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Stoll leads Oilers over Canucks

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The Canucks got on the board early in the game. 18 seconds in, Steve Staios tried to corral a Nolan Baumgartner point shot but it ended up getting tipped to Josh Green who fired it in past Markkanen from the slot. The puck went in and out of the net so quickly that it went to video review but after a short wait it was ruled a goal.

Alex Auld made a huge stop after a brilliant behind-the-back pass from Raffi Torres to Jarret Stoll in the slot. Stoll wristed it but Auld made a great glove save to preserve the Canucks lead.

Some hard work off the faceoff resulted in Edmonton's first goal of the game. Raffi Torres actually lost the draw to Henrik Sedin but good checking in the corner by Radek Dvorak got the puck to Stoll in front who spun and wristed it low past Auld.

Just over two minutes later, the Oilers made it 2-0 as Marty Reasoner picked up a Steve Staios rebound and roofed it over Auld who attempted a desperation save while flat on his back.

The Oilers were outshooting Vancouver 10-5 with about five minutes left in the first, but the shot count at the end of the opening frame was 12-11 in favour of Edmonton.

The Canucks came flying out of the gate in the second period thanks somewhat to an early penalty to Ryan Smyth. Five minutes into the period, Vancouver had six shots to Edmonton's one.

Jussi Markkanen came up huge on Henrik Sedin, doing the splits to keep the puck out as Sedin attempted to deke the Oilers netminder in close.

Markkanen came up big again about 30 seconds later as he held the fort during a mad scramble in front with some assistance to Steve Staios who cleared a loose puck in the crease.

The Oilers then came back down the ice and scored their third of the game to move ahead 3-1. Ales Hemsky threaded a pass from the point to Ryan Smyth in front of the net, who reached around Auld and backhanded it in for his 12th of the season.

Edmonton finally went on its first power play of the game 7:57 into the second period but were unable to generate much in the way of scoring chances.

Vancouver finally drew back within a goal with 5:11 remaining in the second. With Michael Peca in the box for Edmonton, Henrik Sedin threaded a pass to Daniel Sedin in the slot, who tipped it top corner behind Markkanen.

Late in the period, the Oilers started to press to regain their two-goal lead but Auld did well in keeping it a one-goal game.

After two periods, Vancouver had a slight 21-20 edge in shots but trailed 3-2.

Ryan Smyth had a couple of chances early in the third period. He tried to put a rebound behind Auld low but the Canucks goaltender stood tall and turned it away. On the same shift, Smyth tipped a Hemsky centering pass that Auld got his right pad on.

Raffi Torres was able to take advantage of a Wade Brookbank giveaway six minutes into the third and rifle one past Auld glove side to give the Oilers a two-goal lead.

Vancouver had trouble getting anything going in the third period despite playing from behind. 15 minutes into the period, the Canucks only had two shots on goal.

Jarret Stoll scored his second of the game 15 minutes into the third to seal the deal. Stoll skated in on the right side and blasted a shot from the top of the faceoff circle past Auld.

Robert McVicar came in following the goal to mop up for the Canucks, making his NHL debut.

With just under three minutes left in the third, Anson Carter scored a power play marker to make it a 5-3 game. Carter took the puck in the slot and roofed it behind Markkanen for his eighth of the year.

With time ticking down and Vancouver's net empty, Jarret Stoll looked to get his first career hat trick but his stick broke just as he was shooting on the open cage.

NOTES: The Oilers wore their third jerseys for the third time this season. The previous two times, the team lost to the Colorado Avalanche including this past Tuesday... Jussi Markkanen got his first start in goal for the Oilers since Nov. 19 vs. Chicago... Dan Smith, Krys Kolanos and Jani Rita were all healthy scratches for the Oilers while Lee Goren was a healthy scratch for Vancouver with Matt Cooke (jaw), Tyler Bouck (groin) and Dan Cloutier (knee) injured... Raffi Torres has netted a point (2g, 4a) in each of Edmonton's last four games which marks the second-longest scoring streak of his career. Earlier this season he had a point in six straight...
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