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Edmonton Oilers ride power play to 2-1 road win over Vancouver Canucks


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VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks held Connor McDavid to a single assist for the first time this season. But they couldn’t skate away with a win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.

Mikko Koskinen made 29 saves and was seven seconds away from his first shutout of the year as the Oilers beat the Canucks 2-1 at Rogers Arena.

“It starts with Mikko,” said forward Zach Hyman. “He made some huge saves, so you can’t have a game like that without him. I thought it was a good game. We bounce back after a loss, on the road, playing a good Vancouver team. Get the win and not give up an even-strength (goal).”

Koskinen made his fourth-straight start, with Mike Smith sidelined with an upper-body injury. The Oilers improved to 6-1-0 this season while the Canucks fell to 3-5-1. Thatcher Demko made 32 saves in the losing effort.

Vancouver is winless this season at Rogers Arena and has scored just four goals in total during three losses in their season-opening seven-game homestand.

“There was times where we created a lot, but we’ve got to do that kind of stuff for a full 60 minutes,” said Canucks captain Bo Horvat, who went 16 for 23 in the face-off circle and finished the night with three shots on goal. “Sporadically is not going to win you hockey games. We’ve got to figure out ways to get it done.”

At even strength, both teams were sound defensively. The Oilers went 2 for 2 on the power play, with goals from Warren Foegele and Leon Draisaitl. Vancouver’s only goal came from Brock Boeser in the dying seconds, with Demko pulled for the extra attacker.

The Canucks’ only power play of the game came with 3:01 left in the third period, as the team pressed to score with Demko already on the bench.

“It is a good job at 5-on-5, but we’ve got to find a way to win those hockey games,” Horvat said. “When you do hold a team like Edmonton to two goals, you’ve got to figure out a way to score three.”

The Oilers opened the scoring at 11:39 of the first, after Tyler Myers was whistled for hooking Edmonton’s Jesse Puljujarvi. With one second left in the man advantage, Foegele deposited a rebound off a shot by Darnell Nurse past an outstretched Demko for his second goal of the year.

It was a rare tally from Edmonton’s second power-play unit, which sees limited ice time playing behind superstars like McDavid and Draisaitl.

“It came up with a big goal for us, that’s for sure, a real big goal,” said Oilers coach Dave Tippett. “It got us going, and our power play got us a big one at the end of the second and that was enough to get us a win.”

“It was nice to get an opportunity there and our unit cashed in on one,” said Foegele, who was acquired in an off-season trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. “There’s a lot of special talent on that first unit there and we get to watch it on the bench just like you guys get to watch.”

Draisaitl tallied his fifth of the campaign with 40 seconds remaining in the middle frame. With Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the penalty box, Draisaitl beat Demko with a one-timer from the right circle, set up by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid, who started the play by bouncing a shot off the shin of defender Luke Schenn.

With the assists, McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins both extended their season-long point streaks to seven games. And while it was the first time all season that McDavid has been held to just one point in a game, he moved back into first place in the NHL scoring race with 16 points from his first seven games.

McDavid finished the night with 13 shot attempts, including nine shots on goal. Early in the third period, Demko denied him on three quick close-in shots from the goalmouth.

For Vancouver, Schenn played his 800th career NHL game, while Tucker Poolman and Jason Dickinson drew back into the lineup after being sidelined with injuries.

“It was a hard-fought hockey game tonight, no goals 5-on-5,” said Vancouver coach Travis Green. “We came out on the wrong side of it.

“I don’t like losing. Our team doesn’t like losing, but I thought we probably took a step in the right direction for some of our guys tonight.”

“Things are going well,” said Foegele, on the Edmonton side. “But like we keep saying, it’s early, try to take it day by day. You don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself and you know how good this league can be. So keep playing fast, simple and the results should show.”

The Oilers return home to host the Seattle Kraken for the first time on Monday, while the Canucks host the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

NOTES: It was the second meeting between the Oilers and Canucks this season. On Oct. 13, Edmonton beat Vancouver 3-2 in a shootout in both teams’ season opener … Edmonton held a 6-4-0 edge in last year’s North Division season series … The Oilers and Canucks both lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in their last games. It was Edmonton’s first defeat of the year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2021.

Carol Schram, The Canadian Press

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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says conservatives must learn to win in ‘big cities’

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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith speaks at the Canada Strong and Free Network in Ottawa on Thursday, March 23, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Ottawa (CP) – Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says conservatives must learn how to win in “big cities.”

Smith made the comment to a room of conservatives gathered in Ottawa for the annual conference of the Canada Strong and Free Network, formerly called the Manning Centre.

With Albertans set to go the polls in a provincial election this year, Smith says the United Conservative Party has more ground to gain in the province’s two largest cities: Calgary and Edmonton.

Smith replaced Jason Kenney as party leader and premier last fall, after he resigned following a leadership review where he received only 51 per cent support.

Kenney faced considerable backlash leading up to that vote for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Smith told today’s crowd that the party had lost “a lot” of its base.

Smith’s belief that conservatives must make inroads in large cities is shared by the federal Conservatives, with Leader Pierre Poilievre spending many of his weekends in Metro Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area — areas where his party has struggled to gain ground in the past several elections.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2023.

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Roy scores OT winner as Golden Knights tip Oilers 4-3

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Vegas Golden Knights celebrate the winning goal on Edmonton Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner (74) during overtime NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday March 25, 2023.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

By Shane Jones in Edmonton

The Vegas Golden Knights made sure to keep the Edmonton Oilers at arm’s length in the Pacific Division race.

Nicolas Roy scored the overtime winner and Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists as the Golden Knights won their fourth consecutive game, knocking off the Oilers 4-3 on Saturday night to give themselves a seven-point cushion atop the Pacific Division standings over third-place Edmonton with nine games to play.

Roy was left alone in front of the Edmonton net and deposited his own rebound past Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner 2:26 into OT.

“It’s a big win, big road trip,” said Knights defenceman Brayden McNabb. “They were sneaking up on us and we were able to get an extra point out of this game.

“We have that next-man-up mentality, it’s been that way all year. We’ve had injuries throughout the year, the guys are prepared, we have great depth, we have great goaltending and it showed tonight. It felt a little bit like a playoff game, for sure.”

Pavel Dorofeyev and Jonathan Marchessault also scored for the Knights (46-21-6) who have won eight of their last nine and sport a league-best 17-3-2 record since the NHL All-Star break.

“Gutsy win for us, it’s a divisional game and I thought we played well,” Eichel said. “It’s a really good team over there, they generate a lot of offence and I thought we did a really good job limiting them.”

Zach Hyman, Leon Draisaitl and Warren Foegele replied for the Oilers (41-23-9) who had a five-game winning streak snapped.

“It was a tight game. It was what you expect in the playoffs,” Draisaitl said. “It is obviously a team that we could face. I think we know how to handle these types of games. Obviously tonight didn’t go our way, but we will take the point.”

Vegas scored on the first shot of the game 61 seconds in as Eichel took a feed on a two-on-one from Ivan Barbashev and beat the Oilers’ starter stick-side for his 27th goal of the season.

Not to be outdone, the Oilers also scored on their first shot on Knights goalie Laurent Brossoit 3:28 into the opening frame, as Draisaitl put it right on the tape of Zach Hyman’s stick in front of the net and he redirected in his 31st. Draisaitl set a new career high for points on the play, hitting 111 after capping out at 110 points two previous seasons.

The Golden Knights regained the lead on the power play with 3:33 to play in the first period when the puck came to Dorofeyev on a broken play and he wired home his fifth of the campaign to the top right corner.

Edmonton’s lethal power play allowed them to knot the game up midway through the middle period as Connor McDavid sent it to Draisaitl in the slot and he took it on the backhand before spinning around and scoring his 45th goal of the season. It was also Draisaitl’s 28th power-play goal, the most by any player in a season since Mario Lemieux in 1995-1996.

Vegas found another gear to start the third and went ahead 3-2 almost seven minutes into the final frame as Eichel dropped a pass back in the lane to Marchessault, who beat Skinner with a one-timer.

Brossoit followed that up with a massive save on Mattias Ekholm.

Edmonton tied the game once again with 8:41 to play in the third as Foegele tied his career high by scoring his 13th on a long wrist shot to eventually send the game to extra time.

“It’s disappointing we didn’t get the two points,” said Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft. “Some of the goals we gave up were preventable. We’re going to take the lessons from tonight and learn from it.”


Edmonton won both previous meetings between the two teams this season, both by 4-3 scores. … Vegas was missing a bunch of bodies in Mark Stone (back), William Carrier (lower body), Adin Hill (lower body), Logan Thompson (undisclosed), Reilly Smith (lower body) and Alec Martinez (personal). As a result, defenceman Ben Hutton returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past 21 games. Forward Keegan Kolesar also returned after missing six games with an upper-body injury. In net, Brossoit made his first start since Feb. 25. … Edmonton was without the services of Ryan Murray (back) and Ryan McLeod (upper body). … The Golden Knights and Oilers both boast 11 skaters with 10-plus goals — tied for second in the NHL in that category. … Oilers defender Cody Ceci played in his 700th career NHL game.


The Knights are off until Tuesday, when they will play the Oilers in a rematch in Vegas.

The Oilers make a quick trip to Arizona to face the Coyotes on Monday before playing the Knights on Tuesday in the final regular-season matchup between the two teams.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2023.

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