Edmonton, AB (SportsNetwork.com) - The final game of his career didn't include a point, but it did include a fond farewell as Ryan Smyth skated off the ice.
- Created on Sunday, 13 April 2014 01:24
The only mark the longtime Edmonton left wing had on the scoresheet was a roughing minor in the second period, but he did get to see the team he played for for much of his career get the win as the Oilers downed the Vancouver Canucks, 5-1.
Smyth's last shift on the ice, his 24th of the game, saw him finish out the contest and he took a standing ovation from the crowd, handshakes from the Canucks players and staff, who came back out on the ice, congratulations from his teammates and lastly, an embrace with his wife and kids on the ice before walking into the locker room for a final time.
"I soaked every moment of it in," said Smyth. "It was an awesome experience and something I will never forget for the rest of my life. I am proud to have worn this jersey, and every other jersey I've ever worn.
Selected sixth overall by the Oilers in the 1994 draft, Smyth played with the team until being traded to the Islanders in February of 2007 after the team was unable to come to terms with the forward on an extension.
He then split the next four seasons with the Avalanche and Kings before coming back to the Oilers in a trade in 2011.
The 38-year-old ranks fifth in franchise history with 296 goals, second in games played at 971 and tied with Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson for first in power-play goals with 126.
"These are the best fans in the world and they love their hockey, I tip my hat to them," said Smyth.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Will Acton each posted a goal and an assist while Jeff Petry, Roman Horak and Jordan Eberle all scored for the Oilers (29-44-9), who finished dead last in the Western Conference and third worst, overall. Ben Scrivens stopped 40 shots.
Zack Kassian and Shawn Matthias each posted a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who have lost their last three. Jacob Markstrom gave up all five goals on 22 shots in the loss.
"We have too many breakdowns in front of our net," said Vancouver head coach John Tortorella. "The guys know what to do around the rest of the ice, but we just don't protect the middle and it's unacceptable."
Horak scored 2:14 into the game on a one-timer off a centering feed from Steven Pinizzotto, and Petry made it a 2-0 game at 13:17 of the first with a shot from the slot.
Acton lit the lamp at 2:14 of the second on a loose puck in the slot for a 3-0 lead, but the Canucks got on the board three minutes later when his dribble got past Scrivens.
Eberle's power-play goal at 16:06 gave the Oilers a 4-1 advantage going into the second intermission.
Nugent-Hopkins made it a 5-1 game just 1:35 into the third, while Kassian scored in the final seconds to account for the final score.
Smyth totaled 386 goals and 456 assists over 1,270 NHL games, adding 28 goals and 31 assists in 93 playoff games ... Edmonton went 16-22-3 at home this season ... Vancouver was 16-20-5 as the guests ... The Canucks close their season at home on Sunday versus Calgary ... Vancouver won three of the five games against Edmonton this season.
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