Oilers steal shootout win in Vancouver
VANCOUVER — Ales Hemsky tied the game in the third period and added the shootout winner Sunday as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2.
Sam Gagner also scored in the shootout for the Oilers, who were making their debut in the lockout-shortened season, while Devan Dubnyk stopped both Vancouver attempts.
The Canucks blew a 2-0 lead and have now suffered back-to-back losses after losing 7-3 to Anaheim at home on Saturday night.
Jordan Eberle had the other goal in regulation for Edmonton, while Alex Edler and Zack Kassian scored for Vancouver.
Roberto Luongo, who was expected to be traded after being displaced as Vancouver’s starter by Cory Schneider in last spring’s playoffs, made his second straight appearance in the young season and finished with 30 saves.
Dubnyk finished with 27 to get the win.
Trailing 2-0 late in the second, Eberle got the Oilers on the board by roofing a backhander past Luongo from a sharp angle with just four seconds left in the period.
Edmonton pressed for the tie in the third period, with Hemsky beating Luongo on a weak shot from the wing on the power play at 14:05.
The goal came after Andrew Ebbett took a penalty for tripping Oilers rookie Nail Yakupov, who was making his NHL debut.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a chance to put the Oilers ahead with just over two and a half minutes left in the third, but he fired wide on a rush.
Luongo then stopped Eberle with 1:16 left, setting the stage for another shootout in which would be disappointed.
Luongo mopped up for Schneider in Saturday embarrassing loss to Anaheim.
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault chose to start Luongo against Edmonton in the second of back-to-back games rather than give Schneider a chance to redeem himself and restore some confidence.
“I had (the starting assignment) figured out a couple of days ago, and nothing that happened (Saturday) night changed my mind,” Vigneault told reporters after the team’s morning skate on Sunday.
The Oilers had 12 players in the AHL or in Europe during the lockout, while only four Canucks played overseas during the labour dispute.
Vancouver had trouble dealing with Edmonton’s speed in the early going, but Edler opened the scoring at 10:58 of the first period, blasting a slapshot by Dubynyk.
Play opened up in the second period, forcing Luongo to stop a Shawn Horcoff one-timer. A little while later, Kassian missed the net on two dangerous chances twice on the same shift before double the Vancouver lead at 14:18.