The new Canucks head coach, who spent the first two pre-season games watching from the press box, watched his club drop their third consecutive game to begin the exhibition season on Saturday night at Rexall Place.
Ryan Smyth's second goal of the pre-season with 4:02 remaining in regulation stood up as the game winner as the Oilers knocked off the Canucks by a final score of 5-2.
Smyth's goal sparked a late flurry in the game that saw the two teams combine for four goals in a span of 2:50. Unfortunately for the Canucks, three of the four tallies belonged to Edmonton.
After Smyth's goal gave the Oilers a 3-1 lead, Jannik Hansen pulled the Canucks back within a goal snapping a wrist shot from the slot past Edmonton netminder Tyler Rimmer.
That was as close as the Canucks would get on this night.
Nail Yakupov would restore Edmonton's two-goal lead just 49 seconds later one-timing a shot past Eddie Lack for his first of the pre-season. Will Acton would add an empty netter with 1:12 remaining to round out the scoring.
The Canucks actually got off to a strong start unlike their first two pre-season contests opening the scoring just 1:20 in the contest courtesy of Mike Santorelli who took a lead feed from blue-liner Yannick Weber and wired a wrist shot past Oilers' starting netminder Jason LaBarbera from the right faceoff dot.
The lead lasted just over 11 minutes before Sam Gagner's power play marker evened the game at 1-1. David Perron added a shorthanded goal in the second period for the Oilers.
LaBarbera made eight saves on nine shots before giving way to Rimmer who stopped nine of 10 shots he faced.
Eddie Lack started the contest for the Canucks and went the distance making 27 saves on 31 shots.
The Canucks return to action on Monday night when they host the Phoenix Coyotes at Rogers Arena.
INJURY BUG BITES AGAIN...AND AGAIN: The Canucks had been hoping to get forward David Booth back into action tonight but those plans went sideways at the morning skate when Booth left the session favouring his groin. Booth was set to make his return after an ankle injury sustained back in March. Niklas Jensen took his spot in the lineup but lasted just 29 seconds before he was forced to leave the game with an undisclosed injury. Jordan Schroeder also was forced to leave the game in the second period after taking a Yakupov slap shot off his left foot.
A PAGE FROM TORTS' BOOK: While John Tortorella made his first appearance behind the Canucks' bench, his Oilers counterpart – Dallas Eakins – decided it was his turn to go upstairs for a night. Eakins took in the contest in a private box with several other Oilers' executives.STREAK SNAPPER:
Brendan Gaunce, who is battling hard for a spot on the opening night lineup, saw his two-game goal streak come to an end. He had just over 14 minutes of ice-time and finished the game with a minus-one rating.