The Edmonton Oilers took down the besieged Vancouver Canucks with a 3-0 win on Thursday, improving their winning streak to five.
For the Oilers, it was business as usual. Goalie Mike Smith snagged his second shutout of the season by facing and stopping 32 shots, while the offence dropped in two power-play goals. Connor McDavid sealed the deal with an empty-netter.
The Canucks applied a little elbow grease but, as has been the tale of the tape this year, it wasn’t enough. Vancouver finds itself in the midst of their worst run at home since 2017. They must be thanking their lucky stars there aren’t fans in the stands.
Goalie Thatcher Demko stopped 32 of 34 shots on goal Thursday and looked awesome for long stretches, stoning McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins throughout the contest. He also made a stunning stop on Jujhar Khaira halfway through the opening frame.
The Oilers were two for five on the power play, while the Canucks drew a zero for four.
Vancouver is 2-9-2 in their last 13 and there are some significant problems with this hockey team. They’ve lost four in a row.
But Edmonton won the day and the story is theirs, with McDavid the first NHLer to reach 40 points this season.
The Oilers also took apart the Canucks on Tuesday by a final score of 4-3.
Smith improved to 6-0-0, the best start in his 15-year career. He missed the first 13 games due to injury, but he’s rolling now and gives his team a chance to win every single game.
Alex Chiasson and Jesse Puljujarvi had the goals for Edmonton Thursday.
For Puljujarvi, his second run with the Oilers has been nothing short of special. The 22-year-old took a little time to get going, but he’s been rocking since a two-goal performance against the Senators to kick off February. Puljujarvi has six goals and nine points in 21 games, plus he’s discovered the physical aspect of his game.
Edmonton will have a day off Friday and then challenge the North-leading Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday. They’ll host Toronto for three before hosting Calgary for one and the Senators for three.
The Canucks, meanwhile, won’t see easier days for a while. They’ll face the 12-6-1 Winnipeg Jets after a weekend off.