Oilers ripped by Canucks

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:02 PM ET

VANCOUVER -- All Ty Conklin sought going into General Motors Place last night after an admittedly uneven pre-season was a consistent 60-minute performance against the Vancouver Canucks.

What Conklin, who'll be the go-to guy between the pipes for the Edmonton Oilers when the puck drops for keeps against Colorado on Wednesday at Rexall Place, got instead was a consistent diet of frozen rubber from the Canucks power play in a 6-2 romp for the hosts.

That's not exactly the confidence-builder Conklin was looking for.

Then again, on a night the Oilers iced close to a full line-up, but couldn't kill a penalty to save their lives - Vancouver scored four power-play goals on 10 chances - Conklin escaped the Garage in one piece.

POLISH THINGS OFF

That's as good as it got.

"I'm just trying to polish things off," said Conklin, who faced the Canucks with a bloated 4.48 goals-against average and an unflattering .845 saves-percentage in four prior outings.

"It's frustrating. It's fixable. It's a matter of doing it.

"I wanted to get a good 60 minutes in and feel good going into next week.

''You want to get to where you feel really sharp in a game from beginning to end."

That plan went headlong out the window in the first nine minutes as Daniel Sedin, on a two-man advantage, and Ed Jovanovski, pumped pucks behind Conklin as the Canucks built a 2-1 lead on their first nine shots.

Conklin's numbers took more abuse in the second period as Vancouver scored four unanswered goals, including power-play tallies by former Oilers Josh Green and Anson Carter and Trevor Linden.

NAGGED BY TENDER GROIN

Conklin, who'll carry the load with Jussi Markkanen, who is recovering from a fractured collarbone and unproven Mike Morrison as his back-up, has been nagged by a tender groin.

Conklin didn't play badly, facing 28 shots, but the question now is obvious - how's the confidence?

"We just didn't execute the way we wanted to on the penalty kill," understated Jason Smith when the Oilers dressing room door finally opened after 15 minutes.

"If you aren't executing and you're spending all that time in the box, it's tough to have success."

The Oilers power play, meanwhile, went 0-for-8.

AROUND THE RINK: The Oilers finish the pre-season 3-4-1 ... Ryan Smyth, scoreless in three games coming in, had an assist on Shawn Horcoff's 1-1 goal and scored the Oilers second goal ... Alexei Semenov had his best game to date, setting up Smyth's 2-2 goal and squaring off with Wade Brookbank in the third period ... The Oilers have five roster cuts to make to get to the limit of 23 for opening night, but GM Kevin Lowe won't wield the blade until tomorrow.


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