Canucks’ Miller stops 28 shots to shut out winless Oilers
Ryan Miller remained perfect against the Edmonton Oilers in his career and kept the Vancouver Canucks perfect this season.
Miller made 28 saves to record his 30th career shutout — and improve to 9-0 against Edmonton — as the Canucks beat the struggling Oilers 2-0 on Friday night.
"It means a lot. You like to get the first one (shutout) out of the way," said Miller, who signed a three-year deal to join the Canucks this summer. "It was an important game for us as well, to keep things moving along. We had a long break.
"I think I am a little more composed, starting with my positioning. In my last game I was a little anxious, a little excited. I tried to calm down a little bit tonight."
Radim Vrbata and Daniel Sedin scored for the Canucks, who got their season-opening third straight win. Vancouver hadn’t played since beating Edmonton 6-5 in a shootout last Saturday.
"I think we were fresh and it helped that we have such a deep lineup and we can roll four lines," Sedin said. "We spent a lot of time in their end and were able to tire them out."
Sedin said that Vrbata, another free-agent acquisition, has been a welcome addition to the top line in the early running.
"I think it has helped," Sedin said. "He shoots a lot and that opens up a lot of things for us. He is a right-handed shot and I think that gives our line and extra edge. He has been good."
Ben Scrivens also stopped 28 shots for the Oilers, who are winless in five games (0-4-1) for their worst start in franchise history.
"The fans were really behind us and that gave us some extra energy and it’s just frustrating we weren’t able to pull through," Oilers forward David Perron said. "It’s just frustrating that we didn’t get at least a goal for (Scrivens) and for the effort that the guys put in."
The Canucks got on the scoreboard with four minutes left in the second period as Sedin made a nice pass through the goal-mouth to a wide-open Vrbata on the other side of the net for his third goal of the season.
"It is about timing and being at the right place at the right time," Vrbata said. "If I do that, I know that they will find me. It was a nice pass."
Sedin then added an empty-netter in the final minute.
Miller made made a big blocker stop on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who came in on a short-handed breakaway, about 2 1/2 minutes into the second period. Miller then made another huge stop on a backhander in tight by Matt Hendricks a few minutes later.
Scrivens responded midway through the second with a big save on a deflection by Chris Higgins.
Moments later, Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis was rushed off the ice pouring blood after being hit by an inadvertent high stick by Edmonton’s Mark Arcobello. Hamhuis returned late in the second wearing a cage mask.
Vancouver had a couple of opportunities to extend its lead in the first half of the third period, but Scrivens received some help with Taylor Hall and Andrew Ference both clearing pucks moments before a Canucks player could put it in an open net.
Scrivens believed there was at least a positive sign that the Oilers played better that in their two previous outings.
"I thought we played a lot better, but your play is measured in wins and losses," he said. " It’s only one game, so the same way we tried not to panic after a couple of losses, we’re not going to rest on anything, playing one good game. The key is coming out and playing another good game after that. The more we can do that, the idea is that the wins start to fall after that."
There was no scoring in a back-and-forth first period that saw Scrivens face 12 shots and Miller make 10 stops. The biggest save in the opening period went to Scrivens, stopping Henrik Sedin in tight with a quick kick save with two minutes remaining.
NOTES: Vancouver and Edmonton met five times in the regular season last year, with the Canucks winning three. … The Canucks hadn’t played since defeating the Oilers 6-5 in a shootout last Saturday. … Nugent-Hopkins returned to the lineup after missing the last two games.