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Canucks drop Oilers in OT, 3-2

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EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Chris Tanev picked a perfect time to score his first NHL goal.

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Tanev scored at 4:40 of overtime, and the Vancouver Canucks rallied for their season-high third straight victory, 3-2 over the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Monday night.

Tanev beamed after he finally scored a goal in his 63rd NHL game.

``It took a while, but I'm happy I was able to get it,'' he said as he teammates chanted his name in the dressing room. ``There was a little give-and-go, and all their guys were watching them.

``I was able to come in off the blue line and I shot it. I think one of our guys screened the goalie and it went in. I'm pretty happy.''

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault was thrilled to see the 23-year-old defenseman scored his first goal in such clutch fashion.

``He's a young player who has been with us for quite some time now,'' he said. ``For him to get that goal at the time that he did to win was very good for the whole group. Everybody was really happy for him.''

With just 2:17 remaining in regulation, and the Oilers holding a 2-1 lead, the Canucks tied it with a long shot from Kevin Bieksa that beat goalie Devan Dubnyk stick-side and forced overtime.

Taylor Hall was awarded a penalty shot for the Oilers with 2:47 gone in OT, after he was hooked down by Daniel Sedin on a breakaway, but Hall was stopped by Roberto Luongo, who finished with 23 saves.

Jannik Hansen also scored in regulation for the Canucks (5-2-2), who extended their lead atop the Northwest Division.

Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth had goals for the Oilers (4-3-2), who have lost three in a row. Dubnyk stopped 37 shots.

``It was very disappointing how the game ended up,'' Oilers coach Ralph Krueger said. ``After the onslaught we faced in the second period, we felt we were in the better position. Everybody was working hard to fill in for (game injuries to Mark Fistric and Shawn Horcoff).

``We had lots of blocked shots and a lot of effort from everybody. It was really disappointing not only to end up in overtime, but to lose out on a point.''

The first period was largely uneventful until late when the Oilers struck on the power play. Nail Yakupov made a nice chip pass, and Hemsky hustled to beat Jason Garrison to the puck. He beat Luongo with a deke for his third goal of the season.

The Oilers made it 2-0 eight minutes into the second when Anton Lander picked off a pass at the Canucks blue line while short-handed and sent it to Smyth in front. His shot was partially blocked by Alex Edler, but it still managed to dribble its way into the net.

The Canucks got on the board four minutes later after a good battle by Hansen culminated in his shot from behind the goal line catching Dubnyk off guard and going in off his arm.

Vancouver held a 21-12 shots advantage after 40 minutes.

The Canucks had a good chance to tie it five minutes into the third period on a tipped shot in front by Alex Burrows, but Dubnyk made a leaping save.

Luongo matched that with a point-blank save on Jordan Eberle with nine minutes to play.

``We started off a bit slow, but halfway through the second we picked it up,'' Tanev said. ``It was good game, so it was nice to get it in overtime. It's good that we came back, I think we showed some character.''

NOTES: It was the second of five meetings between the divisional rivals this season. Edmonton won the first 3-2 in a shootout to open its season. ... Luongo made his fourth consecutive start, despite offseason talk that he had lost the starting job by Cory Schneider and was likely to be traded. ... Dubnyk has started every game this season. ... Edmonton D Ryan Whitney was a healthy scratch. He said it was the first time that has happened in his career. ... Captain Shawn Horcoff returned from missing two games for the Oilers with a strained neck, but left the game in the second period with a hand injury. Fellow C Eric Belanger will miss at least a week because of two broken toes. Magnus Pajaarvi was called up to fill his spot in the lineup. ... Oilers D Mark Fistric left the game with a back injury.

AP NEWS
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