EDMONTON, AB - A boisterous Rogers Place crowd was treated to an entertaining New Year's Eve battle, which ended in a 3-2 shootout loss to Vancouver for the Oilers.
"Every point right now is obviously important," said Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. "Tonight, it wasn't our best game of the season by any means but we did find a way to get that point. We battled hard."
It appeared as though the Canucks opened the scoring at 12:12 of the first period. Markus Granlund sizzled a shot from the top of the circle and it flew past Oilers netminder Cam Talbot. The goalie was immediately upset with what he thought was interference by Brandon Sutter, who was planted in the crease.
Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan used a coach's challenge and the goal was overturned.
The Oilers failure to get the puck out of their zone led to the Canucks 1-0 lead at 5:43 of the second. After numerous chances to get it out, the Oilers found themselves with the puck in the back of their net.
McLellan utilized another challenge that Talbot was interfered with again, but this time the officials determined the call would stand. Alexandre Burrows was credited with his seventh tally of the season.
Oilers captain Connor McDavid used his speed to draw a penalty midway through the second. Nikita Tryamkin went to the box for holding, and the Oilers nearly tied things up, but Leon Draisaitl's chance glanced off the side of the net.
Those two Oilers forwards would connect on a power play late in the game to tie and send it to overtime.
It wasn't until 12:31 of the second that Edmonton made it 1-1. Rookie forward Drake Caggiula one-timed a feed from Nugent-Hopkins, with Patrick Maroon standing in front of goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
The Canucks went back ahead at 4:57 of the third when Bo Horvat set up Sven Baertschi to make it 2-1.
With just 1:25 left in the game McDavid potted the equalizer, finishing off a Draisaitl feed on a tic-tac-toe passing play.
"It was a great pass from (Milan) Lucic to Drat and Drat made an unbelievable pass back," said McDavid. "I don't think anyone expected leaving a pretty wide open net for us."
With 52 seconds left, Jordan Eberle was robbed of a chance at the regulation win by Markstrom's glove.
With 2:28 left in overtime, Talbot made a massive save of his own. The Canucks came down on a 2-on-1 and Talbot dove to deny Henrik Sedin.
The Canucks had five shots in overtime, while the Oilers had six. The game would head to a shootout, in which Horvat scored the lone goal to lift the Canucks to victory.
Edmonton now hits the road for a four-game trip east, beginning in Columbus on Tuesday at 5 p.m. MST.