Spurred on by their Swedish twins, the Vancouver Canucks took the play to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night, capitalizing on the mental errors and discipline lapses of the Oilers to skate to a 5-2 victory in Edmonton.
It was a feisty game from the very beginning as the Oilers in the early stages took the body hard to the Canucks, trying to knock them off their game. As the night wore on however it became the Oilers who were rattled, as the Canucks took advantage of Oiler penalties and confused them with the heroics of the brothers Sedin, who combined for a 9 point night.
A physical game and chippy at times, the Canucks once again rose to the occasion when facing the Oilers a team they have had some remarkable success against this year, the win Tuesday was the fourth consecutive victory and marked the third victory in four matches while visiting in Edmonton.
The win was a key one for Vancouver who will take much momentum from the victory as they head down the playoff stretch, for Edmonton it was a key game that they needed but could not claim, one of those losses that could spiral them to the sellers market by the end of the month as opposed to a buyer for a run at the playoffs.
And while the victory in Edmonton was sweet enough, what with the offensive explosion from the Swedes, there was even better to news to follow later in the night. The Canucks put a bit more distance between themselves and the Oilers, while at the other end of Alberta the Chicago Black Hawks were preparing a surprise of their own for the Calgary Flames.
Martin Havlat brought the Hawks back in the third and in overtime to steal an Overtime win from the flames and help to make the Northwest Division that much tighter. Havlat figured in all three Chicago scoring plays as the led the Hawks to a 3-2 victory over the Flames. A rather deflationary end to a night dedicated to honour the exploits of Mike Vernon, who had his sweater retired prior to the start of the game.
The Hawks now travel on to Vancouver for a game with the Canucks on Wednesday, perhaps they’ll say thanks prior to the game, before they set to work to continue to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the northwest group