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Oilers @ Canucks Game 34 Preview

Oilers begin road trip with wily Vancouver

David Perron is averaging nearly a point per game this year.
David Perron is averaging nearly a point per game this year.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports



11-19-3, .758 p/g Ranks 18-10-5, 1.242 p/g
Western Conf: 14th Western Conf: 8th
27th P/G 11th
21st ST 4th
29th ES 13th
29th Goal 8th
Rogers Arena
The opposing view: Nucks Misconduct

Tickets - TiqIQ

Top Story:

  • Oilers drop the final game of their five game home stand by a score of 4-2 to the Bruins. David Perron scored both Oiler goals, giving the Sherbrooke native 14 on the year. Devan Dubnyk had a first period he'd like to soon forget, as he was yanked for Jason LaBarbera. Oilers had a solid second and third against the Bruins, but were unable to overcome the three goal, eighteen shot onslaught of the first period. Tonight, they attempt to find the win column against a Vancouver team that's on the playoff bubble.

The Oilers are saying:

"We just bababooeed it"

That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on the final power play of the game.

If the power play hasn't been an issue, it is now. Scoring on the man advantage hasn't been the issue (they're currently 12th in the league at a 19.2% success rate), it's more the fact they've allowed seven shorthanded goals in 33 games. Winnipeg has allowed five so far. Seven shorties in 33 games is worse than one SHG allowed every five games. If that trend continues, they're on pace to give up 15 or 16 shorthanded goals on the year, which is a lot more than the eight they gave up over the entire 2011-12 season.

The Opponent is saying:

"I'm sorry, I live under a rock"

That's Canucks coach John Tortorella confessing that he has no idea who Sarah McLachlan is. Tortorella did know of the song "Angel", which he knew was that sad song that was used in SPCA commercials. Baby steps.

Tortorella's Canucks are on a five game winning streak, their last a 2-0 shutout over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. Canucks goaltender Goaltender Eddie Lack picked up his first NHL shutout in his eighth career game. They've also got some Luongo guy on their team. The Sedins are once again leading Vancouver in scoring (surprise) as Henrik (8-21-29) leads brother Daniel (10-18-28) by a point.

Of note:

  • Don't be too surprised if Ilya Bryzgalov gets the go-ahead for tonight's game. He's been taking extra shots at practice, and all lines point in the right direction for him to get a start sooner than later.  UPDATE: Looks like Bryz will make the road trip, but he's not yet ready to start.  Dubnyk gets the go tonight.
  • Ryan Smyth sat out his second consecutive game last night with a wonky neck. Seeing as how Sweet Lou Gazdic punched Milan Lucic yesterday, it wouldn't surprise me if Gazdic punched his way into the lineup for the next half-dozen or so games.
  • DID YOU KNOW? David Perron's fourteenth goal gives him 27 points in 29 games, good for a tie at second on the Oilers with Taylor Hall. Only Jordan Eberle (30) has more. Should Perron do the unthinkable and lead the Oilers in scoring at the end of the year, he'd be the first player from Quebec to lead the team in scoring since Vincent Damphousse did in 1991-92. Damphousse had 89 points in 80 games 22 years ago (!)
  • Out for the Canucks - Alexandre Burrows (jaw), Jordan Schroeder (ankle), Alexander Edler (knee)
  • Out for the Oilers - playoffs. Well, not technically. If the Oilers need 95 points, all they have to do is finish 32-11-6. We got this.

Projected Lines & Pairings:

The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - Nail Yakupov

David Perron - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Jesse Joensuu - Mark Arcobello - Ales Hemsky

Luke Gazdic - Anton Lander - Ryan Jones

Anton Belov - Jeff Petry

Andrew Ference - Philip Larsen

Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz

Ilya Bryzgalov


The Vancouver Canucks

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen

Chris Higgins - Ryan Kesler - Mike Santorelli

David Booth - Brad Richardson - Zack Kassian

Jeremy Welsh - Zac Dalpe - Dale Weise

Ryan Stanton - Kevin Bieksa

Dan Hamhuis - Christopher Tanev

Andrew Alberts - Jason Garrison

Roberto Luongo