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game recap

Canucks use shootout to defeat Oilers in finale

Etem scores winner for Vancouver; teams finish 28th, 29th

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Emerson Etem helped the Vancouver Canucks finish a disappointing season on a high note. He also improved his chances of being back next season.

Etem scored in the third period and had the winning goal in the seventh round of the shootout to give the Canucks a 4-3 victory against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena on Saturday.

Etem, who was acquired from the New York Rangers on Jan. 8, had four goals and an assist in his final five games after scoring three times his first 34 games with the Canucks. The 23-year-old will be a restricted free agent on July 1.

"It took me a little bit obviously," Etem said. "I kept that in the back of my mind, for sure, as motivation to stay. There are a lot of decisions to be made, but all I felt I could do was work hard and, hopefully, get rewarded for it. That's kind of what happened."

Jacob Markstrom made 35 saves through overtime and stopped five of seven attempts in the shootout for the Canucks, who blew two leads in the third period.

Video: EDM@VAN: Etem wins the game with the backhand

Etem put Vancouver ahead 2-1 at 1:21 of the third period, but Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tied it 6:25 later. Jannik Hansen gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead on a breakaway with 4:08 left, but Patrick Maroon tied it by scoring a power-play goal with 1:27 to play.

Markstrom stopped Maroon to start the seventh round of the shootout, and Etem ended the season with a quick deke and a shot between the pads of Cam Talbot.

"We wanted to make today all about the fans," Markstrom said. "They stuck with us in a tough situation, a tough year, for us. You see all these fans and how excited they are every time we scored. In the shootout, too, they were really getting into it. It was awesome. We really wanted to get that [win] for them tonight."

Derek Dorsett scored for the Canucks (31-38-13), who had lost back-to-game games to the Oilers and Calgary Flames by a combined score of 13-5. Vancouver missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in three seasons; the Canucks finished 28th in the overall standings with their fewest points (75) since 1998-99.

Video: EDM@VAN: Dorsett converts turnover into goal

"It's nice to end the season on a win, but I don't think we're going to go into the summer feeling great about ourselves," captain Henrik Sedin said. "It's not a good feeling being where we are. It's different than it was two years ago when we needed a change, but right now we're still trying to develop players and make them better."

Rookie defenseman Darnell Nurse scored and Talbot made 25 saves for the Oilers (31-43-8), who finished 29th in the NHL after winning once in their final four games.

"It was a competitive night on our behalf, which I won't lie, I had a bit of a concern coming into last game and on the road," coach Todd McLellan said. "But the guys buckled them up and came and played, and we can't ask for more than that."

Dorsett made it 1-0 midway through the first period after Matt Bartkowski protected the puck inside the blue line and passed it cross-ice. Dorsett one-timed it from the left faceoff dot past a screened Talbot low on the far side.

Video: EDM@VAN: Markstrom robs Eberle with great glove save

Nurse tied the game 1-1 with a point shot past Markstrom with 6:14 left in the second period, shortly after the Oilers prevented the Canucks from getting any shots during a power play.

Etem put the Canucks ahead 2-1 after a cross-ice rush pass from Dorsett, beating Talbot under the glove with a shot from the top of the circle that deflected off the stick of Edmonton defenseman Jordan Oesterle. Nugent-Hopkins tied it 2-2 on a backhand redirection in front after a cross-ice pass from Taylor Hall.

"We're in 29th place, that's all you can really say," Hall said, "It's been disappointing, no doubt, but there's been a lot of strides, not only individually for some guys, but as a team. We're definitely a lot better off than we were last year."

Video: EDM@VAN: Etem beats Talbot to give Canucks the lead

McLellan agreed, despite saying the Oilers came up one point short of meeting internal goals they set for the final segment of the season.

"The skill and talent is there with this group," McLellan said. "It's learning how to play and how to manage situations and game management as much as anything, so we'll have to work on some of that stuff … We're never going to be perfect, but if we have five brain cramps a night, we have to get those down to three."

Video: Etem scores in the 3rd, SO to lift Canucks to victory

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