Edmonton Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse (25) tries to clear Vancouver Canucks centre Jay Beagle (83) from in front of Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse (25) tries to clear Vancouver Canucks centre Jay Beagle (83) from in front of Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Smith makes 32 saves as Oilers blank slumping Vancouver Canucks 3-0

Edmonton extends NHL win streak to five

Mike Smith collected his second shutout of the season Thursday, lifting the visiting Edmonton Oilers to a 3-0 victory over the beleaguered Vancouver Canucks.

The Oilers goalie stopped all 32 shots he faced as Edmonton (14-8-0) extended its win streak to five games.

Two of Edmonton’s goals came on the power play, with Alex Chiasson and Jesse Puljujarvi scoring with the man advantage. Connor McDavid padded his leads atop the NHL’s scoring race by putting away an empty-netter.

Despite the final score, Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko was a force in net Thursday, stopping 32-of-34 shots.

The result was yet another tough blow to a lacklustre season for the Canucks (8-14-2) who’ve now lost four games in a row.

Vancouver pulled Demko with about two minutes left on the clock and McDavid pulled away from a crowd to burry an empty-net goal with 23 seconds to go.

Edmonton secured its lead 12:35 into the third after Antoine Roussel brought down McDavid and was called for hooking.

Leon Draisaitl sent a shot towards the Vancouver net and Demko made a pad stop. He couldn’t corral the rebound, however, and Puljujarvi found just enough space between the goalie and the post to pop the puck in and give the Oilers a 2-0 lead.

Chiasson was first to beat Demko on Thursday, scoring on a power play midway through the second after Alex Edler was called for hooking.

The Canucks goalie made some giant saves on McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins before Chiasson got a puck past him with a sweeping shot from the top of the crease.

Edmonton was 2-for-5 with the man advantage Thursday. Vancouver failed to capitalize on four power plays.

READ MORE: Canucks cough up 3-0 lead, fall 4-3 to Edmonton Oilers

Just before Edler was called for hooking, Demko made one of his biggest saves of the night, sliding his left leg back just in time to get a pad in the path of a backhand shot from McDavid.

The Vancouver netminder also shutdown Jujhar Khaira midway through the first after a Canucks defender lost his check, leaving the Oilers winger alone in the Vancouver zone.

The Canucks’ best chance of the night came in the second period when winger Jake Virtanen unleashed a wrist shot from in tight. Smith was forced to make a diving stop, lunging sideways across the net and kicking his left skate up to boot the puck out of harm’s way.

Smith also notched a shutout on Feb. 11 as the Oilers topped the Montreal Canadiens 3-0. Thursday night’s was the 41st of his career.

Each team saw a defenceman return from a head injury Thursday. Edmonton’s Ethan Bear played for the first time since being struck in the head with a puck in a game against the Leafs on Jan. 30. Travis Hamonic returned to Vancouver’s lineup after missing 18 games.

The Oilers will be back in action on Saturday when they face the Leafs in Toronto. The Canucks are set to battle the Jets in Winnipeg on Monday.

NOTES: The Oilers placed William Lagesson on injured reserve Thursday. The defenceman suffered an upper-body injury in Edmonton’s 6-5 loss to the Jets back on Feb. 15. … Jayce Hawryluk played his first game for the Canucks. The 25-year-old forward signed with Vancouver as a free agent in October.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanuckshockeyNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vanderhoof municipal office sign on Burrard Avenue. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof council discuss requests from NWRI, airport, BC Wildfire

District of Vanderhoof held their regular public meeting of council on April… Continue reading

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

To send in Letters to the Editor, email aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com
Letter: Increased aggression towards staff at Omineca Medical clinic

Dr. Davy Dhillon writes letter on behalf of the clinic

Basin Snow Water Index map for Apr. 1, 2021. (BC River Forecast Centre photo/Lakes District News)
Snowpack above normal for Upper Fraser West basin

Snowpack assessments for early April reveals above normal levels for northwestern British… Continue reading

Four young women prepare to model Magic Wand dresses at a fashion show. Magic Wand provides grad dresses and tuxedos for a nominal fee. (Submitted File Photo)
Nominations available for Cindrella Dreams Program in Vanderhoof

New organizer excited to help graduates with formal wear

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

HousingHub financing to encourage more developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

Most Read