Home is where the wins aren't for Canucks

 

 
 
 
 
Edmonton Oilers’ Andrej Sekera (2) Mark Letestu (55) Connor McDavid (97) and Benoit Pouliot (67) celebrate a goal by Nail Yakupov (obscured) against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
 
 

Edmonton Oilers’ Andrej Sekera (2) Mark Letestu (55) Connor McDavid (97) and Benoit Pouliot (67) celebrate a goal by Nail Yakupov (obscured) against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.

Photograph by: BEN NELMS, THE CANADIAN PRESS

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VANCOUVER — They can’t win at home, their leading goal-scorer isn’t scoring and their power play is a mess.

Maybe the Vancouver Canucks should consider themselves fortunate to be 3-1-2 through six games of this young National Hockey League season.

The Canucks lost for the third time in as many outings on home ice Sunday night, dropping a 2-1 decision in overtime to the Edmonton Oilers.

The Canucks took some solace in collecting the loser point in a game they probably should have won in regulation.

“I thought we played better tonight,” said coach Willie Desjardins. “I thought we had lots of chances, but we didn’t capitalize. But that’s the way the game goes. We have been in the situation the other way, too, where we found ways to win. Their goaltender played well. It’s disappointing for sure not to get two points.”

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The Canucks out-chanced and outshot the Oilers, who had played Saturday night in Calgary. Their best chance came early in the third when Henrik Sedin was stopped on a breakaway by Edmonton goalie Anders Nilsson and Daniel Sedin somehow managed to put the rebound, left sitting in the blue paint, just over the crossbar.

“That a tough one,” Daniel said. “I had to pick between backhand and forehand and it got away from me. It rolled off my stick It was a tough one, for sure.

“It happened so quick, you just try to tap it in and it bounced over.”

Daniel had another glorious chance in overtime, but missed again. Seconds later, Oiler forward Lauri Korpikoski put a shot through Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller at 1:46 of overtime.

“It was one of those games,” Daniel said. “We played well enough to win tonight and if I bury those two it’s a win. . .we have to keep playing this way. I think for 60 minutes tonight we played pretty good. They had a few chances in the third but I think apart from that we played pretty good.”

Miller got a piece of Korpikoski’s shot, but the puck trickled through his pads.

“It hit me high in the thigh and squeezed through,” Miller said. “It was one of those ones where if I am little bit more square it stays out. It’s just the way it goes.”

“We missed our chances and that is what you are going to get 3-on-3,” Desjardins said. “If you miss your chances they are going to come back the other way and get a chance. We missed ours and sure enough they came the other way. Ryan got a good piece of it, but not quite enough.”

Desjardins acknowledged he is disappointed with his team’s start at home this season. They have dropped back to back games at Rogers Arena against ‘tired’ teams that had played the night before on the road.

“That was one of my goals this year, to be better at home,” he said. “I want to be good at home. I think it is important for our team’s success, I think it s important for the fans. So it is disappointing. We have had quite a few good periods. Tonight was a pretty good game throughout. But the other (home) games we seemed to miss a period and that hurt us.

“There is nothing about those three that are gone, but we can take care of the ones that are coming up. We have to be ready for those ones.”

The Canucks were once again blanked on the power play and are now 1-for-20 on the season. And Radim Vrbata, a 31-goal scorer last season, is firing blanks this season. Vrbata had six more shots Sunday night and now has 25 on the season.

“When you work hard and are getting the chances you want and it doesn’t go in it makes it frustrating for sure,” said Vrbata. “Especially early in the season where you are just looking for that first one to try and get going. As I said, all I can do is keep shooting the puck and hopefully one day something will go in.”

Desjardins put his lines in the blender again Sunday night. He reunited the Kid Line of Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi and Jake Virtanen, which had combined for 10 points in a pre-season game in Edmonton. They collected one point against the Oilers, with Baertschi drawing an assist on Matt Bartkowski’s goal.

Jannik Hansen joined the Sedins as the revolving-door right winger on the first line and Brandon Sutter returned to centre and skated between Alex Burrows and Vrbata.

The loss was just the Canucks’ third in their last 11 meetings with the Oilers. Vancouver swept the five-game season series with Edmonton last season.

bziemer@vancouversun.com; twitter.com/bradziemer

GAME ESSENTIALS

THE SKINNY

Lauri Korpikoski scored off a 2-on-1 rush at 1:46 of overtime to give the Oilers a 2-1 win. The Canucks were stymied by Edmonton goalie Anders Nilsson, who stopped 33 of 34 shots. Defenceman Matt Bartkowski, with his first NHL regular-season goal, scored the lone Vancouver goal at 15:43 of the first period. Nail Yakupov had given the Oilers a 1-0 lead at 3:23 of the first on a nice feed from Connor McDavid.

BY THE NUMBERS

Bartkowski had gone 136 games without a regular-season NHL goal. He does have one playoff goal scored while with the Boston Bruins... The Vancouver powerplay continues to sputter. The Canucks were 0-for-2 with the man advantage Sunday and are now 1-for-20 this season on the power play... The Canucks won won 31 of 46 faceoffs. Henrik Sedin was 12-3, while Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was a miserable 1-7.

QUOTABLE

Ryan Miller’s perfect record against the Oilers is now history. Miller had entered the game 12-0-0 lifetime versus Edmonton. Miller said after the game he doesn’t pay much attention to stats like that. “It has been pointed out to me, but it doesn’t really mean anything,” Miller said. “You don’t really go up against the same team after two or three years. It’s all different. It’s just one of those anomalies and now it’s all over.”

THIS AND THAT

Rookie centre Jared McCann was scratched Sunday night. McCann missed Saturday’s practice and coach Willie Desjardins said he was a little dinged up from Friday night’s game against St. Louis. McCann did skate in Sunday morning’s optional game day skate and took the pre-game warmup Sunday night. Yannick Weber was Vancouver’s other scratch Sunday night... Vancouver’s AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets, have lost their first two games and have only scored one goal in the process.

WHO’S NEXT

The Canucks get a day off and some practice time before they resume this five-game homestand. The Canucks are scheduled to have Monday as a day off and then practise on Tuesday and Wednesday. Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals visit Rogers Arena on Thursday night. The Detroit Red Wings are here on Saturday night and the homestand concludes when the Montreal Canadiens pay a visit next Tuesday night.

 
 
 
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Edmonton Oilers’ Andrej Sekera (2) Mark Letestu (55) Connor McDavid (97) and Benoit Pouliot (67) celebrate a goal by Nail Yakupov (obscured) against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
 

Edmonton Oilers’ Andrej Sekera (2) Mark Letestu (55) Connor McDavid (97) and Benoit Pouliot (67) celebrate a goal by Nail Yakupov (obscured) against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.

Photograph by: BEN NELMS, THE CANADIAN PRESS

 
Edmonton Oilers’ Andrej Sekera (2) Mark Letestu (55) Connor McDavid (97) and Benoit Pouliot (67) celebrate a goal by Nail Yakupov (obscured) against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Edmonton Oilers’ Lauri Korpikowski (28) celebrates his game winning goal against the Vancouver Canucks with teammates Andrej Sekera (2) Taylor Hall (4) Justin Schultz (19) Mark Fayne (5) and Rob Klinkhammer (12) during overtime of their NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan speaks with referee Kelly Sutherland (11) during a stoppage in play against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Anders Nilsson (39) makes a save against Vancouver Canucks’ Brandon Sutter (21) as Radim Vrbata (17) looks for a rebound during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Edmonton Oilers’ Lauri Korpikowski (28) scores the game winning goal against Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller during overtime of their NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Vancouver Canucks Jake Virtanen (18) celebrates a goal by teammate Matt Bartkowski’s (not pictured) against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday, October 18, 2015.
Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid celebrates his teams win over the Vancouver Canucks with teammates (L-R) Lauri Korpikoski #28, Teddy Purcell #16 and Taylor Hall #4 during overtime of their NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Anders Nilsson (39) makes a save against Vancouver Canucks Sven Baertschi (47) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Edmonton Oilers’ Lauri Korpikowski (28) celebrates his game winning goal against the Vancouver Canucks during overtime of their NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Edmonton Oilers’ Lauri Korpikowski (28) celebrates his game winning goal against the Vancouver Canucks with teammates Andrej Sekera (2) and Taylor Hall (4) during overtime of their NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Radim Vrbata #17 and Brandon Sutter #21 of the Vancouver Canucks look for a loose puck in front of Anders Nilsson #39 of the Edmonton Oilers during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 18, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Anders Nilsson (39) makes a save against Vancouver Canucks Sven Baertschi (47) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Derek Dorsett #15 of the Vancouver Canucks and Justin Schultz #19 of the Edmonton Oilers collide during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 18, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Edmonton Oilers Lauri Korpikoski (28) is checked by Vancouver Canucks Derek Dorsett (15) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Matt Bartkowski #44 of  the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated after scoring his first Canucks’ goal against the Edmonton Oilers during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 18, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Anders Nilsson (39) makes a save against Vancouver Canucks Sven Baertschi (47) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Vancouver Canucks Radim Vrbata (17) is checked by Edmonton Oilers Benoit Pouliot (67) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Bo Horvat #53 of the Vancouver Canucks watches the puck enter the net behind Anders Nilsson #39 of the Edmonton Oilers for a goal by Matt Bartkowski #44 of the Vancouver Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 18, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid, left, celebrates with Mark Letestu (55) and Benoit Pouliot (67) after a goal by teammate Nail Yakupov (obscured) against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Bo Horvat #53, Dan Hamhuis #2, Jake Virtanen #18 and Sven Baertschi #47 congratulate Matt Bartkowski #44 who scored his first goal for the Vancouver Canucks against the Edmonton Oilers during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 18, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Edmonton Oilers Taylor Hall (4) skates with the puck against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday, October 18, 2015.
Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks kicks a soccer ball as he warms up with teammates before their NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena October 18, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid (97) celebrates with Mark Letestu (55) and Benoit Pouliot (67) after a goal by teammate Nail Yakupov (obscured) against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Edmonton Oilers’ Lauri Korpikoski (28) fights for the puck against Vancouver Canucks Adam Cracknell (24) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday, October 18, 2015.
Edmonton Oilers Lauri Korpikoski (28) is checked by Vancouver Canucks Derek Dorsett (15) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller (30) makes a save against Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov (10) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Connor McDavid #97 and goal scorer Nail Yakupov #10 of the Edmonton Oilers are congratulated at the bench after scoring against the Vancouver Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 18, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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