Edmonton Oilers suffer rare home ice loss against Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks finished off a four-game sweep of the season series with the Edmonton Oilers with a 3-1 win Saturday night at Rogers Place.

It was the Oilers first loss in regulation time on home ice since February 24. They’d gone 10-0-2 in that stretch.

“Tight game, obviously,” Oilers forward Zach Hyman said. “I thought we played well. There were stretches where they played well. (It was) just a tight, playoff-like game.”

“These types of games will get us ready for playoffs,” Oilers defenceman Vincent Desharnais remarked post-game. “It’s good to go through adversity and we’ll be ready.”

The Oilers carried the play in the opening minutes but couldn’t get a puck past goaltender Casey DeSmith. The Canucks came on as the period progressed. Ilya Mikheyev was all alone in front with 2:55 on the clock, but Stuart Skinner extended his glove to come up with an improbable save.

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The Canucks would go ahead with 15.9 seconds to go in the first when Sam Lafferty came down the right side and popped a wrister past Skinner’s blocker.

Pius Suter deflected a pass from Tyler Myers to make it 2-0 Vancouver with nine minutes left in the second. The Oilers finally broke through with 2:12 remaining in the period when Evander Kane scored his 24th of the season by tipping Darnell Nurse’s point shot.

“He can be a difference-maker,” Oilers Head Coach Kris Knoblauch said about Kane. “The physicality, the ability to score a key goal–like tonight–that’s an important goal and a very skilled goal.”

Dakota Joshua put it away with an empty net goal late in the third.

The Oilers were without Connor McDavid for the third straight game. He’s listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury.

“We’ll probably have a better idea (Sunday),” Coach Knoblauch said. “He’ll come in and see our training staff and give us an indication on playing Monday and what the doctors suggest is the best decision going forward.”

DeSmith finished with 32 saves. Skinner made 24.

The Oilers, 48-25-6, will host the San Jose Sharks Monday night (630 CHED, Face-off Show 6 p.m., game at 7:30 p.m.).


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