Icing on the cake

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:33 AM ET

Pick an angle, any angle.

In a game with more hooks than a octopus pirate, there were plenty.

- Raffi Torres scores two goals on his 24th birthday, including the tying goal with 23 seconds left, and then adds icing to his own cake with another one in the shootout.

- Ryan Smyth, off to a dynamite start this season, notches his fourth point in the first two games and then leaves the game with a sprained knee.

- Jussi Markkanen, coming back from a broken collarbone and having seen no pre-season action at all, is thrust into a shootout, where he stops Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi cold

- The Oilers are shorthanded 12 times, including four two-man disadvantages, and still win.

'A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING'

"Wow,'' said head coach Craig MacTavish, echoing the sentiments of 16,839 delirious Rexall Place spectators after Edmonton's 4-3 shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks. "That was something else. It had a little bit of everything. I don't know what to think about that one.''

Neither, probably, do the Vancouver Canucks, who took Bertuzzi on the road for the first time this season, had 19:39 of power play time and still wound up losing.

"It was an amazing win,'' said continued MacTavish, whose undefeated Oilers (2-0)go on the road this morning. "When you take that many penalties, with a team that's as strong on the power play as Vancouver is, it's speaks a lot about the team. And to overcome Ryan Smyth's injury early.''

Smyth is out until further notice.

"I was getting a pass, turned up ice and (Bryan)Allan was right there,'' he sighed. "My legs were planted and he caught the top of my knee. Sort of tweaked it.

"It's been my bad knee, but I have my brace on it, so it was OK that way. They're going to asses it in the next couple of days and find out how severe it is.

"It's really discouraging. Any kind of injury you get you're distancing yourself from the team, but it's nice to see the boys pull it off.''

WILL HAVE TO DO WITHOUT SMYTH

MacTavish will have to do without his first-line winger for a two-game California trip at least.

"It's reminiscent of the exact way I felt in the Chicago game a number of years ago when he injured his ankle,'' said MacTavish. "It's the same set of circumstances with at the absolute top of his game and that line playing terrifically.

"The difference between then and now is we have more depth and we'll be able to handle it better than we did back then.''

Like they did yesterday, with Torres leading the offensive charge.

"It's a special feeling,'' said Torres. "It'll take a while to soak in. I just wanted to make sure I had a good game out there. My first game I wasn't too helpful out there for the boys so I wanted to make sure I came back and had a strong one.''

Same with Markkanen.

"I just try to make the most of it,'' he said. "Just try to think positive things and not things like you've been injured and you haven't been able to play in any exhibition games. You just try to go get that same feeling you've had in practice.

"But I felt like I couldn't even skate when I went out there in the warmup, but it settled down pretty quickly.''

The Oilers were up 2-1 after 40, on goals from Horcoff and Torres when the parade to the box started. Markus Naslund tied it on Vancouver's 10th power play of the game and Sami Salo make it 3-2 on their 12th. But with the net empty and time running out, Torres forced OT on his own rebound.

"It'll take a while to settle in,'' he said of the birthday heroics. "I was thinking just get a goal. We got ourselves into trouble with penalties there and we had to find a way to overcome it. We were resilient out there, we never quit.''


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