NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Edmonton
(Friday, March 12th)
Final Score: Vancouver 4, Edmonton 3 (OT)
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Geoff Sanderson scored with 33 seconds left in overtime, lifting the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.
Sanderson also had an assist, while Martin Rucinsky scored a goal and added an assist for Vancouver, which rallied from a 3-1 deficit and remained four points behind first-place Colorado in the Northwest Division. The Avalanche notched a 3-2 win over Phoenix on Friday.
Brendan Morrison scored the tying goal in the third period and Bryan Allen also found the back of the net for the Canucks, who won for the second time in six games (2-2-2). Dan Cloutier made 24 saves in the victory.
Petr Nedved scored a pair of goals for Edmonton, which extended its NHL record with its seventh consecutive overtime game. The Oilers are 2-0-2-3 in their last seven and pulled within five points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"We're disappointed obviously, it's frustrating," said Nedved. "The ties aren't going to do it for the rest of the season. We need wins with the teams ahead of us always winning. The ties are starting to feel like losses."
Markus Naslund, who had two assists, set up the winning goal on a 2-on-1 rush. He carried the puck over the Edmonton blue line and sent a pass toward the left wing for a streaking Sanderson, who kicked the puck forward with his right skate as he cut toward the net and got just enough of his stick on it to direct it into the net.
"Our speed was the difference," said Canucks head coach Marc Crawford. "We started to find open spaces and then we got the jump with Sanderson, Rucinsky and Morrison. And we're just going to get better as they get used to each other."
Crawford was referring to his new line combination without star forward Todd Bertuzzi, who will miss the remainder of the season and the playoffs as a suspension for his actions against Colorado's Steve Moore earlier this week.
"What you lose in size and toughness in Todd, you replace with skill and speed in a player like Rucinsky and Sanderson," Crawford added.
Vancouver tied it with 7:04 left in the third period on Morrison's 18th goal. He fought through a check by Edmonton defenseman Jason Smith down the slot and knocked in the rebound of a Daniel Sedin shot.
Cloutier, meanwhile, stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period to keep the Canucks in it. He turned aside a good chance by Nedved in the closing seconds, and did not face a shot in overtime
Jussi Markkanen finished with 20 saves for Edmonton
Nedved scored a pair of power-play goals in the second period to give the Oilers a 3-1 cushion.
During a 4-on-3 man-advantage, Nedved picked up a rebound and backhanded a shot over Cloutier just 1:33 into the stanza. He added his second of the game and 17th of the season at the 10:07 mark, snapping a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot past a screened Cloutier on the glove side.
The Canucks pulled within one just 3:39 later when Rucinsky scored his first in a Vancouver uniform. The former Ranger took an outlet pass from Naslund, skated into the Edmonton zone along the right wing and fired a shot that hit the stick of Smith before going past Markkanen.
"Coming back from 3-1 is huge for our confidence," Naslund said. "To me it looked like a lot of us were tired, but we found a way to regroup and get the job done."
The Oilers grabbed a 1-0 lead just 2:15 into the game when Shawn Horcoff scored his 15th goal of the season. Steve Staios blasted a shot that Cloutier stopped, but Horcoff chipped the rebound with a backhand past the netminder.
Vancouver tied it with just 1:56 left in the opening period. Sanderson raced into the Edmonton zone along the left wing and dropped a pass back toward the center point for a trailing Allen, who ripped a shot past Markkanen for his second goal of the season and first in 51 games.
Allen hadn't scored since November 20th against Chicago...Adam Oates notched an assist on Nedved's second goal to record his 1,414th career point, tying him with Doug Gilmour for 13th on the all-time list...Sedin had two assists for Vancouver, while Eric Brewer posted a pair for Edmonton.
03/13 00:33:09 ET