The Oilers took an early lead with a strong first period, but the story of the game was their inability to stay out of the box as the Canucks used seven powerplays to control the majority of the second half of the game before ultimately taking the win in a shootout.
To the Recap!
The Oilers looked completely uncoordinated through the first five or six minutes, as evidenced by their zero shot attempts during that span. A penalty to Alex Burrows though turned the tide in the Oilers favour as the ensuing powerplay created the first goal of the game as Brad Hunt ripped a point shot passed a screened Ryan Miller.
A few minutes later the Oilers finally scored their first even strength goal of the season as Dan Hamuis got crossed up on his assignment on an Oilers zone entry and Marc Arcobello was left wide open on the far post to tap in a cross-ice pass. The Oilers looked great for much of the rest of the first period before the Sedins worked their magic to score a late goal and close the gap to one heading into the first intermission.
The 2nd period period was largely controlled by the Canucks. They dominated the possession early in the period but the Oilers were able to find an opening and Nail Yakupov made an impressive drive to the net and slid the puck under Miller's pad as the goaltender appeared to contemplate a poke-check. A few minutes later, the Canucks pulled back to within one on a goal that should never have been allowed.
On a clearing attempt by the Oilers, the puck was gloved down by Alex Burrows and fell right at the feet of Dan Hamhuis, who immediately fired a shot that was tipped by Nick Bonino and by Viktor Fasth. Sadly, an infraction before a scoring play cannot be reviewed, so the goal stood. A high-sticking penalty by Jordan Eberle immediately thereafter let the Canucks maintain control. The Canucks nearly tied it after Alex Burrows tried to jam in the puck following a wrap around, but the referees rightly blew the whistle and killed the play before the puck crossed the line. A double-minor for high-sticking on Hall appeared to only add to the Oilers' problems, but Jesse Joensuu stole a puck and broke in to bury a short handed goal to restore the two goal advantage.
That was sadly short lived as the Canucks' Radim Vrbata would bury a goal on the same powerplay to make it 4-3. The remainder of the period saw the Oilers continue to get in penalty trouble as the possession disadvantage had them panicking defensively but they managed to escape the period with the same one-goal lead they had after one.
The story of the third period was much the same as the second. The Canucks continued to dominate the possession and pressure as the Oilers' continued to get into penalty trouble. Eventually, it paid off as Linden Vey tied the game at 4-4.
The Oilers finally got a powerplay late in the third as Yakupov, in a rare shift in the second half of the game, drew a penalty while trying to get a shot off. A few close calls late at both ends, but the game ended in a tie at the conclusion of regulation.
An early tip by the Canucks rung off the crossbar. The Canucks continued to dominate throughout overtime with the exception of one dangerous rush by the Oilers with about 90 seconds to go but the basically Fasth was the only thing that allowed the Oilers to get to the shootout.
After making excellent saves on the first two attempts, Viktor Fasth surrendered the only goal of the shootout to Chris Higgins and the Canucks completed the comeback to get the 5-4 shootout win.
Overall, The first period was a continuation of the Oilers' strong play against the Flames, but with better results. After the Yakupov goal early in the second, the rest of the game was all Vancouver. The Oilers held on for quite a while but the continued penalty trouble was too much to overcome and they were honestly pretty lucky to even get the single point. They should be thanking Fasth for that as he had himself a strong night in the crease.
Not the start the Oilers want, but through the first two games, its looked to me like this is a significantly improved team that just needs to stay out of the penalty box.