The Canucks threw a blanket over the Oilers high-power offence, limiting Edmonton to just 18 shots. The Vancouver forwards did a good job of slowing down the speedy Edmonton attackers and taking away scoring chances. “All the forwards did an awesome job,” said Salo, who scored his second goal of the season.
“Edmonton has a lot of speed. If you don’t have forwards helping your D’s, they can score a lot of goals. Tonight our forwards busted their butts back and made our job a little easier.”
Salo scored the winning goal with just one minute left in the second period.
Showing no effects of the groin injury that kept him out of Friday night’s game, Salo swooped around the Oilers net, then fired a seeing-eye shot that snaked through several Edmonton players and behind goaltender Dwayne Roloson.
Big forward Taylor Pyatt also scored for the Canucks, who improved to 3-2-1.
Raffi Torres, with his first goal of the year, scored for the Oilers who are 3-2-0. Edmonton saw a two-game win streak snapped.
Roloson kept the Oilers in the game, making 35 saves.
Forward Ryan Smyth said the Oilers must play better Tuesday night when the two teams clash again in Edmonton.
“We’ve got to raise our level of play, get back to the basics and create turnovers in their end” said Smyth.
“We gave the puck away a lot at our blue-line and their blue-line.”
The win ended a three-game winless skid for the Canucks, but Salo said the team can’t be content.
“I see us having a lot better games,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve played to our potential yet.”
The Canucks showed more hustle and heart than they did in Friday’s home-opening loss to San Jose but scoring remains a problem.
In an effort to generate more offence coach Alain Vigneault moved centre Ryan Kesler onto the second line where he played right wing with Brendan Morrison and left-winger Jan Bulis.
The unit worked hard, and used its speed to create some chances, but still couldn’t find a touch around the net. Kesler and Bulis have yet to score a goal this season.
“I thought we had a really strong game,” said Kesler. “A bounce here and there and we could of had a couple of goals.”
Kesler credited Roloson with keeping Edmonton in the game.
“I thought I had a couple but he came out of no where and stopped me twice,” he said.
Bulis, signed as a free agent after scoring 20 goals last year with Montreal, said he has to remain patient.
“You have to stay positive,” he said. “If you go negative, it won’t ever happen.
“We played good as a line. We just have to keep working at it.”
The Canucks outshot the Oilers 17-7 in the scoreless first period and had a couple of golden scoring opportunities.
In one series Daniel Sedin had the fans holding their breath when he couldn’t find the handle on a bouncing puck at the edge of the Edmonton crease. Just a few seconds later defenceman Kevin Bieska rang a shot off the post behind Roloson.
When the whistle finally blew the sellout crowd of 18,630 was on its feet with the loudest cheer heard at GM Place this season.
Bulis expects to face a tougher Oiler team in Edmonton.
“I don’t think they played a great game as a team,” he said. “For sure it’s going to be a different team coming up against us tomorrow.
“We have to play defensively the same way we did tonight.”
Notes: With Salo returning to the lineup rookie defenceman Luc Bourdon didn’t dress. …The Canucks play their next five games on the road and don’t return home until Oct. 27 against Washington. …Vancouver had allowed 108 shots in the previous three games.