Smyth's go-ahead goal lifts Edmonton over Vancouver

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Edmonton Oilers won a
good old-fashioned Western Conference shootout with Vancouver.

Ryan Smyth scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third
period, helping the Oilers extend their winning streak over
Vancouver to four games with a 7-6 victory Wednesday night.

Marty Reasoner added a power play goal just over two minutes
later as Edmonton moved into a tie with the Canucks atop the
Northwest Division.

Todd Harvey, Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky and Mike Peca also
scored for the Oilers, who overcame four one-goal deficits before
Smyth put them ahead with a shot off the left boards.

"A wild, wild game in the wild, wild west," Edmonton coach
Craig MacTavish said. "It was last goal wins tonight.

Actually, Daniel Sedin scored that last goal for Vancouver on a
two-man advantage with 53 seconds left, but it wasn't enough to
keep the Canucks from losing their third straight at home after
starting the season winning 13 of 14.

Vancouver has blown multiple leads and given up a short-handed
goal to tie in all three losses.

"Of course it's alarming, we wouldn't be human if we weren't a
little upset about this," Vancouver coach Marc Crawford said. "We
were far too sloppy and we didn't play with the urgency we needed.
We got what we deserved tonight."

Todd Bertuzzi, who was selected to the Canadian Olympic team
earlier in the day, Rick Rypien, Jarkko Ruutu, Henrik Sedin and
Brendan Morrison also scored for the Canucks.

The Canucks scored on 5 of 9 power play chances, but in a game
that featured plenty of strange bounces and very little defense, it
wasn't enough to win.

Harvey opened the scoring 3:11 in after Ed Jovanovski's bad
giveaway, but Bertuzzi jammed in a power play goal at 11:53 and
Rypien scored in his first NHL game just over three minute later to
put the Canucks ahead 2-1.

It was the first of four straight one-goal Vancouver leads. None
lasted long.

Horcoff tied it 1:13 later on a rebound.

Ruutu restored the Vancouver lead on a rebound of his own just
1:15 into the second period, but Hemsky tied it on a long shot 59
seconds later.

Henrik Sedin beat Jussi Markkanen with a soft shot from the top
of the circle two minutes later, ending the Edmonton goalie's night
early after giving up four goals on eight shots.

Peca tied it on a short-handed breakaway less than two minutes
later. But Ty Conklin, who replaced Markkanen, gave the lead back
on the same power play 33 seconds later when his attempt to clear
the puck from the front of his own net bounced in off a ducking

"Those games start off intense and then because of the route
the game goes it goes from the sublime to the ridiculous,"
MacTavish said.

This time it took the Oilers three minutes to tie the game.
Raffi Torres beat Alex Auld, who finished with 30 saves, with a
screened power-play point shot at 9:14, and Edmonton never trailed

Smyth s long blast over Auld s glove on the far side was the
only goal Crawford blamed on his 24-year-old goaltender.

"You can look at just about everybody in our lineup and we were
all guilty of not playing a strong game on the defensive side of
the puck," Crawford said.

Conklin finished with 13 saves in relief -- the third straight
game Edmonton has pulled its starting goaltender and won. Markkanen
won the first two in relief of Mike Morrison, who watched this one
from the press box.

"I made the mistake of starting our relief guy tonight,"
MacTavish said. "And you can never expect to get nine innings out
of your relief guy."

Game Notes
Canucks D Nolan Baumgartner left two minutes into the
game after the tip of the ring finger on his left hand was severed
blocking a shot. The tip was reattached and Baumgartner said he
expects to be out as long as two weeks. Rypien was undrafted out of
junior, but signed after a tryout with Vancouver's AHL affiliate in
Manitoba in March and played well enough to earn a contract in
October. ... The Canucks, who are 5-8-3 against the Northwest
Division and 11-2-1 against the rest of the Western Conference,
host Calgary their next two games.