Canucks lose more than a pre-season game in Edmonton
Schroeder, Jensen injured in 5-2 loss to the Oilers
Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers battles for the puck against Kellan Lain of the Vancouver Canucks during a preseason NHL game at Rexall Place on September 21, 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Photograph by: Derek Leung, Getty Images
The Vancouver Canucks lost more than just their third straight pre-season game Saturday night when they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.
They are also lost three players to injury.
Winger David Booth went down in the game-day skate with a groin problem, while rookie winger Nicklas Jensen left in the first period with an undisclosed injury and centre Jordan Schroeder suffered a left foot or ankle injury when he blocked a Nail Yakupov shot during a second period Oiler power play.
The game, the first with new coach John Tortorella actually behind the bench, started positively for the Canucks. They got an early goal from centre Mike Santorelli, who is having a solid pre-season.
Santorelli scored off the rush after receiving a nice pass from defenceman Yannick Weber. He put a shot through the legs of Edmonton goalie Jason LaBarbera at 1:20 of the first.
Vancouver goalie Eddie Lack was solid early, making big saves off Jordan Eberle and Ryan Smyth. The Oilers tied the game on a power play at 12:59 of the first when Sam Gagner converted a back-door pass from David Perron.
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The Oilers got a short-handed goal from Perron at 4:13 of the second to take a 2-1 lead. The goal came after a Schroeder giveaway in the offensive zone.
Smyth gave the Oilers a 3-1 lead at 15:58 of the third when he shovelled a backhand from the edge of the crease past Lack.
Jannik Hansen scored on a rebound at 16:39 to pull the Canucks back to within one, but Yakupov restored Edmonton’s two-goal lead at 17:27 and Will Acton made it 5-2 with an empty-netter at 18:49.
Jensen, who left the game midway through the first period after being run into the boards by Oiler winger Jujhar Khaira, was a late replacement for Booth.
Booth tweaked his groin during the teams’ game-day skate late Saturday morning and looked to be in some discomfort as he skated off the ice at Rogers Arena shortly after the skate began.
“Some groin stiffness,” was how Tortorella described Booth’s condition. “It’s the time of year and, knock on wood, I think the guys have handled it pretty well. These are the days when you start seeing that, so we are just being precautionary here.”
Booth was hoping to play his first game since last March, when he suffered a serious ankle injury that required surgery. He missed most of first week of training camp before returning earlier this week to practice.
The latest injuries create possible openings for some of the Canuck youngsters like Shinkaruk, who could be asked to fill in for Booth, and Brendan Gaunce or Bo Horvat, who are battling for one of the two vacant centre ice positions.
ICE CHIPS: Vancouver winger Dale Weise received a minor for a check to the head for an elbow on Oiler forward Taylor Hall in the first period. He could possibly face league discipline ... The Oilers lost Gagner late in the second period when he was clipped by A Zack Kassian high stick. Kassian received a double-minor on the play ... The Canucks returned to Vancouver after the game, will practise on Sunday and play host to the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night at Rogers Arena ... Edmonton native Ty Rimmer replaced LaBarbera in the Edmonton goal midway through the second.
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