Canucks Blank Oilers 4-0 to Move Back Into First Place in Northwest

Rich Lam

Cory Schneider pitched his fourth shutout of the season, Derek Roy notched his first point as a Canuck, and Zack Kassian made us all laugh with a garbage time goal after a rough return.

The Canucks moved back into first place in the Northwest on Thursday night with a 4-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers arena. With the division lead, Vancouver moves up into third place in the Western Conference behind Chicago and Anaheim.

It was a feel-good night as the game also featured the annual Canucks for Kids Fund Telethon as wives and significant others of the players answered phone calls all day to raise money for a good cause. The game also marked the return of Pavel Bure who was greeted with a huge standing ovation from fans in attendance.

The Canucks came out of the gates looking good. Derek Roy made his lineup in the Canucks lineup on the second line along with Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen. Roy's second line looked strong early on, as Roy nearly came up with a turnover that would have left nothing but open ice between him and the net.

With the Canucks already on the power play, the Oilers were called for too many men on the ice to give Vancouver the two man advantage. Kevin Bieksa capitalized with a laser goal, his sixth of the year, to give the Canucks the 1-0 lead at 15:21 in the first period. The Oilers had trouble with centering passes as they were outshot by Vancouver 13-5 in the opening period.

The Sedins activated their twin magic in the second period as Daniel and Henrik showed patience with the puck. After a couple passes back and forth, Daniel found Henrik as he came around the net, tapping in the pass to extend the Canucks lead to 2-0 at 14:26. The goal was Henrik's 10th of the season. The Canucks outshot the Oilers again in the second period, holding a 22-12 advantage going into the final period.

At 6:47 in the third period, Roy picked up his first point as a Canuck in a 3-on-1 rush with a perfect cross-ice pass to Chris Higgins who found the back of the net for his 10th goal of the year. Roy had only been a Canuck for two and a half periods, but he had already seemed to find his niche centering the second line where he looked strong all night.

After a rather lackluster night on ice, Zack Kassian added the final goal just for good measure with four seconds to go, his sixth on the season. And boy was that toothless grin a beautiful sight to see at the end of a wonderful game for the Canucks.

Cory Schneider pitched is fourth shutout of the year and the eighth of his career, stopping 23 shots on the night. The Canucks went 1/5 on the power play, while the Oilers couldn't score on any of their four chances. Vancouver outshot Edmonton 28-23 on the night.

The Canucks are back at it on Saturday night as they welcome the Calgary Flames to Rogers Arena. The last time the two teams faced each other was on March 3 in Calgary where the Flames came away with a 4-2 win.

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