December 18, 2008 / 7:17 AM / 10 years ago

Canucks score early to beat Oilers 4-2

Vancouver Canucks' Ryan Kesler (L) celebrates with team goalie Curtis Sanford after winning their NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers in Vancouver, British Columbia December 17, 2008. REUTERS/Andy Clark

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The Vancouver Canucks scored three goals in the second period to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Wednesday and stay top of the Northwest Division.

Left wing Daniel Sedin recorded two goals and one assist and Ryan Kesler added an early score as the Canucks avenged a 3-0 loss to the Oilers on Saturday.

Vancouver improved to 18-11-3 and kept pace with the co-division-leading Calgary Flames, who beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in overtime.

The last-place Oilers (14-14-2) made a strong push when Sam Gagner cut the deficit to 3-2 on a power play goal with 1:29 remaining.

Jannik Hansen answered with an empty net score for the Canucks seconds later to put the game out of reach.

Vancouver goalie Curtis Sanford had 22 saves in his start for Robert Luongo, who is battling a groin injury.

Sanford was in line for a shutout heading into the third period before Dustin Penner put Edmonton on the board with an unassisted goal 2:32 into the third.

The Canucks retired the No. 16 jersey of Trevor Linden prior to the contest. Linden spent the majority of his 19-year career with the Canucks and compiled 375 goals and 492 assists before retiring last season.

Vancouver is still awaiting for a decision from 37-year-old Mats Sundin, who is weighing contract offers from the Canucks as well as New York Rangers.

Writing by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Ossian Shine

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