Edmonton Oilers’ Jujhar Khaira (16) is checked by Vancouver Canucks’ Tyler Myers (57) during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Edmonton Oilers’ Jujhar Khaira (16) is checked by Vancouver Canucks’ Tyler Myers (57) during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Canucks power past playoff-bound Oilers 4-1 as NHL regular season winds down

Vancouver and Calgary will play final games as other teams begin post-season action

Matthew Highmore scored twice in the third period Saturday as the Vancouver Canucks topped the host Edmonton Oilers 4-1.

Travis Boyd and Bo Horvat also had goals for the Canucks (22-28-3), and J.T. Miller registered a pair of assists.

Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season midway through the first period.

Thatcher Demko had a big performance for Vancouver, stopping 31 shots, including a breakaway chance by Connor McDavid. Mikko Koskinen had 37 saves for Edmonton (35-19-2).

The result ended a two-game losing skid for the Canucks, who linger at the bottom of the North Division standings with three games left to play.

By the time the Canucks and Calgary Flames cap their regular seasons, the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins will be well into the first round of their playoff series.

Another bizarre anomaly in an NHL season with a COVID-19 backdrop is two teams’ regular seasons overlapping with other clubs’ playoff series.

Neither the Flames nor the Canucks will make the post-season, but they’re still squaring off Sunday in the first of three remaining games where the results will only count toward where the clubs rank in the entry draft lottery.

Every other NHL club will have concluded their regular seasons by the time Washington and Boston meet in Game 1 on Saturday.

With their final playoff tune-up complete, the Oilers will turn their attention to Wednesday’s first-round playoff series opener against the visiting Winnipeg Jets.

The Canucks broke the game open midway through the third period.

Highmore’s second goal of the afternoon came with 6:33 left to play. He sent a backhand shot towards the Edmonton net from the top of the slot and Koskinen fumbled with the puck before it dribbled over the goal line.

The goal, the Vancouver forward’s third of the season, sealed the score at 4-1.

An odd-man rush saw Highmore blast a shot up and over Koskinen’s glove 9:13 into the period. Just 16 seconds later, Boyd snapped a shot past the Edmonton netminder from the middle of the slot to make it 3-1.

The Canucks outshot the Oilers 17-5 in the final frame on Saturday.

McDavid had a prime chance to add to his NHL-leading 105 points in the third period when he picked up a Canucks turnover in the neutral zone and sped away for a breakaway.

The Oilers captain attempted to put a wrist shot in from the top of the crease but Demko made a blocker save.

The Canucks netminder kept the score tied at 1-1 with a stellar stop midway through the second period.

The Oilers were awarded their second power play of the game when Zack MacEwen hauled down Joakim Nygard. Alex Chiasson’s snapshot from the bottom of the slot nearly restored Edmonton’s lead, but Demko swept it off the goal line with his right pad.

Edmonton’s first power play of the afternoon didn’t go as planned. Vancouver’s J.T. Miller was called for holding 1:12 into the second period and 15 seconds later, the puck was in the back of the Edmonton net.

READ MORE: ‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

A shot by Leon Draisaitl went wide and was picked up by Tanner Pearson. He streaked up the ice and sent a backhanded pass across the top of the crease to Horvat, who popped it in to tie the game at 1-1.

It was the Canucks’ fifth short-handed goal of the season and Horvat’s 18th goal of the year.

Still stationed in the penalty box, Miller tapped his stick against the glass in appreciation.

Edmonton was 0 for 3 on the power play and Vancouver went 0 for 2.

Larsson opened the scoring 12:45 into the opening frame, blasting a slapshot past Demko from above the right faceoff circle.

McDavid and Draisaitl had assists to extend their point streaks to eight games. McDavid has 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) over the stretch and Draisaitl has 17 points (7-10).

Edmonton still won the 10-game season series with six victories over Vancouver.

The Canucks will host the Calgary Flames on Sunday, kicking off a three-game series that will close out the season for both sides.

Notes: Slater Koekkoek returned to the Oilers lineup after missing 20 games with a broken collarbone. … Canucks defenceman Jalen Chatfield turned 25 on Saturday.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanuckshockeyNHLVancouver

Just Posted

Tin Wis opening ceremony in 1993. (Submitted photo)
National Indigenous Peoples Day: Tin Wis, past, present and future

Tin Wis Tofino within Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations territory is a growing hub of economic development

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Tofino General Hospital Foundation board members Phyllis Banks, left, Camilla Thorogood, and Arlene McGinnis clutch a giant cheque presented by Coastal Community Credit Union branch manager Marc Salewski. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Tofino General Hospital Foundation presses VIHA for a new hospital

Ministry of Health says they are in the early stage of the planning process and there is no timeline

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read