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Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Canucks

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers

While the Oilers were able to once again peak in a third period rally, the Canucks scored midway in the final frame to seal the victory in a tightly checked game. Raffi Torres recorded his first career hat-trick in the process. Daniel Sedin scored the other goal for the Canucks, while Ryan Jones, Gilbert Brule and Dustin Penner tallied for the Oilers.

Raffi Torres came into Rexall Place and had one of his stronger performances in recent memory. Of his three goals, his third happened to be the most important. After the Oilers tied the game early in the third which seized the momentum, Torres slid a seeing-eye backhand shot through the wickets of Khabibulin to put the Canucks ahead 4-3 midway through the final frame. As it turned out, that was all the Canucks needed to seal victory.

43 Although the final total was closer than it has been in recent games, Edmonton continued to struggle in the faceoff circle; winning just 43% of all draws taken.
28 It was a night of missed chances, particularly for the Oilers who fell on the losing end tonight. The two teams combined to block an impressive 28 shots on this night.
50 Edmonton's penalty kill struggles continued as Vancouver went 2/4 with the man advantage. A 50% efficiency rate will have to improve.
1 Vancouver recorded its first road win of 2010-11 tonight with their triumph over the Oilers. They came into tonight 0-3-1 on the road.

Raffi Torres
G A P +/- Shots
3 0 3 +1 6

Andrew Cogliano
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 +2 0

Kevin Bieksa
G A P +/- Shots
0 3 3 +1 2

Roberto Luongo
26 23 3 59:56 .885

Nikolai Khabibulin
30 26 4 59:24 .867

Alex Edler - D

23:26 - 1A, E rating

Ryan Whitney - D

29:42 - 0P, +1 rating

It was also the most important. At the 5:28 mark of the third period, Andrew Cogliano busted down the right-wing with his signature speed. He then cut to the middle, fooling the Canucks defence in the process, as he set up Gilbert Brule for a perfect one-timer over the shoulder of Luongo. Brule's goal tied the game at three and brought the sold-out Rexall Place crowd into a frenzy. At this point, Edmonton owned the momentum but was unable to ride the wave to victory.

While Raffi Torres was clearly the MVP on this night, Andrew Cogliano's performance for the Oilers deserves mention. Cogliano picked up right where he left off on the road trip with another strong performance vs. Vancouver. The speedster was showing more confidence with the puck and a greater willingness to drive the middle of the ice. This effort was the direct cause of the Oilers' third period tying goal. Cogliano's two-point night is definitely a step in the right direction.

Edmonton's fourth line was incredibly productive on this night. The trio was counted on for more minutes than they're used to and they delivered with an excellent forecheck throughout the night that wore on the Canucks' defence. In addition, some nice spade-work in the third period helped the Oilers get back in the game when Stortini and Jones combined to bring the score within one. Without that third period offensive production, the fourth line still had an effective outing.

On a night where physical play wasn't the highlight of this Northwest Division matchup, Ales Hemsky stood out for the Oilers in a different way. Rather than dazzling fans with his puck-handling abilities, Hemsky played a strong game away from thep puck and involved himself in the physical play. Late in the second period, Hemsky skated in the offensive zone on the penalty kill, hammering his man into the end-boards and bringing the Rexall Place crowd to life.

Coming into tonight's game, both Henrik and Daniel Sedin had recorded 50 points each in their careers vs. Edmonton. Both recorded a point tonight and increased their totals to 51.

"It's immature hockey. I don't know what you hang that on. It's not easy to fall behind 3-0 to anybody, nevermind Vancouver -- and they've got some depth there, obviously -- but we had a gameplan there. The trick is to play it."

- Head coach Tom Renney on the loss

Friday November 5 vs. Detroit
  7:30 p.m. MT (Sportsnet  / 630 CHED)

The Oilers get an extra day off before the Detroit Red Wings pay a visit to Rexall Place on Friday. Edmonton will be looking to get back on track as they head into Friday's game with a 3-5-2 season record.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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