Without Tortorella behind bench, Canucks slip past Oilers

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 22, 2014
Rookie Kellan Lain and Zack Kassian scored and the Vancouver Canucks won their first game without suspended head coach John Tortorella in 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. The Canucks have won just three of their past 11 games. Roberto Luongo made 28 saves for the win. The Canucks were also without leading scoring Henrik Sedin, who missed his first game in close to a decade with an injury. The Canucks were also without Tortorella, who was suspended for 15 days by the NHL on Monday for an altercation during a game against the Calgary Flames on Saturday. Jordan Eberle scored for the Oilers, who have lost five in a row and 10 of their past 12. It was also Edmonton's fourth losing streak that has gone five games or more this season. Vancouver got on the board at 5:14 of the first as Oilers starter Ben Scrivens allowed a big rebound on a long shot from Dale Weise and Lain was there to swat at the rebound that glanced off Scrivens' arm and in. It was Lain's first career NHL goal in just his second game. He played only 2 seconds in Vancouver's fight-filled win over Calgary. Vancouver had nine first-period shots to Edmonton's six on Luongo. Shortly after killing off a penalty where Luongo stood tall on several good Oilers chances, the Canucks made it 2-0 at 7:59 of the second period as Ryan Kesler spotted Kassian streaking toward the net and sent a pass to set up a floater of a shot that beat Scrivens up high. It was Kassian's 10th of the season. Luongo did his part to keep the two-goal lead intact with five minutes to play in the second as he came across to make a huge blocker save in tight on Eberle with the Oilers on the power play. Eberle, who also hit a post early in the third period, broke the shutout with five minutes remaining as Sam Gagner crashed the crease and a scramble ensued before the puck came loose and he was able to send it through to make it 2-1 and spoil Luongo's shutout bid. Edmonton had its chances late in the game with Scrivens on the bench, but couldn't get another goal past Luongo. Scrivens finished with 25 saves. The Canucks return home to start a four-game homestand against Nashville on Thursday. The Oilers next game is on Friday, when they play host to the Phoenix Coyotes. Notes: It was the third of five games between the Pacific Division rivals. Vancouver won both of the previous encounters. The Canucks entered the game having won eight of the previous 11 games between the two teams. ... A pair of players acquired during Edmonton's four-game road trip made their Oilers debut as the fans got their first looks at forward Matt Hendricks (traded from Nashville) and Scrivens (trade with Los Angeles). Scrivens, from the Edmonton satellite community of Spruce Grove, Alberta, was playing his first game in Rexall Place. ... The Oilers were missing forwards Ales Hemsky (foot) and Nail Yakupov (head) and defenseman Philip Larsen (illness). Defenseman Corey Potter returned from missing 11 games with a groin injury. ... Also out for the Canucks were Mike Santorelli (shoulder), Ryan Stanton (ankle), Andrew Alberts (concussion) and Jordan Schroeder (ankle).
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