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Vrbata's power play goals help lift Canucks over Oilers in 5-4 win with a wild finish

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We're still waiting for our heart rate to return to a healthy level after the Oilers nearly tied things up in the game's final seconds.

Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

If you needed a little spice for your Wednesday night, the Canucks and Oilers game was the place to be. Vancouver outgunned Edmonton in a 5-4 win that featured a wild finish.

Radim Vrbata delivered a pair of power play goals while Ryan Miller improved to 11-0-0 against the Oilers. Miller had another rough night in net, allowing four goals on 32 shots, but fortunately the Canucks' offense came ready to play, providing just enough offense to improve to 13-6-0 on the year.

1st Period

Vancouver's second line got off to a good start, delivering a flurry of shots on net against Ben Scrivens to set the tone and put Scrivens to work early while Ryan Miller was able to sit back and watch as the Oilers struggled to generate much offense early on.

It's no secret that the Oilers and Canucks don't like each other as just over two minutes into the game, Derek Dorsett dropped the gloves with Steven Pinizzotto as his jersey was tugged by the former Canuck. Pinizzotto was quickly taken down by Dorsett.

The Oilers got off to another slow start in the first period, not registering a shot until over five minutes into the game. Edmonton has been a team known for starting slow this year so far, and Wednesday night was no different.

The Canucks power play struggles continued in the first period as they came up empty on what was essentially a four-minute power play on consecutive penalties. Vancouver hadn't scored on their last 12 power plays coming into the game, and they continued to look sloppier than they had earlier in the year.

However, when Edmonton went to the power play after a goalie interference against Alex Burrows (served by Kevin Bieksa who dropped the gloves with Andrew Ference on the play), we were all treated to a miraculous sight. Alex Edler came up with possession of the puck and hit Jannik Hansen who had already broken free of the defense. Normally, we all know how this ends, right? Jannik Hansen gets the breakaway and can't deliver. But this time, Hansen came through and beat Scrivens with a delayed wrist shot to his glove side, giving the Canucks a 1-0 lead while shorthanded.

The Jannik Hansen breakaway shorty. I believe that falls under the category of "finish your drink," for those of you playing at home. Might even fall under the category of "finish your six pack."

Moments later, Dan Hamhuis nearly gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead before the goal was waived off. Hamhuis came into the slot and received a pass from Daniel Sedin who patiently waited for Hamhuis to skate into position. The goal was immediately waved off as it was ruled Alex Burrows bumped into Scrivens and interfered on the shot. It looked to be more of a love tap to me, but I'm probably a little partial to one side here.

Despite the goal being waved off, Ryan Miller and the Canucks held the Oilers scoreless in the opening period, allowing just four shots on goal.

2nd Period

Vancouver went to the power play for the third time of the night early in the 2nd period when Steven Pinizzotto was sent off for interference, despite thinking he was the one who drew the penalty. Right off the draw, every Oiler crashed towards the puck. Unfortunately for them, the puck trickled back to Radim Vrbata who blasted a slapshot from point blank range to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead. How wide open was Vrbata? This wide open:

Soon after, Pinizzotto would put Edmonton on the board with his first career NHL goal, beating Ryan Miller with a shot over his glove to bring the Oilers back within one.

Moments later, Zack Kassian had a great chance in all alone against Scrivens, but Kassian wasn't able to get the puck up over Scrivens, who kicked out his right pad to stop the shot and keep the game at 2-1.

Midway through the period, the Canucks would add to their lead thanks to a turnover. 22 attempted to deliver the puck up ice, but Nick Bonino was able to come up with possession at the blue line. Bonino found Higgins, who delivered a perfectly placed wrist shot to extend Vancouver's lead to two goals. The Oilers have struggled with controlling the puck this year, leading the NHL in turnovers.

The Oilers would strike right back in a near identical power play goal as Vancouver's from earlier. Teddy Purcell blasted a one-timer off the draw, scoring just two seconds into the power play. For what it's worth, the Canucks scored three seconds into their power play off the draw. Clearly, the Oilers are just a bunch of overachievers.

Just 11 seconds later, Edmonton would tie up the game as Boyd Gordon delivered a goal from an impossible angle. Gordon would help create the play with a hit against Stanton as the Canucks turned over the puck. In the blink of an eye, the game went from a 3-1 Canucks lead to a tie game.

Radim Vrbata continued to unleash his wrath on the power play late in the period, patiently skating in towards the top of the face-off circle and used a screen from Henrik Sedin to his advantage, delivering his second power play goal of the period. Vrbata's goal gave the Canucks a 4-3 lead heading into the final intermission, capping off a wild period that saw six combined goals.

3rd Period

The Oilers would head to the power play early in the 3rd period as Derek Dorsett was sent off for slashing. Midway through the power play, Alex Burrows was also sent off for slashing, giving the Oilers a 5-on-3 for 58 seconds. The Oilers would get a couple looks on the net, but Vancouver managed to kill off both penalties and hold their one goal lead. This would prove to be one of the game's biggest moments as the Canucks held the Oilers without a shot during the two-man advantage.

At 6:21, Andrew Ferrence scored his first goal in 16 games, blasting a slap shot from the point to tie the game at 4-4. It was clear the 2nd period shootout would extend into the 3rd period as well. Luckily, the Canucks were providing enough offense to keep themselves in the game, but Miller was having another rough night in net. Over the past four games, Miller has given up 16 goals.

The Oilers would get another chance to take the lead as Ryan Stanton was sent off for tripping midway through the period. The Canucks actually had the best chance of the advantage with a 2-on-1 rush with Higgins and Brad Richardson, who managed to get Scrivens on the ground. Unfortunately, Scrivens was able to keep his arm up to block the shot on net from Richardson.

Moments later, Yannick Weber would put the Canucks back out in front, tapping in a perfectly placed pass from Daniel Sedin, who waited just long enough for Weber to get in position in front of the net for the go-ahead tap-in goal that proved to be the eventual game-winner. Weber positioned himself perfectly at the top of the crease to be able to tap the puck up and over the left arm of Scrivens.

The Canucks delivered another wild finish to the game, something they seem to have a knack for this year. With just 10 seconds left, David Perron initially looked as if he had tied the game by knocking the puck in past Miller, but the goal was immediately waved off. Initially, it looked as if while Perron had kicked the puck in at first, he got his stick on the puck. After a video review however, it was kicked and then deflected off Miller into the net. No goal.

Miller had to come up with one last big save as Taylor Hall found himself with an open look at Miller, delivering a blistering slap shot on net. Miller came up with the clutch save as the Canucks hung on the defeat the Oilers yet again.

Next up for the Canucks

Vancouver is right back in action tomorrow night in Vancouver to take on the Anaheim Ducks. Oh, have you heard? It's Ryan Kesler's first time back in Vancouver since whining his way out of town. It'll likely be Eddie Lack in net for the Canucks, who stopped 28 of 29 shots against the Ducks back on November 9 to earn his first win of the year.