The Vancouver Canucks blitzed the Edmonton Oilers for four goals in the first period on the way to a 6-3 win Thursday night at Rogers Place.
The Canucks scored on their first four shots of the game, all of them on Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen.
Nils Hoglander scored 31 seconds into the game. Jack Rathbone notched his first NHL goal. Travis Hamonic and Jayce Hawyrluk had the third and fourth goals.
“That’s on us, that’s not on Mikko,” Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto said. “We’ve got to be a lot better in front of him, helping him out and keeping those pucks out of the net.”
Koskinen was in net for all four goals and became just the third goalie since 1979 to not make a save on the first four shots of a game.
“The first one was poor coverage, the second one’s a poor turnover and the third and fourth one should’ve been saves from the goalie,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that where the first four shots go in your net, so that’s a big hole to jump out of.”
Edmonton Oilers win again in Vancouver
Oilers netminder Mike Smith took over in goal with 7:38 left in the first. On a power play, Smith’s long pass to Connor McDavid helped set up a goal by Leon Draisaitl.
Then, McDavid fed Jesse Puljujarvi, who blasted in a one-timer.
Vancouver’s Tyler Graovac banked a shot in off Smith’s back halfway through the second to make it 5-2 Canucks.
“I thought tonight was good to keep the battle level high, so that was a positive I guess, but in terms of our game, our game wasn’t good enough and we need to get back to the details and doing things right for the last four (games) here,” McDavid said.
McDavid had a penalty shot with 7:16 left in the third. He went to his backhand, but Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko came up with a stretching pad save.
Just eleven seconds later, Draisaitl ripped in his second of the night to pull the Oilers within two.
Vancouver forward Brock Boeser squashed any comeback hopes with a goal less than three minutes later.
“Physically, we responded well. Obviously, you don’t like to lose but it’s not so bad to go through a game like that where it’s a little physical and the intensity was up,” McDavid said.
Demko made 39 saves to earn the win.
“You’ve got to stay even-keel and just keep moving forward,” Yamamoto said. “They had a really good game tonight and we’ve got to put that one behind us and come back next game even stronger.”
McDavid had three assists and has 96 points with four games left in the regular season.
“I think we’ve done a good job responding after games like this — responding after losses,” McDavid said. “Just getting back to our game and regrouping. That’s all you can do.”
“All I said after the game is we need a good practice tomorrow,” Tippett said.
The Oilers (32-18-2) will host the Canucks again Saturday.
With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott
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