Game 2: Canucks vs. Oilers (10.5.13)
John Tortorella will look for his first win behind the Canucks' bench while his Oilers counterpart, Dallas Eakins, will be trying to do the same when the two teams clash in Vancouver's home opener at Rogers Arena tonight.
The Torts era didn't exactly get off to a strong start after the Canucks dropped a 4-1 decision on Thursday in their season opener in San Jose. The same can be said in Edmonton after Eakins' new squad had their Tuesday home opener spoiled by the Winnipeg Jets, who tallied three unanswered goals to rally from a 4-2 deficit and stun the Oilers by knocking them off 5-4.
Don't be surprised if this game turns nasty in response to what happened in the final pre-season meeting between the clubs - a game that saw Dale Weise connect with Taylor Hall on a high hit and Zack Kassian break Sam Gagner's jaw with an errant high-stick. Canucks forward Alex Burrows is questionable tonight after missing yesterday's practice with a suspected lower-body injury while Burnaby-native Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder surgery) will sit out one more contest for Edmonton before returning to the lineup on Monday against New Jersey. Devan Dubnyk starts for the Oilers while Roberto Luongo will likely get the call for the Canucks.
Puck drop at 7 pm PT - Live on CBC, The TEAM 1040, or online at teamradio.ca.
Keys to the Game
Get to Dubnyk early. The Edmonton netminder can't be running high on confidence after being shelled five times on opening night and allowing a pair of late markers in his last outing. That being said, Roberto Luongo might also be a bit jittery as well after giving up two late goals in San Jose.
Stay out of the box. You won't win too many games when you're busy killing penalties all night as the Canucks were on Thursday. The Oilers, meanwhile, are off to a strong start as far as their power play is concerned scoring twice on five opportunities on their opening night.
David Perron starts producing. The newest Oiler was a goal-scoring machine in pre-season tallying five times in four games but was shut out on opening night. Perron has a history of putting up points against the Canucks amassing four goals and 11 points in 17 career head-to-head meetings.
By the Numbers
Wins for the Oilers over the Canucks in the five-game season series last year.
Head coaches in the last five seasons in Edmonton. Dallas Eakins is the latest to join the merry-go-round.
Straight losses for the Canucks dating back to last season (regular season + playoffs).
Captains in Oilers' team history. Ex-Bruin defenceman Andrew Ference is the latest to wear the 'C' for Edmonton.
Times the Canucks will appear on CBC this season. They were 4-4-0 last year on CBC.
Number of blocked shots for the Canucks on Thursday in San Jose. Their season-high last year was 21.