Penalties cost Oilers

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:29 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- They found their offence, somewhat, last night against Roberto Luongo off all people.

But the Edmonton Oilers discipline and penalty killing left a lot to be desired.

The Canucks scored four power-play goals on four bad penalties by the Oilers in a 6-3 win at GM Place.

"We couldn't kill a penalty," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "They were four for six on the power play and plus four on their special teams. It comes down to that, you have to be able to kill a penalty."

Mason Raymond with a pair, Kyle Wellwood and Jannik Hansen notched the power-play markers for the Canucks. Hansen and Jason Krog added the others. Denis Grebeshkov, Robert Nilsson and Steve Staios responded for the Oilers.

QUESTIONABLE CALLS

"Some of those penalties, I question the calls," MacTavish said. "On (Shawn) Horcoff's interference penalty, you're entitled to your space on the ice, he backed in and it looked like it was more of a dive than anything and I think that was a questionable call."

Eric Cole, Sheldon Souray, Horcoff and Andrew Cogliano took the penalties which led to the Canucks goals and their skates of shame back to the Oilers bench.

Cole took a tripping penalty, misreading an offensive-zone faceoff and getting caught on the wrong side of the puck.

That allowed Raymond to open the scoring for the Canucks, snapping a shot past Oilers goaltender Mathieu Garon on a two-on-one rush.

The opportunity arose when Oilers defenceman Denis Grebeshkov had his shot blocked at the Canucks blue-line, allowing Raymond to take the puck back the other way.

In the second period, Grebeshkov evened the score, taking a backhand feed from Robert Nilsson and snapping it past Luongo.

The Oilers had a couple of great chances to take the lead later in the frame.

Cole undressed Canucks defenceman Alexander Edler on a rush from the right side, but was unable to finish the play. Marc Pouliot then found himself alone at the side of the net but was robbed by Luongo, then saw his rebound bounce off the goal post.

Cole was later thrown out of the game for not having his jersey tied down after getting in a fight with Mattias Ohlund. The Oilers also lost the service of defenceman Jason Strudwick, who left the game in the first period with a shoulder injury.

"We did some things we talked about not doing and we gave up some quality chances," said Horcoff.

"Those areas have to be better. There were a lot of sticky penalties. I thought mine was frustrating, I was at the blue-line and not able to really go anywhere and they called a penalty and they scored a goal, that kind of turned things around in the third period."

The Canucks took advantage of their good luck, great goaltending and generous power plays.

Souray got his stick up on Darcy Hordichuk after making a pass out of his zone and was assessed a crosschecking penalty. On the ensuing power play, Raymond scored his second of the game as his shot hit a leg in front and caught Garon sliding the wrong way.

Less than a minute later the Canucks increased their lead as Ryan Kesler accepted a gift from Grebeshkov just inside the Oilers blue-line and slid the puck over to Hansen, who blew it through Garon.

Normally two-goal leads are money in the bank for the Canucks - not a U.S. bank -but the Oilers were able to battle back before the end of the period.

Nilsson drifted a shot at Luongo, which he miss-played and allowed it to sail past him.

Steve Staios - who was back in the lineup after returning home to attend to a personal matter - tied the game. The Oilers defenceman decided to jump into the rush from deep in his own end.

The move paid off as Sam Gagner's shot bounced right to Staios at the side of the net.

MISSED PENALTY SHOT

Gagner then had a chance to give the Oilers the lead, getting hauled down on a breakaway by Alexander Edler and being awarded a penalty shot.

The Oilers forward, however, was denied by Luongo, shooting the puck right into his glove.

In the third period, Wellwood restored the Canucks lead, snapping a shot over the shoulder of Garon on the power play.

Horcoff had been assessed an interference penalty at the Canucks blue-line to give the home side the advantage.

Hansen scored the insurance marker later in the period as his shot slipped under Garon and Krog rounded out the scoring.

"After they scored the go-ahead goal, we should have been able to respond," Horcoff said. "But we just couldn't find the offence to come back again."


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