Final SO

Series (Game 7 of 8)

Edmonton leads 6-2

Game 1: Saturday, October 8th
Canucks3Final
SO
Oilers4
Game 2: Thursday, December 1st
Canucks3Final
Oilers5
Game 3: Saturday, December 17th
Oilers5Final
OT
Canucks4
Game 4: Wednesday, December 21st
Oilers7Final
Canucks6
Game 5: Saturday, February 4th
Canucks1Final
Oilers3
Game 6: Tuesday, March 21st
Canucks4Final
Oilers1
Game 7: Thursday, March 23rd
Oilers3Final
SO
Canucks4
Game 8: Saturday, March 25th
Oilers3Final
Canucks2

Oilers 3

(34-24-12, 80 pts)

Canucks 4

(38-27-6, 82 pts)

10:00 PM ET, March 23, 2006

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 2 3 SO T
EDM 0 3 0 03
VAN 1 1 1 14

R. Kesler (Canucks - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

R. Torres (Oilers - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

T. Bertuzzi (Canucks - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Canucks take sixth in West with win over Oilers

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Vancouver Canucks overcame a couple of bad breaks to earn a pair of crucial points in the playoff race.

After blowing a two-goal second period lead, Markus Naslund tied the game 8:24 into the third and scored the first of three straight shootout goals as Vancouver won its second straight game over the Edmonton Oilers, 4-3 on Thursday night.

Todd Bertuzzi opened the scoring in regulation and added the shootout clincher on a backhand deke as Vancouver moved into a sixth-place tie with Anaheim in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the eighth-place Oilers.

Henrik Sedin also scored in regulation, and Jarkko Ruutu scored the other shootout goal for the Canucks, who beat Edmonton for the second time in three nights after losing their first five games of the season to the Oilers.

"Those points at the end are crucial for us," said Naslund, whose team had lost six of seven before facing Edmonton and winning consecutive games for the first time in a month.

"Hopefully we'll look back on this as the turning point."

It almost turned in the Oilers favor in the second period.

After falling behind 2-0 for the second time in this three-game series, the Oilers stormed back, outshooting Vancouver 15-5 in the second period and scoring three times to take the lead late in the period. All three goals were gifts -- one from the officials and the other two from the Canucks.

After scoring on a long shot that somehow eluded Alex Auld 8:33 into the second, Raffi Torres scored his second goal with 1:52 left in the period after linesman Mike Cvik ran into defenseman Keith Carney, allowing Sergei Samsonov to walk in alone. Auld made the first save, but Torres tapped in the rebound, giving him seven goals in seven games against the Canucks this season.

Fernando Pisani put the Oilers ahead 48 seconds later, knocking a loose puck past a stunned Auld after Anson Carter coughed it up right in front of his own net.

"I thought those were two really unlucky goals -- bad breaks -- but we got the tying goal," said Naslund, whose 30th goal set the stage for a Canucks sweep when the tripleheader with Edmonton concludes Saturday in Vancouver.

"I like the way we battled back and we still get a point out of it but going into Saturday we know we've got to win, said Torres.

Vancouver appeared to get another bad break when Ryan Smyth was awarded a shootout goal after a lengthy video review overturned the call on the ice. Auld got a piece of Smyth's deke, but knocked the puck over the goal line as he tried to get up. Referee Paul Devorski waved it off, but after a 15-minute review it counted.

It still wasn't enough. After Naslund beat Dwayne Roloson with a wrist shot in the first round, Ruutu answered Smyth's goal with a strong move to his backhand and Bertuzzi clinched it with a backhand deke that went off the post and in.

Auld s first round stop of Ales Hemsky was enough to win his 30th game.

"It was a great win for sure," said Auld, who stopped 26 before the shootout.

Roloson stopped 16 in regulation and overtime before coming up empty one-on-one. Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said Roloson, who was acquired from Minnesota just before the March 9 trade deadline, was "average."

The Oilers coach was especially upset with Bertuzzi's first goal, which squeezed through Roloson's legs from a sharp angle midway through the first period. In the shootout Naslund faked him with a head shot before firing home a wrist shot, Ruutu got him moving the wrong way with a strong backhand move, and Bertuzzi s backhand deke bounced off the post and in to clinch the win.

"Those guys froze me pretty good," said Roloson, who is 2-3-3 with Edmonton.

Bertuzzi opened the scoring midway through the first period -- his first goal in nine games and his first at even strength in 21 -- and Sedin banged in a rebound to make it 2-0 five minutes into the second.

Naslund tied it at 3 after taking a drop pass from Bertuzzi just inside the left faceoff circle and lifting a perfect wrist shot over Roloson's left shoulder. The goal was Naslund's 30th of the season, but just his second in the last 10 games.

"It s not his best game," MacTavish said of Roloson.

Game notes


MacTavish said earlier in the day that he almost choked on his coffee when he found out Devorski and Marc Joannette -- the same two referees who gave Vancouver a 10-5 power-play advantage Tuesday -- were also calling this game. Edmonton RW Radek Dvorak missed the game after injuring his hip flexor in the first game on Tuesday. Oilers D Dick Tarnstrom returned after missing five games with a groin injury.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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