EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers gave their fans something to cheer about in their final home game of the regular season.
Patrick Maroon scored twice as the Oilers won at Rexall Place for the final time, beating the Vancouver Canucks 6-2 on Wednesday.
Nail Yakupov, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Taylor Hall also scored for the Oilers (31-43-7), who snapped a three-game losing skid.
“It was a really good effort from all fronts,” Hall said. “We had some really good goaltending and the special teams that have been letting us down of late were there tonight, huge. It was a good way to finish it off here. It was a fun night with really good electricity in the building. We finished it off right.”
McDavid ended up with three points on the night.
“It was a pretty special night,” said the rookie centre. “We put on a good game for the last one here, everybody wanted to do that.”
Making the win especially important was the poor performance put forward by the team in their second-last game at Rexall, a 5-0 loss to the rival Calgary Flames on Saturday.
“We needed to win,” said Jordan Eberle, who had two assists. “That was a must-win for us. We knew in the locker room that we had to come out and play our best, and we did that. We got the points and sent the fans off here well.”
Matt Bartkowski and Bo Horvat replied for the Canucks (30-37-13), who saw a three-game winning streak come to an end.
“I just believe if you accept being average, you’re going to be average,” said Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins. “Tonight we accepted being average. We didn’t fight through enough.”
The Oilers scored first, 8:27 into the second period when Yakupov brought a puck out of the corner and sent a wrist shot over Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom’s shoulder for his eighth goal of the season.
Edmonton made it 2-0 with seven minutes left in the second as Maroon picked off an Emerson Etem pass in front of the Vancouver net and whirled around to score his sixth goal and 12th point in 15 games since joining the Oilers.
The Oilers added to their lead with a power-play goal late in the second as McDavid got to a rebound and was able to poke in his 16th of the season.
The Canucks finally got one past Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot five minutes into the third period as a Bartkowski shot went off the stick of Edmonton defender Adam Pardy and in.
Edmonton bounced back with a pair of goals just 18 seconds apart midway through the third. McDavid started a cycle that ended with Maroon scoring his second on a tip-in, followed quickly by Hall turning on the jets and scoring on a backhand.
Horvat got one back for the Canucks, walking around a defender for his 15th.
However, Draisaitl scored a power-play goal with less than two minutes remaining, officially recording the final goal scored at Rexall.
The Canucks play in Calgary on Thursday before returning home to face the Oilers again on Saturday in the final game of the season for both teams.
Notes: It was the final ever NHL game scheduled to be played at Rexall, with the Oilers moving into a new downtown arena in the fall. The Oilers have played in the building since 1974 when they were in the World Hockey Association… More than 150 Oilers alumni were on hand for the farewell game and lengthy post-game ceremony, including the likes of Hall-of-Famers Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Glenn Anderson and Grant Fuhr.