Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Granlund, Markstrom Lead the Way as Canucks Down Oilers in Pre-Season Finale

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Granlund, Markstrom Lead the Way as Canucks Down Oilers in Pre-Season Finale

Article excerpt

Canucks down Oilers in pre-season finale


VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Canucks know things are going to get a lot more difficult when the games start to matter.

And they weren't all that easy to begin with on Saturday night.

Markus Granlund had a goal and an assist, and Jacob Markstrom made 25 saves as the Canucks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in the pre-season finale for both clubs.

The high-flying Oilers open their 2017-18 schedule Wednesday at home against the Calgary Flames, but the Canucks don't get started until next Saturday in a rematch with Edmonton at Rogers Arena.

Vancouver beat a roster that included most of the Oilers' NHLers after doing the same in Thursday's 3-1 victory over the Flames, but Canucks rookie head coach Travis Green said the real test for a club looking to rebuild after finishing 29th last season begins next weekend.

"I'm not sitting up here saying we just outplayed a team really bad and won," he said. "We found a way to win a hockey game. Our goalie played well.

"They've got a really good team that's going to get better when the regular season starts. You can count on it."

Jake Virtanen and Loui Eriksson had the other goals for Vancouver.

Leon Draisaitl scored twice for Edmonton, while Connor McDavid had two assists. Cam Talbot stopped 14 shots in taking the loss.

The Oilers finished 1 for 8 on the power play, and surrendered the winning goal on a Canucks man advantage that wound up 1 for 4.

"Definitely need to sharpen up the power play and the penalty kill and get a little bit stronger in the (defensive) zone," said McDavid. "But offensively I thought we had our chances, just have to bear down."

While both teams iced veteran lineups, Vancouver was minus two-thirds of its second line with Bo Horvat (upper body) and Sven Baertschi (illness).

After the Canucks hit the post on a power play early in the second period, the Oilers struck on a two-man advantage at 7:48, with Draisaitl snapping a shot past Markstrom for his second of night to make it 2-1 off a feed from McDavid.

But Vancouver would get that one back 21 seconds later while still down a man when Granlund stripped Edmonton defenceman Matt Benning at the offensive blue line and beat Talbot on a breakaway. …

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