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Preview: Oilers @ Canucks Game 36

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Oilers look for a Boxing Day blowout of their own against a Canucks team who sits third in the Pacific Division

Justin Schultz scores his first goal of the season against Winnipeg on Monday.
Justin Schultz scores his first goal of the season against Winnipeg on Monday.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports


Edmonton

@

Vancouver
15-18-2, 32 points, 1.00 p/g Ranks 13-14-9, 35 points, 1.161 p/g
Pacific Division - 6th Pacific Division - 3rd
27th P/G 23rd
18th ST 22nd
15th S/G 22nd
26th Goal 23rd
8 PM MDT
TV - CBC
Radio - 630 CHED
Rogers Arena
The opposing view: Nucks Misconduct

When A Win Is A Win

Ted Purcell scored two goals, and Cam Talbot turned aside 44 of 45 shots from the Winnipeg Jets en route to a 3-1 Oilers victory on Monday.   Purcell got Edmonton on the board midway through the first when his shot was tipped by Jets defender Mark Stuart past goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.  Less than two minutes later, Purcell scored his eighth of the season on a one-timer from Leon Draisaitl.  I really thought I was seeing things when Justin Schultz made it 3-0 midway through the second period.  The Jets got one back when Bryan Little found the net with eight minutes remaining in the second, but the rest of the night belonged to Cam Talbot, who turned aside almost everything in sight.  Edmonton had just 21 shots, but it was enough to skate into the holiday break with a victory.

Tonight, the Oilers try to gain some ground against a Canucks team who currently sits in the third spot in the Pacific Division.  Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"Because (Nilsson) had that run doesn't mean that the group in the room or the coaching staff or anybody else didn't believe in Cam...We just ran a hot goalie for a while, and maybe we'll do that again because obviously Cam played tremendous."

Source

That's Oilers head coach Todd McLellen on his streaky goaltenders.

Talbot's got the ball right now.  In his last five starts, he's pulling a .921 SV% and is 2-2-1 over that span.

The opponents are saying

"We have a good team.  I thought we played well...Our 5-on-5 game was a good game tonight. The guys really sold out late in the third to block some huge shots.  Markstrom played well."

Source
That's Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins on Vancouver's 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

The Canucks occupy the third spot in the Pacific Division, an elusive position that the Oilers are chasing along with three other teams.  Edmonton could help push the pegs a little bit by taking two points tonight in Vancouver.

Have some of this

  • PACIFIC WATCH - The Pacific Division is a mess.  90 points (or less!) might get a team into the second season.  The Canucks have 35 points in 36 games, and the Oilers are three points away.
  • I've got Cam Talbot (5-9-1, .904 SV% / 3.00 GAA) going for the Oilers tonight.  Ryan Miller (10-11-6, .909 SV% / 2.74 GAA) could go for the Canucks, they may opt for Jacob Markstrom (2-3-3, .917 SV% / 2.52 GAA) who picked up the W on Tuesday against Tampa.
  • Connor McDavid (clavicle), Andrew Ference (undisclosed),  Nail Yakupov (ankle), Oscar Klefbom (hand),  Rob Klinkhammer (ankle) and Brandon Davidson (ribs) are out for the Oilers.  For the Canucks, forward Chris Higgins (undisclosed), forward Brandon Sutter (abdomen), defenceman Luca Sbisa (hand) and Dan Hamhuis (face) will be out of the lineup.