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Oilers bounce Canucks 5-4

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Smyth came within inches of scoring the game's first goal 2:30 in. During a mad scramble in front, Smyth's backhander rang off the right post behind Canucks goaltender Wade Flaherty. Horcoff then missed on the rebound with Flaherty down and out.

Just when it looked like the Canucks had dodged a bullet, Joffrey Lupul scooped up the puck in the slot and wristed it past Flaherty, who was screened by Smyth on the play.

By the 11:14 mark, shots on goal were 3-1 for Vancouver in a slow-moving game but the Oilers scored on their lone shot.

Two minutes later, the Oilers netted their second shot of the game and scored their second goal. Just as a penalty to Fernando Pisani expired, Jarret Stoll intercepted the puck from Vancouver's Alexander Edler and broke in alone on Flaherty. Stoll fired the puck low glove side for the goal, making it 2-0 Edmonton.

Flaherty made a huge stop on Lupul a minute later with Edmonton on the power play, snagging a Stoll blast from the point with his glove.

Roloson made a big stop of his own with the teams playing four-on-four. Brandon Reid managed to sneak through the Oilers defence and elected to shoot high glove side but the Oilers goaltender got his glove up to make the huge stop.

After one period of play, shots on goal were even at 4-4.

Edmonton ran into some penalty trouble early in the second period, starting with a fight between Matt Greene and Vancouver's Mike Brown. Greene got the better of Brown in the fight but also got an extra two minutes for roughing for his efforts.

Shortly after that, Steve Staios was sent off and then Smith took a penalty before Staios' penalty expired. Despite the extended five-on-three for Vancouver, the Oilers did a good job killing off the penalty.

The Canucks then killed off a penalty of their own, to Ryan Kesler and then scored shortly after it expired.

Kesler picked up the puck behind the Oilers net and then backhanded it to Alexandre Burrows at the left hash marks. Burrows fired a laser over the right shoulder of Roloson to cut Edmonton's lead in half.

The Oilers regained their two-goal lead at 10:28 of the middle frame on a five-on-three power play. Lupul threaded a pass from the left circle to Fernando Pisani. Pisani fanned on the shot but still had enough to get it across the line.

Edmonton extended their lead to 4-1 when Lupul fired a pass over to Smyth, who jammed it in for the goal.

Just over two minutes later, the Canucks replied to draw within two goals again. Alexander Edler blasted the puck from the point. Roloson got a piece of it, but not enough as it slipped in behind him where Ryan Kesler tapped it in.

In the final minute of period two, Marc-Antoine Pouliot dished the puck along the ice off the far post behind Flaherty to give the Oilers a 5-2 lead heading into the second intermission.

Shots after two periods were 15-11 for the Oilers.

At the start of period three, Drew MacIntyre stepped in to replace Flaherty in goal for Vancouver.

Vancouver finally connected on the power play five minutes into the third. A nice three-way passing play between Lee Goren, Brandon Reid and Patrick Coulombe resulted in the Canucks cutting Edmonton's lead to 5-3.

Goren was stationed behind the Oilers net where he found Coulombe pinching in from the point. Goren's feed hit the tape of the rookie defenceman and he tapped it in for the goal.

Late in the game, the Oilers had another turn on the power play and went with five forwards again. This time, Pouliot was in the middle flanked by Mikhnov and Schremp with Stoll and Pisani on the points.

After pressing for a late goal, the Canucks finally connected on their fourth of the night with 2.3 seconds left on the clock. Burrows found Jannick Hansen in front who chipped it over Roloson to make the final 5-4.
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