Game Recap: Vancouver @ Edmonton

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Vancouver (W) @ Edmonton (L) Final Score: 5-2
Current Record: 38-15-6

Vancouver picked up against Edmonton right where they left off the previous night with Toronto. A great first period put them 2-0 on the Oil, despite having a Malhotra goal rescinded for kicking the put into the net. The Oilers came out for the second period fighting hard and closed the gap 2-1, but once again a powerplay rejuvenated the Canucks. Soon after the PP, Bieksa scored from the point and the Canucks dominated the remaining 35 minutes of hockey. 

The Canucks came flying out of the gates and capitalized on every mistake the Oilers made. Just 53 seconds into the first period, the Canucks opened the scoring when Burrows chased a puck into the corner resulting in a turnover and an easy open-net goal for Henrik.

Just 5 minutes later and 30 seconds into their second powerplay of the game, Salo snuck into the slot and beat Khabibulin to put the canucks ahead by 2.

The period ended with Malhotra scoring, but the goal was taken away because it was ruled a kick. There was absolutely no way this was going to a good goal as Malhotra clearly turned his foot to direct the puck into the net. Not like that happened in Nashville and was ruled a goal. That would be crazy.

Khabibulin was replaced by Dubnyk to start the second, andt the first 5 minutes of the period ended up being the only contested shifts in the entire game. Edmonton came back hard, resulting in Ryan Smyth battling in front of the net and dishing the puck to Horcoff, who managed to slip the puck past Schneider. But, just 4 minutes later, Smid took a high-sticking penalty against Higgins and the Canucks got to work on the powerplay. Even though they didn’t score, just moments after it finished Bieksa ripped a slapshot into the back of the net, making it 3-1.

Chris Higgins added a tally to the board with a wrister that beat Dubnyk far side. The wind was sucked out of Rexall Place pretty quickly and the Oilers were unable to find any source of sustained pressure.

Magnus Pajaarvi picked up his second goal of the season on a one-timer from a great cross ice pass from Hemsky to end the second period.

Once again, just 33 seconds into the third, Daniel Sedin beat Dubnyk to end any possibility of a comeback for the Oilers. The final score was 5-2, a fair reflection of the difference between the two teams in Western conference standings.

Full highlight reel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ARYmUnPAMo

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Thoughts on the game:

-Malhotra’s goal was definitely a kick, but there is too much variation in the control room in Toronto. Kostitsyn’s goal against Vancouver was very similar and drawing the line between what is and isn’t a goal is still too blurry in the NHL

– The Sedins scored against the Oilers the same way they scored against the Leafs; by capitalizing on mistakes. They face Nashville and Detroit on Tuesday and Thursday respectively, teams that make far less mistakes. If thie Canucks want to make another deep playoff run, the Sedins cannot disappear again when facing better squads

-Vancouver has yet to lose a game in regulation since January 15th, but they have really only been playing high quality hockey for just over a week now; case in point of how the best teams in the league find a way to get points even when they aren’t playing their best

– Weise was in for Bitz, who is dealing with a hip injury. Weise took advantage of the opportunity, creating a great screen for Bieksa on his point-shot goal

– Sami Salo has now played 49 games this season (10 missed). If he doesn’t get hurt again, fingers crossed, it will be the most games he has played in a regular season since 2003-‘04

– In the 2012 NHL Players poll, the Canucks were voted the most overrated. So long as the Canucks keeping winning games, what does it matter
http://www.playerspoll.ca/results/20112012-results/teams–player-opinions/which-team-is-overrated

 

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Dean Brookstone 

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