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Canucks stumped by Oilers

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

You want to know what happened in the Canucks game and you want to know now. We get it. Here’s the bare bones recap of Vancouver’s 2-1 loss to Edmonton.

Sam Gagner converted a loose puck in the Vancouver crease into the go-ahead goal that secured a 2-1 win for Edmonton.

Gagner’s third goal of the season was a heartbreaker as it came an Oilers rush after the Canucks had flown down the ice and nearly scored. Mason Raymond ripped a shot on goal and Ryan Kesler was able to get a dangerous tip on it, but the puck sailed just wide.

After battling through the first six games of the season, predominantly because he was under the weather, Kyle Wellwood was Vancouver’s biggest offensive threat on this night.

On the lone Canucks goal he picked the pocket of Denis Grebeshkov as he attempted to clear the Oilers zone before sending a hard shot on goal. Steve Bernier found the rebound and potted his second goal of the season; the assist went to Wellwood for his first point of the year.

Wellwood also scored, albeit it a hair too late, as he beat Nikolai Khabibulin with a wrist shot to tie the game just after time expired.

Similar to the team as a whole, Roberto Luongo also played his best road game of the season allowing only two goals on 29 shots.

Luongo was well positioned all game as he cut down the angles on shooters and controlled rebounds well. After struggling last Friday in Calgary, Luongo seems to be getting into a bit of a groove with only three goals against over the last two outings.

What is going on with Vancouver’s power play? After going 7-for-14 on the man advantage over three games against Montreal, Dallas and Calgary, the Canucks have now squandered 10 straight power plays.

The Canucks went 0-for-5 against the Oilers with only a pair of shots on goal.

Christian Ehrhoff on the game and what Vancouver needs to carry into its next contest:

“That was our best road performance and unfortunately we couldn’t put the puck in the net.

“We played a simpler game and we didn’t play as much in our own end as we did in our previous road games and we’ve got to keep doing that. We had a lot of scoring chances and we’ve just got to keep going and bury those.”

This tough loss, in which Vancouver out shot and out chanced Edmonton, means the Canucks remain winless on the road through four games.

The good news for the road warriors is that following Wednesday’s game in Chicago, Vancouver is home for five of its next seven matches.

When the Canucks face the Blackhawks Wednesday night in Chicago, it’ll mark the first time since the 2009 playoffs the teams have met.

Vancouver was rudely escorted out of Chicago on its last visit as the Hawks scored three consecutive goals in the last seven minutes of Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinal to down the Canucks 7-5 and advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1995.


0 – Road wins for the Cnaucks through four games away from GM Place.

1 – Point this season for Kyle Wellwood. He picked up an assist on Vancouver's lone goal by Steve Bernier.

2 – Shots for the Canucks on five power play opportunities. Vancouver is now eighth in the league on the man advantage.

6 – Punches thrown by Rick Rypien before Zack Stortini realized he the Tasmanian Devil was having his way with him.

27 – Saves by Roberto Luongo in his second consecutive solid outing. He's allowed only three goals in his last two games.


The Canucks outshot and outchanced their opposition, only to fall short in the end - stop me if you've heard this one. 

Vancouver was aggressive on offence hitting Nikolai Khabibulin with 40 shots, but only the one caught the back of the net.

Good on the Canucks for not giving up late in the game as they had 16 shots in the final frame, which doesn't include Wellwood's one-second-too-late goal.


Although the Canucks had a few lapses on defence, most notably on the Oilers go-ahead goal when a tired group was scrambling for position, overall this was a good game on the backend. 

Kudos to Alex Edler for diving out to rob Ales Hemsky of an open net goal with time winding down. Although Edmonton won the war, Vancouver won the battle.


Vancouver had only two shots on goal on five power plays, which just isn't going to cut it. The Canucks were getting shots off from the point, they simply refused to find their way through traffic and at the net.

On the flip side, Vancouver held Edmonton to 0-for-3 on the man advantage.

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