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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks

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Oilers can come to within five points of a wild card spot with a victory tonight.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Ottawa Senators
Everybody loves it when you score a goal.
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (28-30-7) (5th, Pacific)

Vancouver Canucks 28—30-9) (6th, Pacific)

7 PM MST

Rogers Place

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Nucks Misconduct

MAKING IT WORK

The Oilers came back from a 3-1 deficit against the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night. It all happened in about four minutes of the second period. Zack Kassian scored his eleventh of the season with three and a half minutes remaining in the second period. Darnell Nurse picked up his eighth of the season with just over a minute to go, and Kyle Brodziak got credit for his fifth of the year with five seconds left in the period. Leon Draisaitl scored his 41st goal of the season shorthanded in the first period. The Oilers win their third straight game, this time by a 4-3 margin. They’re not going away quietly.

Edmonton begins a four game homestand tonight as they host the Vancouver Canucks. A win tonight will push the Oilers to within five points of the second wild card berth. Can they keep pace with a fourth straight win?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

“We said it before, a lot of people are against us...We know that, but we’re not going to stop until it’s over or we’re in. Another gutsy effort, really good road trip from the whole group. We’ve got to keep this up.”

Source

That’s Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on his club’s 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Buffalo on Monday.

Good things happen when you score goals. I don’t know if the Oilers have a long run in them right now, but not rolling over and dying is sure a lot more fun to watch than getting housed by Ottawa or Buffalo.

The Canucks are saying

“That one feels good...The relentlessness and the character in this room that we battled back against a team like that, it’s not easy to do and I thought we played a heck of a 60 minutes tonight.”

That’s Canucks centre Bo Horvat after Vancouver’s 3-2 OT win over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night.

The Oilers might have an opportunity playing Vancouver on the tail end of a back-to-back, but the Canucks have to be feeling all sorts of high with an OT victory over a pretty solid Eastern club.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • SCOREBOARD WATCHING: The Oilers are still keeping it interesting enough to watch. They’ve still got to win about twelve more games in order to have a realistic shot at a postseason appearance, so I’m not getting too hyped up just yet. But, let’s not just toss a three game win streak out the window, either. They’ve got to make it four in a row, and then a lot more.
  • SECONDARY SCORING: Aside from Neon Leon, the Oilers got goals from Darnell Nurse, Kyle Brodziak and Zack Kassian on Monday night. They’re going to need more of that through the end of the season.
  • ON THE ROAD TO 50? Leon Draisaitl scored his 41th goal in Buffalo on Monday night. That’s nine to go for #29, he’s got 16 games to do it in.
  • PUCKS ON NET: The Canucks are ranked a meagre 27th overall in goals scored per game (2.69 GPG). They’re allowing 3.04 GPG, good for 17th in the league. The Oilers have won three straight, but they’re still hanging around 23rd in the league along with the New York Rangers at 2.79 GPG. They’re 24th in goals against, averaging 3.24 allowed per game.
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen looks for his 20th win of the season tonight (19-15-4, .911 SV% / 2.77 GAA / 4 SO). The Canucks are likely to counter with Jacob Markstron (24-19-8, .915 SV / 1 SO)
  • SICK BAY: Jujhar Khaira (undisclosed) is day-to-day for the Oilers. The Canucks are without defenceman Ben Hutton (foot), Ryan Spooner (groin), and Brandon Sutter (hernia).