VANCOUVER, B.C. - It was the best possible way Daniel Sedin could image celebrating the retiring Trevor Linden's jersey.
Sedin scored twice, and collected an assist, as Vancouver defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 Wednesday on the night the Canucks raised Linden's No. 16 to the rafters at GM Place. It was Linden who took Daniel and his twin brother Henrik under his wing as the young Swedes dealt with the pressure and expectations of being picked second and third overall in the 1999 draft.
"He almost turned Henrik and my career around," said Daniel, who leads Vancouver with 14 goals. "He came in, taught us a lot and helped us get better. He was a big help to us.
"We talked to him a lot. He's been a big part of our success."
Ryan Kesler and Jannik Hansen, into an empty net, also scored for the Canucks, who collected three, second-period goals.
The Canucks improved their record to 18-11-3 and are tied with the Calgary Flames for first place in the Northwest Division.
Prior to the game a sellout crowd of 18,630 had a chance to give Linden one more standing ovation. The former Vancouver captain joins Stan Smyl as the only Canucks to have their numbers retired.
"This is an incredible day," said Linden, 38, who retired in June after 16 seasons as a Canuck. "To the fans of Vancouver and the province of B.C., it's hard to express my gratitude to you tonight.
"Thank you for letting me into your lives. Thanks for being incredible, passionate hockey fans."
Vancouver took a 3-0 lead into the third period and looked to have the game on ice. But the Oilers made it interesting.
First Dustin Penner made it 3-1 on a Henrik Sedin giveaway. Then, with 89 second remaining, Sam Gagner scored on a power play with the Edmonton net empty for an extra attacker.
"We showed some resolve in the end and got ourselves back in the game," said Oiler defenceman Steve Staios. "We kind of ran out of time."
The Oilers, who fell to 14-14-2, were looking for a better result after being pasted 9-2 in Edmonton by the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night.
Oiler goaltender Dwayne Roloson thought the game turned when Daniel Sedin made it 1-0 in the dying second of a two-man Canuck advantage.
"The five-on-three was just sort of the turning point," said Roloson, who made 24 saves. "It was a crucial time when we had to get a kill but unfortunately we didn't."
It was the second consecutive win for the Canucks and third in four games. It also was a huge confidence boost for goaltender Curtis Sanford, who filled in for the injured Roberto Luongo.
Sanford made 22 saves after having a poor game in Vancouver's 3-0 loss to Edmonton Saturday night.
"I know I need to be solid and give the team a chance to win," said Sanford, who improved his record to 5-4-0.
Canuck coach Alain Vigneault praised his goaltender's effort.
"He made some important saves at important times," said Vigneault.
The win came at a price for Vancouver as defenceman Sami Salo and Shane O'Brien both left the game with injures.
O'Brien was hurt in the first period after taking a brutal hit behind the net from Edmonton's Zack Stortini.
Salo, who had just returned to the lineup after missing three games with a groin injury, was driven into the boards by Ethan Moreau late in the second period. He left the ice holding his upper body. No penalty was called on the play.
Vigneault said O'Brien suffered a Charlie horse and Salo and upper body injury. Both will be further evaluated Thursday.
The Canucks broke open a scoreless game with goals 2:35 apart in the second period.
On Sedin's first goal, Roloson stopped the first shot. Staios drove Sedin into the goaltender and the pair crashed to the ice and the puck squirted into the net.
A frustrated Roloson swatted Sedin on the head but the goal stood.
"When you're on your back and don't know what's going on in front of you it's pretty hard," said Roloson.
Kesler made it 2-0 at 3:51. It was the second consecutive game Kesler scored after going 13 matches without a goal.
Sedin made it 3-0 late in the period with a shot from a sharp angle that went over Roloson's shoulder.
Notes: Sanford played in his 100th career game. ...Vancouver also beat the Oilers on the night Smyl's jersey was retired. ...The Canucks' next game is Saturday night at home against Chicago.