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Canucks edge Oilers 3-1, closer to clinching Pacific Division title

Vancouver Canucks' goalie Casey DeSmith (29) makes the save on Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl (29) during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Saturday, April 13, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson Vancouver Canucks' goalie Casey DeSmith (29) makes the save on Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl (29) during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Saturday, April 13, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
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Casey DeSmith made 32 saves for the win as the Vancouver Canucks swept their season series with Edmonton, defeating the Oilers 3-1 in their fourth meeting of the season on Saturday.

Sam Lafferty, Pius Suter and Dakota Joshua scored for the Canucks (49-22-9) who all but guaranteed themselves first place in the Pacific Division, now sitting five points up on Edmonton, which still has an extremely slight chance with three games remaining to Vancouver's two.

Evander Kane replied for the Oilers (48-25-6) who lost their second game in a row. Edmonton was once again without captain Connor McDavid.

The Oilers had a solid start, outshooting the Canucks 12-4 at one point in the opening period before Stuart Skinner was called to make a huge point blank save on Ilya Mikheyev.

Vancouver continued to flip the script late in the first and was rewarded with a goal coming with just 16 seconds remaining as Lafferty had a clear lane to the net and blasted a shot stick-side that beat Skinner for his career-best 13th goal of the season. J.T. Miller picked up an assist to extend his points streak to 10 games.

The Canucks went up 2-0 with nine minutes to play in the second period as Tyler Myers sent a puck toward the net that was deftly deflected by Suter for his 14th.

Edmonton finally got one past DeSmith with 2:12 to play in the middle frame as Darnell Nurse threw a long shot on net that was deflected home by Kane for his 24th of the season.

The Oilers pushed hard to equal things up but a poorly-timed attempt to pull Skinner for an extra attacker allowed Joshua an easy empty-netter for his 17th.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2024.

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