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National Hockey League
Edmonton 3, Vancouver 2
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 8, 2017
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Gord Dwyer, Dean Morton
Linesmen: Ryan Gibbons, Bevan Mills
Attendance: 18865

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The last time the Edmonton Oilers earned 100 points in a season, they were led by a fellow named Wayne Gretzky and their current captain was not even born yet.

So Oilers coach Todd McLellan could particularly appreciate Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the second-to-last game of the NHL regular season for both teams.

The Oilers (46-26-9) posted their ninth win in 11 games as they cracked the 100-point barrier for the first time since 1986-87, when they posted 106. They managed 70 points last season.

Perhaps more importantly, Edmonton remained in contention for the Pacific Division title while clinching home-ice advantage for its first-round playoff series against San Jose or Calgary.

"Obviously our past wasn't where it needed to be for a number of years," said McLellan, who is in his second season with the team. "We felt last year we made a lot of strides, just got bit by the injury bug. It's hard to win games without your top players for any extended period of time. Knock on wood, we've been healthy for most of the season. The foundation work we did last year is paying off now."

Iiro Pakarinen's power-play goal proved to be the winner after the Canucks scored in the final minute.

Pakarinen gave the Oilers a 3-1 lead at 9:20 of the third as he put in Milan Lucic's rebound. After coming out of the penalty box, Lucic had a partial breakaway and got a shot away while holding off Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher. As Lucic followed through on the shot, his stick hit Stecher in the face and as he lay writhing on the ice in pain, the goal was scored.

Jordan Eberle and Mark Letestu also scored for the Oilers.

"It's a 100-point team in here," Letestu said. "There wasn't a lot of people that predicted that coming into the year. There's certainly progress but as we win, as we continue to reach these different levels, there are new possibilities. Now we're talking about (home-ice advantage in the playoffs) -- might be a chance to get first place. A lot of things are going well for us because we've won a lot of games recently."

Edmonton captain Connor McDavid earned an assist to extend his points streak to 13 games -- the longest in the NHL this season.

McDavid said the club's 100-point season was probably not expected, and suggested the Oilers have over-achieved.

"Given the past 10 years, I don't think our expectations were very high," he said. "We believed in ourselves in the locker room. We knew what we could do and what we were capable of. We put together a pretty good team. We feel good about that, but the work's definitely not over."

The Canucks (30-42-9), who were eliminated from the playoffs weeks ago, suffered their seventh straight loss and finished 18-17-6 at home.

Vancouver visits Edmonton on Sunday night in the final game of the NHL regular season.

"I thought we played well tonight," Canucks center Bo Horvat said. "The effort's been there. It's been one-or-two-goal games all the time. It's just unfortunate we couldn't put it all together tonight."

Rookie Brock Boeser, with his fourth goal in only seven career NHL games, and Alex Edler with his 300th career point, replied for the Canucks. Edler's goal came in the final minute with goaltender Ryan Miller pulled for an extra attacker.

Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin assisted on both goals.

Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot recorded 29 saves while Miller stopped 32 shots. The Oilers converted one of three power plays while the Canucks were good on one of two.

Miller lamented the Canucks' continued struggle on the penalty kill, which ranks among the worst in the league, after Letestu's power-play marker forced them to play catch-up unsuccessfully.

"It's tough to answer, considering we haven't been very good for a while," said Miller, when asked for a cause of his team's penalty-killing problem. "So we obviously didn't figure it out."

Eberle opened the scoring 1:01 into the second period. His shot ramped up Stecher's stick and went in over Miller's shoulder.

Boeser created a 1-1 tie at 16:36 of the second, firing in Sedin's goalmouth backhand pass during a power play.

Letestu put the Oilers ahead 2-1 on a power play at 3:04 of the third period as he deflected in McDavid's pass from the side boards during an Edmonton man-advantage situation. The power play extended from late in the second period when Vancouver's Reid Boucher took a double-minor for high-sticking Letestu.

The Oiler lost a tooth as a result of the incident -- but didn't mind.

"I'll always trade teeth for goals," Letestu said.

NOTES: Oilers G Cam Talbot made his NHL-leading 73rd start of the season. ... C Bo Horvat was chosen as Vancouver's most valuable player and most exciting player for 2016-17 as the Canucks played their final home game of the season before closing out their campaign Sunday in Edmonton. ... Oilers rising superstar Connor McDavid led the NHL in scoring at some point in all seven months of the season. He is poised to become the first player to win the Art Ross Trophy in his second NHL season since Pittsburgh Penguins C Sidney Crosby in 2006-07. ... Canucks W Sven Baertschi missed the game because of a neck injury suffered Thursday in Arizona. He will also miss Sunday's season finale in Edmonton. ... Vancouver's Alex Biega, usually a defenseman, played wing on the fourth line Saturday. He played as a forward periodically this season. ... Oilers F Leon Draisaitl (75 points) eclipsed the NHL mark for most points by a German player in a single season. He bettered Marco Sturm, who managed 59 with the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks in 2005-06. At the time, Sturm was in his eighth NHL campaign. Draisaitl is in his second full NHL season.
Top Game Performances
 
Edmonton   Vancouver
Jordan Eberle 1 Points Brock Boeser 1
Jordan Eberle 1 Goals Brock Boeser 1
Matt Benning 1 Assists Reid Boucher 1
Mark Letestu 1 Power Play Goals Brock Boeser 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Cam Talbot .935 Save Percentage Ryan Miller .914
Cam Talbot 29 Saves Ryan Miller 32
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Edmonton 35 3 1-2 2-3 11 27
Vancouver 31 2 1-3 1-2 9 26
Upcoming Games
  • Vancouver will play their next game on the road against Edmonton. The Canucks have a W/L % of .387 after a win and .360 after a loss.
  • Edmonton will play their next game at home against Vancouver. The Oilers have a W/L % of .622 after a win and .500 after a loss.