Edmonton Oilers win for 10th time in a shootout, topping Vancouver 2-1

Updated: December 16, 2007, 2:12 AM ET
Associated Press

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers would be happy to go straight to the shootout.

Fernando Pisani scored the deciding goal in the tiebreaker for the Oilers, who earned their third straight post-regulation win in a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

Edmonton (16-16-2) moved back to the .500 mark for the first time since the fourth game of the season. The Oilers are 8-3-1 in their last 12 and have 10 wins in 11 tries this season in shootouts.

Down 1-0 in the shootout with one shooter to go, Shawn Horcoff tied it -- scoring his fourth shootout goal in four attempts as he beat Canucks goalie Curtis Sanford high.

Edmonton's Mathieu Garon, 18-20 in shootouts, made a clutch save on Alex Burrows to set up Pisani's winner.

"We are really confident in the shootout," Garon said. "It was a little harder and we had to wait for the end but we came through again."

Pisani, playing in his eighth game since returning from a career-threatening bout of ulcerative colitis, felt fortunate to get the winner.

"When I got the call, I had an idea what I was going to do before I went out there because I had been watching other guys shoot and seeing what he was doing," he said. "I went down, faked it on the forehand and pulled it to my backhand through the five-hole. I was fortunate enough to see it go in.

"You have to give credit to the guys who are shooting. Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff have all been so good and the goaltending has been great. With those working hand in hand it is a good recipe for success."

It was the second loss in a row for Vancouver, which lost for the third time on its now completed four-game road trip.

"We know that they've got an unbelievable shootout record this year," Sanford said. "Garon and Roloson have been solid for them back there and they have some young guys that can put the puck in the net when it's just them and the goalie. You have to respect that and it gives you all the more reason to close it out in regulation time or the overtime."

After going scoreless for over 56 minutes, the teams traded goals two minutes apart late in regulation.

Horcoff scored with 3:29 remaining in the third period. Ales Hemsky hung on to the puck, circling behind the net before feeding Horcoff in front for a one-timer. It was his 16th of the season.

But the Canucks tied with 1:28 left when Daniel Sedin's shot bounced off a body in front and went to Mattias Ohlund, who had an easy tap in to send the game to overtime.

"They scored late and kind of put us behind the 8-ball," Sanford said. "We battled back and that's what we do. We're always in games right to the very end. It was a good point for us to get."

Edmonton had the best chances in the extra session but Sanford stood his ground to force the game into a shootout.

Sanford finished with 25 saves before the tiebreaker. Garon stopped 29.

There was a frenetic start to the game as play went back and forth play for 7:07 before the first whistle.

Game notes
Canucks G Roberto Luongo sat out his fourth consecutive game (bruised rib). Sanford has gone 1-2-1 in relief. Also missing from the Vancouver lineup was C Brendan Morrison, missing his third game (wrist). ... Oilers forward Raffi Torres was out due to knee injury, allowing Geoff Sanderson to return from back spasms that sidelined him for two weeks. ... The teams split the previous four meetings this season. ... This was the fifth meeting between the two teams this season. ... Edmonton is two shootout wins short of the NHL record set by Dallas in 2005-06. Five teams tied for the league lead with 10 last season. ... Garon became the father of a girl, Rosemary, on Friday.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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