Game 54: Canucks vs. Oilers (1.27.14)
If the Canucks wanted to test and see if last night's five-goal outburst in their 5-4 overtime win over the Coyotes was a one-off aberration or a sign of things to come, then there's no better time – and arguably no better opponent – than tonight to do so when they battle an Oilers team they've dominated so far in the season series. Vancouver has won all three games against Edmonton this season, out-scoring them by a combined 12-3, but still only managed to squeak by with a 2-1 win at Rexall Place when these teams met six nights ago.
The Oilers come into this game on a high note after soundly beating the Predators 5-1 last night – a win that snapped their six-game winless skid. Edmonton has not strung together consecutive victories since winning two in a row from December 23 to 27. Canucks forward Jordan Schroeder, fresh off a conditioning assignment with Utica (AHL), could make his return Vancouver's lineup tonight. He hasn't suited up for the Canucks since injuring his ankle way back on October 19. Eddie Lack could get the call between the pipes for Vancouver after Roberto Luongo picked up the win yesterday against Phoenix. Despite playing last night, the Oilers might opt to stick with the "hot hand" of Ben Scrivens in goal.
Puck drop at 7 pm PT - Live on Sportsnet Pacific, The TEAM 1040, or online at teamradio.ca.
Keys to the Game
Daniel joins the fun. The Canucks scored five times last night and the only thing their number one sniper contributed was a single shot and no points. Daniel has just one assist in his last seven outings and no goals in his last 12 games. At some point if the Canucks are to have continued success, they'll need him to get back on track.
Play to win early. Both teams come into tonight's game as tired teams having played last night, but the Oilers had to travel on top of everything else. If the Canucks come out ready and prepared to compete in the early going, it might just wear the Oilers down especially if Vancouver can put a few up on the scoreboard like yesterday.
The snipers show up. With the exception of Eberle scoring late in their head-to-head meeting six nights ago, Edmonton's supposed top stars – Hall, Gagner, Perron, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov – have been silent as far as goals are concerned. That can't continue if they want to post their first win of the season series.
By the Numbers
Career starts for Eddie Lack against the Oilers. Luongo has started all three games in the season series to date.
Save percentage for Ben Scrivens in two games vs. VAN this season (LA & EDM combined).
Goal differential for the Canucks in the season series vs. the Oilers (12 to 3).
Times this season the Canucks have scored four-or-more goals, including twice vs. Edmonton. VAN is 10-0-1 in those games.
Percentage of their games where the Oilers open the scoring in (17 of 54).
Percentage of their games where the Canucks open the scoring in (27 of 53).