The Vancouver Canucks limited Connor McDavid to a single assist for the first time this season. But they couldn’t get away with a win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
Mikko Koskinen made 29 saves and was seven seconds away from his first shutout of the year as the Oilers beat the Canucks 2-1 at Rogers Arena.
“It starts with Mikko,” said forward Zach Hyman. “He made some huge saves so you can’t have a game like this without him. I thought it was a good game. We bounce back from a loss, on the road, against a good team from Vancouver. Get the victory and don’t give up an equal force (goal).
Koskinen made his fourth straight start with Mike Smith sidelined with an upper body injury. The Oilers have improved to 6-1-0 this season while the Canucks have fallen to 3-5-1. Thatcher Demko made 32 saves in the losing effort.
Vancouver is winless this season at Rogers Arena and has scored just four goals in total in three losses in its first seven-game home game.
“There were times when we created a lot, but we have to do this stuff for a full 60 minutes,” said Canucks captain Bo Horvat, who scored 16 for 23 in the face-off circle and ended the night with three shots on goal. “Sporadically, it won’t win you hockey games. We have to find ways to do it. “
Evenly, both teams were solid defensively. The Oilers were 2-2 on the power play, with goals from Warren Foegele and Leon Draisaitl. Vancouver’s only goal came from Brock Boeser in the dying seconds, with Demko out for the extra forward.
The Canucks’ only power play came with 3:01 left in the third period, as the team insisted on scoring with Demko already on the bench.
“It’s a good job 5-5, but we have to find a way to win these hockey games,” said Horvat. “When you keep a team like Edmonton on two goals, you have to find a way to score three. “
The Oilers opened the scoring at 11:39 from the first, after Tyler Myers was whistled for hooking Jesse Puljujarvi of Edmonton. With a second to go in the men’s advantage, Foegele dropped a rebound on a Darnell Nurse shot past a tense Demko for his second goal of the year.
It was a rare tally from Edmonton’s second power play unit, which sees limited ice time playing behind superstars like McDavid and Draisaitl.
“It came with a big goal for us, for sure, a really big goal,” said Oilers coach Dave Tippett. “It kept us going, and our power play allowed us to win a big game at the end of the second and that was enough to win us over. “
“It was nice to have an opportunity there and our unit took advantage of it,” said Foegele, who was acquired in an off-season trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. “There’s a lot of special talent in that first unit over there and we can watch them on the bench just like you guys. “
Draisaitl scored his fifth of the season with 40 seconds left in the middle. With Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the penalty area, Draisaitl beat Demko with a right-circle reception shot, set up by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid, who started the game by bouncing a shot off the defender’s shin Luke Schenn.
With assists, McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins both extended their season point streak to seven games. And although it was the first time in all season that McDavid was limited to a single point in a game, he returned to number one in the NHL scoring race with 16 points in his first seven games.
McDavid finished the night with 13 shooting attempts, including nine shots on goal. Early in the third period, Demko pushed him back with three quick close shots from the mouth of the goal.
For Vancouver, Schenn played his 800th career NHL game, while Tucker Poolman and Jason Dickinson retired from the roster after being sidelined with injuries.
“It was a hotly contested hockey game tonight, no 5-5 goals,” said Vancouver coach Travis Green. “We came out on the wrong side.
” I do not like losing. Our team don’t like to lose, but I think we’ve probably taken a step in the right direction for some of our guys tonight.
“Things are going well,” said Foegele, from the Edmonton side. “But as we keep saying it’s early, try to take it day by day. You don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself and you know how good this league can be. So just keep playing fast and easy and the results should show.
The Oilers return home to host the Seattle Kraken for the first time on Monday, while the Canucks host the New York Rangers on Tuesday.
REMARKS: It was the second meeting between the Oilers and the Canucks this season. On October 13, Edmonton beat Vancouver 3-2 in a shootout in the season opener for both teams. . It was Edmonton’s first loss of the year.