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article imageNHL: Oilers defeat Canucks in penalty shootout after 2-0 deficit

By Karl Gotthardt     Jan 21, 2013 in Sports
Vancouver - The Edmonton Oilers won their season opener in Vancouver in an exciting third period finish, culminating in a penalty shootout. Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky defeated Robert Luongo in the penalty shootout while Devan Dubnyk stopped both Canuck attempts.
The NHL was back after weeks of a lockout that had many fans threatening a boycott. 13 games were played on Saturday night, while six more were played on Sunday. Sunday night Edmonton's season opener was on the road in Vancouver. After being shut out of playoff action since 2006, there is anticipation that the Oilers will make it to the post season this year.
With 12 players playing in the American Hockey League (AHL) or in overseas teams, compared to Vancouver's four, the Oilers had the advantage. Vancouver played its season opener in Anaheim on Saturday night, losing 7-3. The Oilers had not won in Vancouver in the past three years.
Alexander Edler got the go ahead goal at 10:58 of the first period and Zack Kasian doubled the score for Vancouver at 14:18 in the second period. A two goal deficit appeared to put a win out of reach for the young Oiler team, but with offensively gifted players like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent Hopkins, the young Oilers demonstrated their grit and comeback skill.
Jordan Eberle narrowed the score to 2-1 at 19:56 of the second period, assisted by Taylor Hall. This set the stage for a battle in the third period. Ales Hemsky got the game equalizer at 14:08 of the closing period, in a power play goal, assisted by Sam Gagner and Ryan Whitney.
The Oilers' opening match went into overtime, which remained scoreless. After 65 minutes of intense play it came down to a penalty shootout. Alexander Edler was the first shooter for Vancouver and his attempt failed against Evan Dubnyk. James Gagner was the first shooter for the Oilers and did not disappoint. In a rapid skate towards Robert Luongo, Gagner fakes his move just ahead of the goal and delivered the puck past Luongo for a 1-0 penalty advantage.
Alexandre Burrows was next on tab for Vancouver. In a slow deliberate move he approached Evan Dubnyk but failed in an attempt to put it over the goalies' left shoulder. Dubnyk made a glove save. The next goal would be the winner for the Edmonton Oilers. Ales Hemsky approached Robert Luongo in a deliberate move, faked to the left, making Luongo change position and sliding the puck into the net.
While this was a welcome win for Oiler fans, Vancouver had fought the previous night against Anaheim. This shortened season will be cruel for all teams and those that can avoid injuries will come out on top.
[b]Scoring Summary[/b]
First Period:
10:58 Alexander Edler Vancouver Canucks Unassisted
Second Period:
14:18 Zack Kassian Vancouver Canucks Assisted by Henrik Desin and Daniel Sedin
19:56 Joran Eberle Edmonton Oilers Assisted by Taylor Hall
Third Period:
14:05 Ales Hemsky Edmonton Oilers Power Pay Assisted by Sam Gagner and Ryan Whitney
Shootout: Gagner and Hemsky Edmonton OIlers
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