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Oilers deny Canucks for fifth time

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The best scoring chance early on went to the Canucks as Daniel Sedin got his stick on the puck in the slot and fired it on a screened Morrison. The Oilers goaltender was able to get a pad on it and deflect the puck out of harm's way.

Morrison came up big again four minutes later, stopping Naslund on a backhand attempt as the Canucks rushed into the Oilers zone.

Shots on goal were 5-1 Edmonton as the opening period reached its midway point but a flurry in the Oilers end by Vancouver's top line resulted in Morrison having to make five consecutive stops.

It didn't take Edmonton long to get on the board after Markus Naslund took the game's first penalty just past the midway point of the first. Chris Pronger teed up a blast from the right point that Smyth tipped in front past Auld to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead.

Edmonton's penalty killers stepped up late in the period when Steve Staios took two minutes for hooking. Ryan Smyth and Radek Dvorak teamed up along with Michael Peca to barely allow Vancouver a sniff in the Edmonton zone.

After one period, shots on goal were 12-7 for the Oilers as they took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.

Early in the second, Henrik Sedin fed Anson Carter in the slot from behind the Oilers goal. Carter wristed it on goal but Morrison was there to make the stop.

Aside from Carter's early chance, Edmonton put on most of the pressure in the first half of the period. Shots on goal nine minutes into the second were 10-2 in favour of the Oilers as Auld did a great job standing his ground for the visitors.

Although Vancouver's chances were few and far between, they had some quality opportunities. Anson Carter skated in on an odd-manm rush before Igor Ulanov tripped up, sending Carter in alone on Morrison. His wrister was stopped by the Oilers goaltender as Laraque did a good job skating back into the play to hurry Carter's shot.

Late in the period, Jarret Stoll got a huge monkey off his back as he wristed a shot from the left faceoff circle through the wickets of Auld just as a Vancouver penalty expired. It was Stoll's first goal in over a month and it couldn't have been more timely, doubling the Edmonton lead to 2-0.

Three minutes later, Daniel Sedin backhanded a pass from his brother Henrik past an outstretched Morrison to make it a 2-1 game. Tomas Mojzis got the other assist on the play, registering his first career NHL point in his first NHL game.

After two, Edmonton was clinging to a 2-1 advantage while outshooting Vancouver 26-16.

Ales Hemsky almost scored on a power play to regain a two-goal cushion for the hosts early in the third. His wrister rang off the far post behind Auld.

The Oilers continued to pressure Vancouver early in the third as Auld had to be sharp to deny the Edmonton attack. He was able to get a shoulder up to stop a rising Laraque wrister and slid across to deny Dvorak on the rush.

Shots six minutes into the third were 8-1 for the Oilers.

Just prior to the midway point, Edmonton regained the two-goal lead on a power play goal by Raffi Torres. Torres danced around Henrik Sedin before putting himself in the slot where he rifled a wrist shot past the goaltender. Todd Harvey did a good job screening Auld in front of the net.

Edmonton completely dominated the Canucks in the third. Shots on goal were 14-1 in the final frame as the Canucks couldn't get anywhere near the Oilers net in an attempt to spark a comeback.

NOTES: Prior to the game, the Canucks recalled Tomas Mojzis from Manitoba (AHL) and put him in the starting lineup for his first-ever NHL game. Nolan Baumgartner was a late scratch after getting injured last night... Jason Smith and Dick Tarnstrom both missed the game due to injury. Igor Ulanov drew back into the Oilers lineup... Jarret Stoll increased his scoring streak to five games with the goal tonight (1g, 4a)... The one shot on goal allowed by Edmonton in the third period tied a regular season record that had occurred eight times before. Most recently, November 30, 2003 in the first period of a game against San Jose.
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