Ethan Moreau blasted a slapshot from the point over the shoulder of Canucks starter Dany Sabourin just 51 seconds in, scoring on Edmonton’s first shot of the game. Two minutes later, the Oilers made it two-for-two when rookie Patrick Thoresen slipped a shot past Sabourin that the Vancouver goalie would probably like to have back.
Oilers netminder Jussi Markkanen, making his first start since Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, showed a bit of rust in the Edmonton net early, but he was able to correct his miscues. With the Oilers on the power play, Markkanen coughed up the puck behind the net but was able to recover and made a save on a desperate leap to keep Edmonton ahead 2-0.
That was the only real moment of excitement in the scoreless second as the two teams seemed determined to put Edmonton’s 35th-consecutive sell-out crowd of 16,839 in to sleep.
Vancouver had a glorious chance to get back into the game midway through the third with a two-man advantage, but they couldn’t beat Markkanen.
With just two and a half minutes remaining Vancouver captain Marcus Naslund ruined Markkanen’s shutout bid with a power-play goal. That’s as close as the Canucks would get as Edmonton held on for the victory.
The Canucks (3-3-1) play the second match of their five game road swing on Friday in St. Louis. Edmonton (4-2) continues its three game home stand on Saturday with their first game against Detroit since knocking the Red Wings out of last season’s playoffs in the first round.
Notes: Edmonton owned the season series between the two clubs last year with a 6-1-1 record versus the Canucks . . . It was the first start of the season for both Markkanen and Sabourin . . . The Oilers have apparently adopted a unique player of the game system, where they make the MVP of the match wear home a 70’s style long leather jacket with a fur collar.