VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Andrew Ebbett is making up for lost time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Ebbett had the first two-goal game of his career to lead the Canucks over the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 on Monday night.
It was only Ebbett's third game after he missed 18 straight because of a fractured foot sustained when he blocked a shot Nov. 10 against the Los Angeles Kings. He now has three goals on the season after he had just two last season for Phoenix while splitting the season between the Coyotes and their AHL affiliate in San Antonio.
``It gives you a little more confidence when you come to the rink in the morning and know you are in the lineup that night,' said Ebbett, who signed with the Canucks in the offseason. ``I'm looking at this as an opportunity to prove I deserve a top-12 spot the rest of the season.
``I've really had fun here the last week and a half coming back and trying to enjoy it and seize the opportunity.'
Daniel Sedin, Alex Burrows, and Ryan Kesler also scored for Vancouver, which won for the 13th time in 17 games to move ahead of Minnesota for the Northwest division lead.
Jordan Eberle, Ryan Smyth and Corey Potter scored as Edmonton lost for the seventh time in the last 13 games.
Smyth and Potter scored during the same 5-minute power play, but those goals were sandwiched around Burrows' short-handed tally which gave the Canucks a 4-2 lead.
``I thought we had a chance getting the five-minute power play,' said Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin. ``We scored one, but we gave one right back. That's unacceptable in a game like this when you're down by three.'
Vancouver outshot the Oilers 26-21 overall and dominated a weary-looking Edmonton team in the first period, limiting the Oilers to only two shots in the first 14:30 of the game.
Ebbett opened the scoring 3:11 in when a shot by Chris Higgins went in off his skate while he was standing beside the net.
Daniel Sedin put the Canucks ahead 2-0 about 5 minutes later, converting a pass from twin brother Henrik. Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin protested the call with Daniel Sedin appearing to run a pick on Edmonton's Lennart Petrell and tripping him up before scooting across the net and scoring.
Ebbett notched his second of the night 8:30 later, diving to knock in Jannik Hansen's pass on a 2-on-1.
The Canucks outshot the Oilers 13-5 in the first.
Vancouver's Dale Weise was ejected at 8:28 of the second period after he sent Alex Plante face-first into the glass. Weise received a charging major and game misconduct. Plante lay on the ice for a few minutes and was guided to the dressing room with a towel covering a cut on his face. He did not return.
``I'm fine,' Plante said afterward, sporting cuts on his forehead and nose and declining to answer more questions.
Weise expressed remorse over the incident after the game.
``Things happen so fast. I thought I caught him on the shoulder and he went in a vulnerable position,' said Weise. ``I respect the call. Things happen so fast.'
Eberle scored on the ensuing power play as he put in his own rebound to give him a team-leading 16 goals this season.
With the Canucks still short-handed, Burrows scored on a give-and-go with Ryan Kesler 46 seconds later to put the Canucks ahead 4-1. It was Burrows' 15th career short-handed goal.
But, with the same power play still in effect, Smyth put in his own rebound off the post 32 seconds later.
Kesler gave the Canucks a 5-2 lead at 3:14 of the third period, but Potter countered less than 2 minutes later for the final margin.
``It's a lot more enjoyable for everybody when you go out there and put your work boots on,' said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. ``That's what our guys did tonight.'
Notes: Vancouver G Roberto Luongo sported a new mask bearing a compilation of the original Canucks logo. The design was based on a mask worn by former Canucks goalie Curt Ridley, who played for the team from 1975-80. The design was done by F.X. Allaire, the son of goaltending guru Francoise Allaire. Luongo plans to wear it when the Canucks don their vintage third jerseys. ... Canucks D Keith Ballard returned to the lineup after sitting out two games with back spasms and a third for precautionary reasons. D Alexander Sulzer was scratched. ... Edmonton was missing injured D Ryan Whitney (ankle) and winger Ales Hemsky (sinus and dizziness.)
The Associated Press News Service
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