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  • Saturday, April 8, 2000

    Oilers 5, CANUCKS 4 (OT)

    Oilers clinch playoff berth

  • Summary

     VANCOUVER (CP) -- The emotional roller-coaster ride leading to the NHL playoffs reached a peak for the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night but ground to a halt for the Vancouver Canucks.

    Rem Murray's empty-net overtime goal followed a wild three-goal third period rally as the Oilers overcame a two-goal deficit to clinch a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive year.
     Earlier in their stretch drive, the Oilers had been challenging Colorado for the Northwest Division lead while the Canucks battled back from 13 points out of the playoffs.
     The teams were going in different directions and the Oilers were beginning to question themselves, said coach Kevin Lowe.
     "I think for the whole club there was some sense of disappointment a few weeks back and that's not the emotion we should have been feeling," he said.
     "We'd had a good season and challenged Colorado for the division, sort of let it slip with a couple of games at home and that became the major issue and topic instead of, 'hey, we're playing well.'
     "We tried to get back into that frame of mind tonight."
     Vancouver Canucks coach Marc Crawford said the game had wide momentum swings as the Oilers came back from a 3-1 deficit in the final period.
     "There was a lot of emotion for all involved and one emotion that we wanted was the one that Edmonton has," Crawford said. "They've got a bit of elation because they came back and found a way to win.
     "For us, I'm sure our guys are disheartened, frustrated; I'm sure they're upset and all those emotions are justified at this time."
     The Oilers dominated the third period, scoring three goals in less than seven minutes. The Canucks could only kill off two of their three consecutive penalties as they were outshot 13-4.
     Bill Guerin started the comeback and Doug Weight tied the game at 3-3 as both scored on high wrist shots over goalie Felix Potvin.
     Todd Marchant's first goal in 11 games gave Edmonton a 4-3 lead with 4:12 to go but Andrew Cassels scored Vancouver's second power-play goal with 11 seconds remaining to keep his club alive.
     "Everybody is really disappointed," Vancouver captain Mark Messier said after the Canucks missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
     "We really had our heart set on making it to the post-season. It's a little bit of a letdown right now. We've been playing for a long time without much of a margin for error and it finally caught up with us.
     A tie would have clinched the eighth playoff berth for the Oilers. The winner with the goalie pulled means Vancouver forfeits the regulation tie point and could finish 10th behind the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the Western Conference. Anaheim was also eliminated from the playoffs with Edmonton's win.
     "I was so nervous," Murray said when he lined up the wide open net at 4:01 of the extra session.
     Roman Hamrlik gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead but the Canucks got Messier's second goal in two games, Harold Druken ended an 0-for-16 drought on the power play and Denis Pederson scored his third goal in three games.
     Weight said the season came down to a test of character.
     "I think our character showed. We went out in the third period and played with a lot of heart. It was two teams who weren't going to quit.
     Messier was named the club's most valuable player in team awards announced during the game. Mattias Ohlund was the most outstanding defenceman, Todd Bertuzzi the most exciting player, Cassels was the unsung hero and Naslund was the leading scorer.
     Notes: The Canucks iced a healthy lineup but the Oilers were missing Boyd Devereaux (concussion) and Mike Grier (arm). Potvin made his 14th consecutive start for the Canucks.


    Edmonton             1 0 3 1--5   
    Vancouver            2 1 1 0--4       
    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Edmonton, Hamrlik 8 (Selivanov, Titov),
    6:14. 2, Vancouver, Messier 17 (M Naslund, Klatt), 10:47. 3, Vancouver,
    Druken 7 (power play) (Morrison, Aucoin), 19:01. Penalties: Ulanov, Edm
    (tripping), 17:54.
    SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 4, Vancouver, Pederson 6 (Cassels,
    Jovanovski), 18:19. Penalties: Cooke, Van (hooking), 7:54; Hamrlik, Edm
    (hooking), 14:50.
    THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: 5, Edmonton, Guerin 24 (power play) (R Smyth,
    Weight), 8:52. 6, Edmonton, Weight 20 (Guerin), 14:51. 7, Edmonton,
    Marchant 17 (R Smyth, Cleary), 15:48. 8, Vancouver, Cassels 16 (power
    play) (M Naslund, Messier), 19:49. Penalties: T Bertuzzi, Van
    (interference), 2:01; Klatt, Van (high sticking), 5:13; Messier, Van
    (boarding), 7:36; Marchant, Edm (slashing), 18:05.
    OVERTIME -- Scoring: 9, Edmonton, Re Murray 8 (empty net) (unassisted),
    Shots on goal:
    Edmonton              6 11 13  1--31
    Vancouver            14  9  4  1--28
    Power-play Conversions: Edm - 1 of 4, Van - 2 of 3.  Goalies: Edmonton,
    Salo (28 shots, 24 saves; record: 27-28-13). Vancouver, Potvin (30, 26;
    record: 17-27-10).  A:18,422.  Referees: Gregson, Ohalloran. Linesmen:
    Lazarowich, Schachte.
    Edmonton                              Vancouver
                   G   A   +/-  Shots                    G   A   +/-  Shots
    Cleary         0   1   +1     3       Aucoin         0   1   +1     0
    D Lacouture    0   0   even   0       Baron          0   0   -1     0
    Dowd           0   0   +1     2       Brashear       0   0   even   1
    Guerin         1   1   even   2       Cassels        1   1   -1     2
    Hamrlik        1   0   +2     2       Cooke          0   0   even   2
    J Smith        0   0   +1     1       Druken         1   0   even   2
    Laraque        0   0   even   0       Hawgood        0   0   -1     0
    Marchant       1   0   +1     3       Jovanovski     0   1   even   2
    Moreau         0   0   even   3       Klatt          0   1   even   0
    Niinimaa       0   0   +1     2       M Naslund      0   2   even   5
    Poti           0   0   +1     0       May            0   0   even   3
    R Smyth        0   2   +1     3       Messier        1   1   -1     3
    Re Murray      1   0   +1     3       Morrison       0   1   -2     1
    Robertsson     0   0   even   0       Ohlund         0   0   -3     4
    Selivanov      0   1   even   1       P Schaefer     0   0   even   2
    Titov          0   1   even   0       Pederson       1   0   -1     1
    Ulanov         0   0   -1     1       Strudwick      0   0   even   0
    Weight         1   1   even   5       T Bertuzzi     0   0   -1     0
    Ranford        Hamstring              Sopel          Healthy
    K Brown        Healthy                Hendrickson    Healthy
    Kilger         Healthy                V Sharifijanov Healthy
    B Devereaux    Concussion             Holden         Healthy
    S Brown        Healthy
    Grier          Tricep Injury


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