Published: Wed, December 04, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Draisaitl conquers Canucks’ tough defence to restore Oilers’ division lead

Draisaitl conquers Canucks’ tough defence to restore Oilers’ division lead

The Canucks entered Saturday night fifth in the Pacific Division, two points behind Vegas for the final guaranteed playoff spot in the division and seven points behind Edmonton for the division lead.

"As a coach, you cannot talk about it, or you can talk about it", reasoned Travis Green. "I still keep in touch with a lot of my teammates from there and have a lot of good friends". The Canucks when they are rolling are a unsafe dynamic team, but when they make mistakes other teams can capitalize quickly. "It's going to be a harder game".

Connor McDavid scored his 19th and set up Zack Kassian for another to move into the National Hockey League scoring lead (49, one more than Leon Draisaitl), but the Canucks were better early and late.

Loui Eriksson scored Saturday and got some second-unit power-play time Sunday.

Jacob Markstrom has stopped 28.9 shots per game as the primary option in the crease for the Canucks.

"You give up five you can't win in this league". Only 1:45 later Draisaitl put a pass from Connor McDavid for a power play goal.

It was a nice bounce back game by the Canucks, who let a 4-2 lead slip away in their last game against the Penguins and fell 8-6.

There's the locomotive drive and determination through the neutral and offensive zones.

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The teams exchanged first-period goals.

And for good measure there was a Harlem Globetrotters like foray in the opening period to erase a 1-0 deficit that will find the highlight reels. Miller picked up the puck and circled the Oilers net, fighting several defenders, before moving on to Quinn Hughes. The rookie quickly spotted Brock Boeser at top of the crease. He offered to Boeser, who scored his 11th of the season, then took a stick in the face.

He didn't get any of the above as the Oilers have lost two in regulation for only the second time all season.

"We should look at our own game and come back strong", defenseman Adam Larsson said.

Interesting wording there. "Starting" goalie.

Netminder, 37, suffered the injury in the team's 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday and is not in the lineup for Sunday's rematch against them. In what has developed into a 1A and 1B competition for the cage, the optics suggest Markstrom is the man.

Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian scored for Edmonton, who dropped their second-straight contest. However, the Canucks successfully challenged goalkeeper involvement and the goal was taken off the board.

OVERTIME - Tyler Graovac suffered a lower-body injury and will be out for some time, according to Green. Oscar Fantenberg made his regular-season debut in his place. Forward Antoine Roussel, who had knee surgery in March to fix a torn ACL, has rejoined the Canucks after a conditioning stint in the AHL. The winger is expected to play Tuesday against Ottawa after a recovery from February knee surgery.

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