries within the Northwest Division.
"We looked at this game as a statement game," Hall said. "These are the games that good teams win, the games that really matter in the standings at the end of the year. These are the games that, if we are the team that we think we are, that we have to win."
The Oilers scored on three of their four second-period shots against Luongo. Hall's goal at 6:55 of the second period gave Edmonton a 3-0 lead. Coach Alain Vigneault then replaced Luongo with Cory Schneider
, who stopped all eight shots he faced and gave his team a chance to come back.
Luongo slammed his stick against the boards on the way to the bench.
"It was a frustrating night for me," Luongo said. "I felt I was moving well and seeing the puck well in the first period and then in a five-minute span they got three quick ones and that was all she wrote."
Vancouver got one back when Cory Hodgson one-timed an Alex Edler pass behind Nikolai Khabibulin
at 11:29 of the middle period, and the Canucks made it a one-goal game at 7:43 of the third period when Alexandre Burrows
snapped a shot into the net.
"It wasn't pretty, but it was good. We'll take it," Edmonton coach Tom Renney said. "We played the kids late in the game because they were attacking and we thought it would be a good idea to try and keep the puck at the other end of the rink. I guess that was a good strategy."
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Edmonton got another brilliant performance from Khabibulin, who has allowed just five goals in the five game's he's played.
"Khabby was really dialed in, and he sees the effort in front of him," Renney said. "We're getting an outstanding effort from him."
The Oilers opened the scoring 1:53 into the second period when Hall's pass found Eberle in the near circle and Eberle beat Luongo with a high wrister. Luongo's misplay behind the net set up the second goal -- he fumbled the puck behind the net and Ryan Smyth
fed Horcoff for an easy tap-in at 5:58.
Just 56 seconds later, the Oilers went up 3-0. Eberle was unable to handle Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
' feed in the goalmouth, but Hall slid the puck into the net to end Luongo's night.
made his Canucks debut after coming over in trade a with Florida on Saturday. He played on a line with Ryan Kesler
and Chris Higgins
. Booth finished with three shots on goal in just under 16 minutes of ice time.
The Canucks continue to struggle through the first month of the season.
"We had plenty of scoring opportunities," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "But we are getting behind the eight-ball early and letting the other teams score the first goal. We're having a tough time finding the back of the net.
"It always seems to be a challenge for us in October to find out timing and our rhythm. This October doesn't seem to be any different."
Edmonton didn't come out unscathed -- the Oilers' top defenseman, Ryan Whitney
, got his skate tied with teammate Corey Potter
in the first period and went down hard before limping off the ice. Whitney played only 35 games last season and missed the first four games of this season while recovering from off-season surgery to his right ankle.
The 28-year-old returned for the last couple minutes in the opening period, but sat out the last two periods with Renney termed "a bit of a sprained knee," adding that "I think he's going to be fine." Whitney is listed as day-to-day.
Material from team media was used in this report