Sunday, December 18, 2005

Oilers in OT!

It’s something that hasn’t happened very much at GM Place this season, a loss by the home side. But if any team was going to make its mark in Vancouver it probably would be the Edmonton Oilers.

Saturday night the Oilers provided an entertaining night of hockey for the second game of the Hockey Night in Canada double header, as they came from behind to take a victory away from GM Place. Mike Peca put away the winning fifth goal with a highlight reel shot to the Canucks net after a controversial play in the neutral zone, in which he pulled away from a sprawling Daniel Sedin.

It didn’t seem like it was going to go the Oilers way early on, as the Canucks scored two quick goals early on and in fast order much to the delight of the Canucks faithful. The Canucks scoring blitz in fact chased the Oilers starting goaltender Mike Morrison from the game before he could even work up a sweat. Morrison was replaced by Jussi Markkanen, who kept a steady hand in the Oiler net for the rest of the game.

Todd Bertuzzi continued to play inspired hockey as he crashed and bashed his way towards two goals on the night, coming close a number of times to picking up a hat trick for his efforts on the night.

Power play opportunities would prove pivotal for the Oilers as they took advantage of a penalty parade of Canucks through the game.

The Canucks started Maxime Ouellette in goal, giving their new starter Alex Auld a night off after his recent string of consecutive games in place of the injured Dan Cloutier. Ouellete played well for the most part and benefited from some solid defensive play from the likes of Jovanovski, Salo and Ohlund.

The 5-4 loss by the Canucks marks only the second time they have lost on GM Place ice this season, a remarkable stretch of winning hockey. It was however the third loss to the Oilers this season, making Edmonton the troublesome date on the Canucks calendar for the rest of the season.

With the victory the Oilers pull to within three points of the Canucks in the North West division standings but more importantly file away another bit of confidence when it comes to playing their rivals in the North West.

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