The Vancouver Canucks scored three third-period goals to down the Edmonton Oilers in the 2021 season opener Wednesday night at Rogers Place.
“I think we just made a couple mistakes. Things we can correct. Once we correct those, we’ll be good,” Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto said.
Vancouver’s Bo Horvat scored the only goal of the first period. He got in behind the Oilers’ defence, and his shot glanced off goaltender Mikko Koskinen and in.
Early in the second, Yamamoto stripped Canucks defenceman Olli Juolevi in the offensive zone. Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl took the puck and fed Yamamoto for a one-timer and the first Oilers goal of the season.
With 2:41 left in the frame, Vancouver’s Nils Hoglander banged in a rebound for his first NHL goal.
Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse tied it 10 seconds into the third. He took a cross-ice pass from Zack Kassian and went up high on Canucks netminder Braden Holtby. Vancouver went back in front 1:43 later with Adam Gaudette drilling a puck past Koskinen.
Vancouver forward Brock Boeser was left alone in front to make it 4-2 less than two minutes later.
“If we want to be a better team, a harder team to play against,” Tippet said, “those are the ones that have to come out of our game.
“Poor puck play and poor reads led to grade A chances against. You give enough of them, they are going to capitalize.”
Yamamoto was left alone in front with just over eight minutes to go but was robbed by Holtby. Boeser added his second of the night shortly after.
Adam Larsson gave the Oilers some life with a slapshot goal with 11:42 to go. However, Boeser added another one to seal the deal.
“We haven’t played in a while. I don’t think we expected the perfect game but this was kind of far from it,” Larsson said.
“There are certain areas where we have to get a lot better and in those areas today, it cost us goals pretty much every time.”
The Canucks ended up winning the game by a score of 5-3.
“We’re lucky we have to play the same team tomorrow,” Larsson said. “I don’t think anybody is happy about the performance today. There are just certain areas, the ‘greasy’ areas that we have t do a lot better work in.”
The two teams will go at it again Thursday night. The Faceoff Show on 630 CHED will start at 5:30 p.m. The game begins at 7 p.m.
With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott
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