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Captain Bo Horvat has 4 points to lead Canucks to 5-2 road win over Oilers

Vancouver heads into NHL Christmas break on a high note
Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat, centre, is chased by Edmonton Oilers defenceman Markus Niemelainen, left, and forward Mattias Janmark during first period NHL hockey action in Edmonton, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Bo Horvat had two goals and two assists and J.T. Miller had a pair of goals as the Vancouver Canucks headed into the Christmas holiday break on a high note with a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.

Ilya Mikheyev also scored for the Canucks (15-15-3) who have won two in a row.

Derek Ryan and Connor McDavid responded with goals for the Oilers (18-15-2) who have lost four of their last five.

The Oilers opened the scoring midway through the first period when Warren Foegele made a long pass to spring Ryan on a clear breakaway and he was able to wait for Canucks goalie Collin Delia to go down and deposit his fifth of the season into the net.

Edmonton made it 2-1 with just 4.1 seconds remaining in the opening frame after Leon Draisaitl dug a puck out and sent a backhand pass across to Zach Hyman, who then fed it through the crease to McDavid for his league-leading 30th goal of the NHL season.

McDavid extended his point streak to 15 games with the goal. It is the third time the Oilers captain has had a 15-game point streak, recording 17- and 15-game point streaks last season.

Vancouver got a bizarre goal just 41 seconds into the second period as a shot by Miller deflected high into the air off of Edmonton goalie Stuart Skinner and then hit his back and caromed into the net.

Delia came up big midway through the second period with a short-handed breakaway stop on Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

The Canucks tied the game on the power play with 1:27 remaining in the middle period when Miller was able to deposit his own rebound past Skinner in tight for his second of the game and 13th of the season.

Vancouver took the lead with 7:34 left to play in the third as a shot from Tyler Myers came off the back boards and to Horvat at the side of the net and he was able to swat it in.

The Canucks basically put the game away with 2:41 remaining as Horvat battled to send a puck to Mikheyev, who snapped home his 11th goal of the season.

Horvat then steered his second goal and 24th of the campaign into an empty net.

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Canadian men’s national soccer team star and Edmonton native Alphonso Davies was back home from the recent World Cup and made a ceremonial faceoff. … Nugent-Hopkins tied Jari Kurri for the seventh most games played in an Oiler uniform. … Canucks forward Elias Pettersson was coming off a triumphant return from missing six games with an illness, recording five points and the shootout winner in a 6-5 come-from-behind win over the Seattle Kraken on Thursday and had two assists against the Oilers. … Spencer Martin got the start on Thursday against Seattle, so Delia got the call against the Oilers. Martin had started eight consecutive games since usual Canucks starter Thatcher Demko sustained a lower-body injury on Dec. 1 against the Florida Panthers. … Also out for Vancouver were Tanner Pearson (hand) and Tucker Poolman (undisclosed). … Missing with injuries for Edmonton were Evander Kane (wrist) and Philip Broberg (undisclosed). Oilers forward Ryan McLeod returned after missing 13 games with an ankle injury.


Both teams are off for the holiday break, returning to action on Dec. 27.

The Canucks will play host to the San Jose Sharks, while the Oilers will head to Calgary to face the Flames, the final meeting between the two bitter rivals this season.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

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