Korpikoski lifts Oilers past Canucks in OT
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) The Edmonton Oilers are starting to feel good about themselves.
Lauri Korpikoski scored on a breakaway at 1:46 of 3-on-3 overtime to lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
Edmonton won for the second straight night after starting the season 0-4-0.
”We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. ”But we have guys believing now in each other and perhaps in the system.”
Nail Yakupov scored in regulation and Anders Nilsson stopped 33 shots for the Oilers.
”It’s really nice. It feels great,” said forward Connor McDavid, who assisted on Yakupov’s goal. ”These are big points, divisional game. These are the ones that add up later on.”
Korpikoski’s second goal of the season beat Canucks goalie Ryan Miller through the pads on a shot that just dribbled over the goal line after to some end-to-end action in the extra period.
”It’s really easy to lose a guy and it’s a breakaway or some missed coverage and they get a chance,” Korpikoski said of the new OT rules. ”It’s fun when you have the puck, but not so much when you don’t.”
Matt Bartkowski scored in regulation and Miller finished with 22 saves as Vancouver fell to 0-1-2 at home.
”We probably deserved more,” Miller said. ”We had some good looks. We just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
The Canucks had won eight of the previous 10 against the Oilers, including all five meetings last season.
Tied 1-1 after two periods, Canucks forward Daniel Sedin was left shaking his head early in the third after somehow chipping a puck that was lying in the crease over the Oilers’ goal with Nilsson down and out following a great stop on Henrik Sedin’s breakaway seconds earlier.
”It happened so quick. I tried to tap it in and it bounced over,” Daniel Sedin said. ”It’s tough. It’s one of those games. We played well enough to win.”
The Oilers were equally stunned at the miss, which will likely find its way onto some top-10 blooper lists in years to come.
”It’s a break we needed,” McLellan said. ”You don’t get those often. That could be the only true break we get in a long, long time … but at least we took advantage of it.”
Nilsson then made a diving save on Radim Vrbata with less than seven minutes to go before Yakupov had a good chance on Miller with 90 seconds left in the third.
Edmonton opened the scoring at 3:23 of the first period on the power play after some excellent work from rookie Connor McDavid. The No. 1 overall pick in June’s draft, who had two goals and an assist in the win at Calgary on Saturday, picked up the puck in the neutral zone and stepped around a check before feeding Yakupov for a one-timer that beat Miller from the slot.
Vancouver tied it with 4:17 left in the period when Bartkowski scored his first regular season goal in the NHL. Playing in his 138th game, the defenseman fired a shot from the point that nicked an Edmonton player on the way through and found its way past Nilsson.
The Canucks had plenty of chances to grab the lead in the second period.
Daniel Sedin had two opportunities early before Brandon Sutter sent a backhand wide. Sven Baertschi then moved in alone on a breakaway after a big collision in the neutral zone, but Nilsson made a nice save.
Miller had to be sharp at the other end with about eight minutes to go in the period, stopping Korpikoski on back-to-back opportunities from in close.
”We won games different ways,” McLellan said. ”(Saturday) night I thought we were the better team. I’m not sure we were the better team (Sunday), but we found a way.”
NOTES: The Canucks squandered two power-play chances and fell to 1 for 20 with the man advantage this season. … Edmonton opens a three-game homestand Wednesday against Detroit. … Vancouver continues its five-game homestand Thursday against Washington. … Bartkowski’s only other goal came in Game 7 of the Boston Bruins’ memorable first-round series with Toronto in 2013.