Torres's hat trick pushes Canucks past Oilers
Rexall Place, Edmonton
Raffi Torres (VAN) — 3 goals
Andrew Cogliano (EDM) — 2 assists
Kevin Bieksa (VAN) — 3 assists
It was a night of firsts for the Vancouver Canucks.
The team got their first road victory of the NHL season. Kevin Bieksa collected his first point. And former Oiler Raffi Torres scored three times for his first career hat trick as the Canucks defeated Edmonton 4-3 on Tuesday at Rexall Place.
Torres, who entered the game with three goals, scored less than four minutes apart in the first period, and then got the game winner at 10:53 of the third to knock off his old team.
"Being a new guy on the team, anytime you can help out in any way possible it's good," Torres said. "I'm just trying to keep my game simple so it's nice to get rewarded."
Bieksa came in with no points to his name but found his stride with three assists, factoring in on each of Torres's markers.
Roberto Luongo, who recorded his 52nd career shutout Monday versus New Jersey, made 23 saves for his fourth win of the year.
Ryan Jones, Dustin Penner, and Gilbert Brule had goals and Andrew Cogliano added two assists for Edmonton.
Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 26 shots, losing for the sixth time this season.
After the loss, Edmonton (3-5-2) has just one win in their past eight games.
Daniel Sedin got things started 11 minutes into the first period. Henrik Sedin sent a slap pass that was redirected by his brother, beating Khabibulin high on his blocker side.
The Canucks (6-3-2) struck again 32 seconds later. Torres got his first goal of the game, grabbing the puck off the back boards and chopping it into the back of the net for a 2-0 Vancouver lead.
"[Torres] has been a real solid player for us," Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said. "He came into camp with a great attitude and with really good conditioning. He's been doing the right things for us on and off the ice. He had a real big game for us tonight."
The visitors continued to pour on the pressure late in the first. Torres got his second of the period at 15:13. The gritty forward tipped Bieksa's point shot, which rattled off the cross bar and dropped behind the goal line.
But the kids from Edmonton didn't go down without a spirited fight.
After falling behind in the first period, the youngsters in oil country remained poised. Penner got one back at 9:16 of the second. After Cogliano created a turnover behind the Canucks net, the bruising forward grabbed the loose puck and jammed a wrap-around past Luongo, making it 3-1.
Just under four minutes into the final frame, Edmonton's Jones netted his third goal of the season. On a furious forecheck by the fourth line, Zack Stortini created some havoc, spun around and fired a shot on net. His linemate was on the doorstep, taking a few whacks at the loose puck until it trickled through the goaltender, cutting the lead to one.
"You can't spot any team in the league three goals, or they're going to beat you," Jones said. "I don't think there's any doubt that if we played three periods like we did the last two we'd be laughing in here with two points."
Less than two minutes later, Cogliano rushed up the right boards, cut over the blue line and found Brule across the ice. The winger one-timed the perfect feed past Luongo to tie the game.
But the comeback was halted as Torres finalized his hat-trick midway through the period, fooling Khabibulin on a no-look backhander for the eventual game-winning goal.