Canucks Topple Oilers 4-1

VANCOUVER – The Sedin twins picked up where they left off
before the Christmas break, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-1 victory at home over
the Edmonton Oilers.

Daniel Sedin had a goal and two assists in the win, giving
him six points in his last two games. Daniel opened the scoring while Vancouver
had a two-man advantage. Daniel took a cross-ice fee from Henrik Sedin, and
looked very composed skating to the net and putting the puck in off of the
Oilers’ Sheldon Souray and past goalie Jeff DesLauriers.

In addition to the assist, Daniel’s brother Henrik would
finish the night with an empty net goal.

Special teams played a huge role for the Canucks. Vancouver
killed all three penalties, while the power play went two for six.

Canucks defenseman, Willie Mitchell, spoke about his team’s

“Coming out of the break, it’s a bit of a sloppy game
because guys haven’t skated for two or three days, so special teams are really
important,” said Mitchell. “Our power play gave us life with back-to-back
goals, and the penalty kill held our ground. You look at teams that do well on
the power play and penalty kill and they have a great record. That’s something
we’re constantly working on.”

Mitchell’s teammate, Ryan Kesler, echoed those sentiments,
emphasizing the Canucks short-handed play.

“If the penalty kill’s not good tonight, we lose this game,”
said Kesler. “The PK’s got to be good, and tonight it won us the game.”

Kesler had the game-winning goal on the power play, 18
seconds after Daniel Sedin’s goal. Kesler redirected Alex Edler’s point shot
off the toe of his stick.

The Canucks end their eight-game homestand with a 6-2
record, and now head out on the road, where they’ve struggled so far this

“We’re going to have to continue to play well on the road,”
said Kesler. “Good teams are good on the road, and we’ve got four big games on
the road coming up.”

Daniel Sedin also spoke about the need for the Canucks to
pick up their play away from GM Place.

“We’re going to have to be better on the road. I think we
have the team to do it, too,” said Daniel Sedin. “We had a lot of road games in the
beginning when we had all these injuries. Hopefully with a healthy line-up
we’ll get right back at it.”

Vancouver is 16-6 at home, but 6-10 on the road this season.

The highlight of the night came on a rush up ice led by
Canucks’ defenseman, Christian Ehrhoff. Ehrhoff carried the puck from blue line
to blue line, dished the puck to Rick Rypien in the Edmonton zone, and took the
return pass to the net with speed. Ehrhoff finished the play with a back-hander
to the roof of the net.

The lone Oiler goal was also scored on the backhand. Ryan
Potulny managed to beat Roberto Luongo from a bad angle with a shot that had
eyes, zipping over Luongo’s shoulder.

Luongo spoke about the need to stay focused in games against
teams with poor records, something the Canucks have sometimes failed to do this

“We’ve got to worry about our game. No matter who we’re
facing, we want to make sure that we play hard, that we play within our system,
and we play smart,” said Luongo. “As long as we do that, it doesn’t matter who
we play, we should have good results.”

The Canucks move into eighth place in the Western Conference
with the win, and will have a chance to leapfrog seventh place Flames in Calgary on Sunday. Puck drop is over 600 miles
away and less than 20 hours after Vancouver’s home ice win on Saturday.


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