VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- It took a while, but Dallas Eakins has finally posted back-to-back victories in his first season as coach of the Edmonton Oilers.
"It was a real good road game," said Eakins, enjoying a rare occasion to praise his forwards, defense and goaltender.
The Oilers earned their back-to-back victories after six consecutive losses, while the Canucks lost for the second time in three games. Edmonton also posted its first victory in four tries against Vancouver this season.
Eakins was especially grateful for the tight victory after the Oilers were blanked 4-0 in their last visit to Vancouver in December.
"We're slowly getting stronger and it's good for the group," Eakins said.
Jesse Joensuu's goal at 2:20 of the third period secured the victory before Perron completed his hat trick with an empty netter with just over a minute left.
"You don't want to give David Perron too much room out there," Eakins said. "He can hurt you quickly. He's a deadly shooter and he was able to get freed up a couple times tonight."
Perron has 22 goals on the season for the Oilers (17-32-6), offering a beacon of hope to a team likely to miss the playoffs and already looking to next year.
"We have to be able to look them straight in the eyes and tell [the Canucks] to go away in not always the nicest way," he said. "We need to be able to play with these guys in other years, and it starts right now. We need to set it up for next year.
"The last four or five games are the way we need to play and we are going to get a lot of points if we do that."
The loss spoiled a strong effort from Jordan Schroeder, who had both of Vancouver's goals. They were his first since March 21, 2013.
With just over four minutes remaining in the game, Edmonton goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov denied Schroeder a hat trick, stopping his shot from the slot. The Edmonton goaltender then laid on the loose puck and prevented Daniel Sedin from jamming it in as players from both teams crowded the crease.
Schroeder excelled in his first game since he was sidelined Oct. 19 with a fractured ankle. Before hurting his ankle, Schroeder broke a foot in the preseason and spent the offseason rehabilitating from shoulder surgery.
"Some hockey gods repaid me tonight," he said.
One night after scoring five goals in a victory against Phoenix, the Canucks' offensive struggles returned.
Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo lived up to his reputation as one of the Canucks' best players as both teams were playing the second games of back-to-back contests. Although it's customary for the starting goaltender to rest the second night, Luongo played his second game in two nights while Bryzgalov replaced Ben Scrivens following his first victory as an Oiler.
Luongo finished with 16 saves and Bryzgalov had 25. The Canucks were blanked on two power plays while the Oilers failed to score on three.
Perron put the Oilers ahead 2-1 at 17:34 of the first as he jammed in a loose puck from in front after Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis knocked it away from a driving Nail Yakupov. The goal came after yet another Canucks giveaway.
Schroeder drew the Canucks even at 2:39 of the second period as he put the puck in off Edmonton defenceman Corey Potter's skate. Joenssu gave the Oilers a 3-2 lead in the third period as he put in Ryan Smyth's pass from behind the net before Perron's empty netter gave Eakins a rare chance to celebrate back-to-back victories -- without getting too excited.
"We know we have a very long way to go," Eakins said.
Winger Dale Weise, who has two points in his past three games, was scratched as a result of Schroeder's return. ... Edmonton captain Andrew Ference was sidelined with a head injury sustained Sunday against Nashville. Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin remained sidelined with an upper-body problem. ... The Canucks wore dark green camouflage jerseys in the warmup in tribute to Canada's Armed Forces. Winger David Booth also wore a similar green camouflage baseball cap bearing a 1980s-era Canucks logo. Booth returned to the lineup after sitting out a victory against Phoenix as a healthy scratch Sunday. ... Joensuu is one game away from 100 for his career. ... Canucks coach John Tortorella missed the fourth game of his 15-day suspension for storming the Calgary Flames dressing room area Jan. 25.