Tale of the Tape: Canucks vs. Oilers (2.4.13)
Tonight’s game is presented by Charter Bus Lines of British Columbia.
|Team Record: 4-2-2
Last Game: 2-1 SO/W vs Chicago (FEB.01.13)
Season Series: 0-0-1
Last Meeting: 2-3 SO/L (JAN.20.13)
|Team Record: 4-3-1
Last Game: 1-3 L at Colorado (FEB.02.13)
Season Series: 1-0-0
Last Meeting: 3-2 SO/W (JAN.20.13)
The Set Up
The Canucks (4-2-2) hit the road in search for their third straight win tonight when they visit the Rexall Place in Edmonton to do battle with the Oilers (4-3-1).
What You Need to Know
- The Canucks are looking to string together three straight wins for the first time this season.
- Vancouver is coming off a sweep of their two-game home stand that saw them beat the Avs and Blackhawks. They're playing the first of two straight on the road beginning tonight in Edmonton and finishing up on Thursday in Minnesota.
- Edmonton is coming off a three-game road trip that saw them earn three of a possible six points (1-1-1). They finished the trip winless in their last two games, including falling 3-1 to the Avs on Saturday in the finale.
- Tonight is the second of five meetings between the Canucks and Oilers. Their first meeting took place at Rogers Arena back on January 20 ñ a game that saw the Canucks blow a two-goal to lose 3-2 in a shootout.
- Canucks G Roberto Luongo made 30 saves on 32 shots through regulation and overtime of their shootout loss to the Oilers back on January 20. He'll get his fourth straight start tonight.
- The Oilers have won two in a row on home ice. Tonight marks the first game of a short two-game home stand for them.
- Despite their shootout loss to the Oilers back on January 20, the Canucks are unbeaten in regulation versus Edmonton in their last seven straight meetings (5-0-2).
- Canucks D Alex Edler has quietly put together a three-game point streak (1-2-3). Canucks F Zack Kassian has not-so-quietly put together a three-game point streak as well (2-1-3).
- Oilers F Sam Gagner brings a team-leading eight-game point streak (3-6-9) into tonight's contest. Rookie F Nail Yakupov is riding a four-game point streak (3-1-4).
- Speaking of Yakupov, he has five goals after just eight games played for Edmonton. To put that in perspective, F Taylor Hall needed 21 games in his rookie season to get to five goals while F Jordan Eberle took 25 games in his rookie campaign to reach five goals. F Ryan-Nugent Hopkins got to the five-goal mark in seven games last year in his rookie season.
Follow the Action
Tonight's game faces off at 6:30 pm PT and can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific. It is also available on RDS2 for French-language viewers. Listen live on The TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or online at teamradio.ca.
Those away from a TV or radio can follow @CanucksGame on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.
Keys to the Game
The Canucks Win If...
- They hold a third period lead. The Canucks were within a Chicago shootout marker on Friday of failing to secure two full points for the third time this season despite holding a lead in the final period of play. They've already squandered a third period lead earlier this season in a shootout loss to the Oilers. That habit must be squashed sooner rather than later.
- Their power play does something...anything! Vancouver's PP has now clicked just once on 19 opportunities over the last four games and even failed to connect on a 40-second two-man advantage last game out. They were 0-for-5 against the Oilers in their first meeting this season.
- The penalty kill stays stingy. For the first time this season Vancouver's power play has gone back-to-back games without giving up a power play goal. That trends needs to continue against one of the league's top power plays. Edmonton went 1-for-4 against Vancouver back on January 20.
The Oilers Win If...
- They avoid the first game back letdown. The first game back on home ice after a lengthy road trip is always tough and Edmonton will need to be sharp early.
- They get their power play back in order. Edmonton began the season scoring at least one power play goal in six straight games but they've gone back-to-back outings without a PP marker (0-for-6).
- Nail hits the net. Edmonton's rookie sensation Nail Yakupov has five goals on 17 shots this season ñ a whopping 29.4 percent shooting percentage. He had just one shot against the Canucks last time out.
Ones to Watch
After reaching a milestone marker his last game when he suited up in his 900th career NHL contest, Henrik Sedin will now turn his full attention towards another major accomplishment as he looks to inch closer towards becoming the Canucks' all-time points leader.
Henrik's pursuit of that goal has stalled somewhat over the last week and a half due to a recent three-game point drought but he managed to bump that mini-slump on Friday by drawing an assist on Alex Edler's first period marker. He comes into tonight's game with 752 career points - still five points shy of surpassing Markus Naslund's franchise record of 756 points.
The Canucks' captain has one assist against the Oilers so far in the season series after one game played. In 70 career games versus Edmonton, he has amassed 15 goals and 66 points.
It certainly has not taken long for rookie Nail Yakupov to endear himself to Oilers fans even though some of his antics might have drawn some criticisms from around the league.
There won't be many critics of him in Edmonton if he continues his torrid scoring pace. The 2012 first overall pick leads the team with five goals, including three on the power play, and has a four-game point streak coming into tonight's contest.
The 19-year-old Yakupov, who played two years of junior hockey with the OHL's Sarnia Sting before beginning this season in the KHL with the Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, has only failed to record a point in two of his first eight NHL career games, one of those being in his NHL debut against the Canucks back on January 20.
Game Notes on Canucks.com are written by Daniel Fung. Follow him on Twitter @daniel_fung or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.