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Souray's marker proves to be the difference as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Sheldon Souray's late second-period goal stood up as the winner as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Friday night.

Marc Pouliot and Shawn Horcoff also scored for the Oilers before a sellout crowd of 18,630, but plenty of no-shows because of a snowstorm, at General Motors Place.

Mason Raymond and Kyle Wellwood tallied for the Canucks (19-14-3) as they suffered their second straight loss.

The Oilers led 3-0 after Souray's goal at 16:56 of the second period, but the Canucks rallied with goals in the last minute of the second and first two minutes of the third to create a frantic finish.

Ultimately, 5-on-3 power plays proved to be the difference as the Oilers scored on a pair of two-man advantages while the Canucks countered on just one and didn't get another. Vancouver outshot Edmonton 14-3 in the third period and 28-23 on the night.

The game got off to a spirited start as Edmonton heavyweight Zack Stortini fought Vancouver's Mike Brown after he levelled Oiler defenceman Denis Grebeshkov with a clean check. But the rest of the first period was uneventful and scoreless as Edmonton outshot Vancouver by a modest 6-4 count.

The Oilers took control with two quick goals in an explosive second period in which the teams combined for 34 shots.

Pouliot opened the scoring 4:27 into the middle frame as he one-timed Dustin Penner's pass from the side boards past Vancouver goaltender Curtis Sanford. Horcoff put the Oilers ahead 2-0 about two minutes later on a 5-on-3 power play as he fired in Ales Hemsky's pass from the opposite corner.

The goal came with just three seconds left in the first Vancouver penalty, a slashing call on Daniel Sedin, while Mattias Ohlund was also in the box for hooking.

Souray increased Edmonton's lead to 3-0 during another 5-on-3 power play at 16:56 as he blasted a point shot behind Sanford. The goal resulted after Kevin Bieksa and Alex Burrows were penalized 44 seconds apart.

But Raymond reduced Vancouver's deficit to 3-1 in the final minute of the second. He retrieved the puck after Oiler defenceman Steve Staios blocked his pass attempt on a 2-on-1 with Steve Bernier and then whipped it past Roloson.

The Canucks finally got a 5-on-3 power play of their own early in the third period, which allowed Wellwood to close the gap to 3-2 at 1:14. He deflected in an Alex Edler point shot that was going well wide.

Notes: Edmonton played without captain Ethan Moreau, who suffered a wrist injury while blocking a shot Monday against Phoenix . . . Canuck coach Alain Vigneault said centre Ryan Johnson, recuperating from hand and foot injuries, should return in a week to 10 days. The cast on Johnson's broken hand has been removed . . . Canuck fans will have to wait a little longer for Mats Sundin to make his debut. He is expected to join the club Dec. 30, when he will be available for interviews in Vancouver for the first time since signing a one-year pro-rated contract that will pay him US$5.625 million. Numerous reports had indicated Sundin would likely arrive in Vancouver on Saturday.

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