EDMONTON - Jason Krog's shootout goal proved to be the winner as the Vancouver Canucks knocked off the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in the opening pre-season game for both teams on Monday.
Edmonton got a chance to display its potentially lethal-looking new first unit power play combination in the opening minute and it lived up to the billing early as Sheldon Souray unleashed a bullet past rookie netminder Cory Schneider.
But just over a minute later the Canucks had tied it up as Pierre-Cedric Labrie chipped a puck over a sprawling Mathieu Garon in the Edmonton net to the stick of Jeff Cowan for an easy tap-in and a 1-1 tie.
The Oilers regained the league just before the five-minute mark as Eric Cole, acquired in an off-season trade with Carolina, swatted in a rebound following a Shawn Horcoff tip of another Souray blast from the point.
The Canucks pulled even six minutes later as Daniel Sedin dished a pass in front of the net to a pinching Mattias Ohlund to tie the game 2-2 after the first.
Edmonton scored the lone goal in the second and it was a beauty as Steve Staios sent sophomore centre Sam Gagner in on a shorthanded breakaway and he undressed Schneider with a backhand goal to give the Oilers the 3-2 edge after two.
Vancouver had a brilliant opportunity to get back into the game when they were awarded a five minute major following a dustup between Oiler Hans Benson and Canucks defenceman Rob Davison five minutes into the third, but Edmonton came up with a huge penalty kill to stay in front.
However, they would manage to draw even with five minutes to go in the final frame as Dan Gendur was able to find a loose puck off the face-off and bounce it past Garon to send the game to overtime and the eventual shootout.
The two teams have a rematch in Vancouver on Tuesday night.
Notes: In a bit of a scheduling quirk, Edmonton has more home games in September than in October. The Oilers play four pre-season tilts at Rexall Place in Edmonton this month but only have three next month. Edmonton has 18 of its first 25 regular season games on the road this season. ... Edmonton went into the game with an all-time record of 18-10-3 in the pre-season against Vancouver, outscoring the Canucks 130-102. ... Vancouver dressed the more experienced of their two teams from training camp, with just one player on this roster without any pro hockey experience in RW Dan Gendur, who was a standout at rookie camp.