ALSO ON SLAM!
Saturday, December 4, 1999
OILERS 3, Canucks 2
Oilers return the favour
EDMONTON (CP) -- Ryan Smyth took his customary position around the net and was rewarded for his diligence.
Smyth scored two goals to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks before a sellout crowd of 17,100 Saturday night at the Skyreach Centre.
"We rebounded with this one," said Smyth. "That's huge for us.
"Our goal was to come out with an emphasis to take it over. Obviously we slowed down a little bit."
The Oilers played with emotion in the first period, after losing 3-2 in overtime in Vancouver two nights earlier. They scored on two of their first three shots and outshot the Canucks 16-5 in the opening 20 minutes.
The Canucks regained some composure and outshot the Oilers 12-4 in the second period. But the Oilers regrouped and Smyth scored the winning goal with hard work from the side of the net with 7:09 remaining.
"Selly (Alex Selivanov) did some great work in front," said Smyth of his winning goal.
"He got the puck back to Brett Hauer. My job is in front."
Smyth capitalized from familiar territory around the goalmouth, as he had on the opening goal. He was credited with the first goal with a tip of defenceman Janne Niinimaa's point shot on a power play at 2:23 of the first period.
"It was a game all the guys wanted," said Oilers coach Kevin Lowe. "You could feel it in the dressing room. "In spite of giving up a two-goal lead, the guys played smart."
Bill Guerin also scored for the Oilers, who are 10th in the Western Conference at 8-12-6-4.
Markus Naslund and Adrian Aucoin had power-play goals for Vancouver, which leads the Northwest Division at 11-10-6-1.
"It was one of those nights that didn't start out the way we wanted it to," said Canucks' defenceman Ed Jovanovski. "We battled back. But it wasn't enough. The outcome was definitely not what we wanted."
Doug Weight, who was dazed after a hard hit in the third period, had two assists for the Oilers.
"It was tough," said Weight. "Vancouver's going to give you that. They're physical."
The Oilers allowed two power-play goals on six chances.
"Stupid penalties are no good," said Smyth. "It takes the wind out of your sails."