Vancouver Canucks defenceman Oscar Fantenberg (5) pushes Edmonton Oilers right wing Alex Chiasson (39) with his stick during first period NHL action in Vancouver on Monday, December, 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Canucks score 3 in third period in 4-2 victory over Edmonton

Rookie sensation Hughes nets winner for Vancouver

VANCOUVER — Quinn Hughes’s power-play goal proved to be the game winner as the Vancouver Canucks closed out their pre-Christmas schedule with a third-consecutive win. The Canucks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Monday night at Rogers Arena.

Tyler Motte, Bo Horvat and Loui Eriksson also scored for Vancouver (19-15-4), while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom replied for Edmonton (20-16-4).

Mikko Koskinen made 24 saves for Edmonton, while Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 shots in his eighth-straight start for the Canucks. Both teams’ power plays went 1 for 2.

Playing their fourth of a five-game holiday homestand, the Canucks opened the scoring for the fourth-straight game.

Motte lined up against Leon Draisaitl for an offensive-zone draw with one second remaining in slashing penalty to the Oilers’ Gaetan Haas. It took Motte just two seconds to drive forward and lift the loose puck over Koskinen’s glove for his first goal of the year at 11:15 of the first period.

Nugent-Hopkins replied with his seventh of the season with 4:20 left in the opening frame, driving into the slot before burying his shot on Markstrom’s stick side.

With Antoine Roussel serving an interference penalty early in the second period, the Oilers’ league-best road power play went to work.

After some strong puck movement, Klefbom put Edmonton ahead 2-1 with a laser from the right point that found its way through net-front traffic and past Markstrom on the blocker side. Connor McDavid and Draisaitl both assisted on the goal, their league-leading 62nd and 61st points of the year.

Later in the second, Roussel dropped the gloves with Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse at the end of a physical shift in the Edmonton zone.

Troy Stecher narrowly missed tying the game when he hit the post from close range with seven seconds left in the second. Then, early in the third, Tanner Pearson later hit the crossbar behind Koskinen.

At 4:12 of the third, the Canucks tied the game 2-2 on captain Horvat’s first goal on home ice this season. Video review confirmed that Horvat directed the puck past Koskinen with his right skate, but did not kick it in.

The Oilers were unable to capitalize on their second power play of the night when Tanner Pearson took a holding penalty at 7:53 of the third.

The Canucks regained the lead with 6:12 to play in regulation, when Hughes threaded through a slap shot from the blue line for this third of the year, while the Oilers were serving a penalty for too many men on the ice.

Eriksson closed out the scoring with his second of the season, into an empty net with 14 seconds left.

READ MORE: Potent power play pushes Canucks to 4-1 win over Penguins

Vancouver’s last three-game winning streak came in October. The Canucks went 4-0-0 between Oct. 9-17.

Monday’s game concluded the season series between these two Pacific Division rivals, with each team winning two games.

NOTES: Alex Edler returned to the Vancouver lineup after missing 10 games with an upper-body injury. To make room for him, Jordie Benn was scratched for the first time as a Canuck. Thatcher Demko backed up Markstrom after missing the last six games with a concussion. The Canucks are now 13-3-0 this season when they score the first goal. The Oilers will host the Calgary Flames when they resume play on Friday, while the Canucks will conclude their five-game homestand against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Carol Schram, The Canadian Press

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