A wild victory over the Edmonton Oilers has the Vancouver Canucks on the brink of their best start in 15 years.
The Canucks look to improve to 3-0-0 on Friday night when they visit the Oilers, who are trying to avoid opening with five straight losses for the first time in franchise history.
Daniel Sedin had three assists and Henrik Sedin and Radim Vrbata each added one with a goal as Vancouver overcame three two-goal deficits to beat Edmonton 5-4 in a shootout Saturday.
”It’s going to take all different ways this year so it’s good to see they all stuck together," said Ryan Miller, who has a 2.89 goals-against average in his first two starts for the Canucks.
Though it hasn’t been pretty, opening with consecutive victories is important for a Vancouver club that missed the playoffs for the first time in six years last season. The Canucks haven’t won their first three contests since 1999-2000, but have a good shot to do it again behind the inspired play of the Sedins.
After combining for a disappointing 97 points in 2013-14, the twins each have four through two games.
"They are a good team and the Sedins have really bounced back this year so far," Oilers forward David Perron told the NHL’s official website.
"It’s amazing to see how they play still," he added. "I remember when I came in the league and to see the level they still have all these years later, sometimes it’s incredible the plays they can make and we weren’t able to contain them."
Like Calgary in the opener, Edmonton wasn’t completely able to contain a Canucks’ power play that’s 3 for 10. Vancouver ranked 26th last season while converting on 15.2 percent of its chances.
"We have a couple of different looks (to use), and that’s important," said first-year Canucks coach Willie Desjardins, whose team went 2 for 7 versus Edmonton.
While Vancouver returns to action for the first time in almost a week, the Oilers (0-3-1) followed the teams’ first meeting with two more losses.
Edmonton, which opened the 1992-93 season with four losses and a tie but has never lost its first five, has been outscored 23-11.
”It’s tough to swallow,” said forward Taylor Hall, who has a team-leading three goals. ”We’d love to give up less goals and score more, but it’s just not happening right now.”
Hall scored twice and had an assist Wednesday, but Ben Scrivens allowed six goals on 29 shots in a 7-4 loss at Arizona.
”I like the effort, the guys are trying, but we just haven’t got the results yet,” coach Dallas Eakins said.
The Oilers need a better effort on the penalty kill after their first four opponents went 5 for 16 with the man advantage.
Former overall No. 1 pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who has only one assist for the Oilers, took part in his first NHL fight last week after a hit from Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamuis. It’s uncertain if his involvement in that fight is the reason Nugent-Hopkins could miss a third consecutive contest with an undisclosed injury.
Teammate Viktor Fasth, who made 39 saves against the Canucks last week, will be sidelined for the immediate future after he was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury Wednesday.
Edmonton has won three of four at home versus Vancouver, with Hall tallying three goals and six assists in those contests.