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GAME PREVIEW: Game 2/56 - Vancouver Canucks @ Edmonton Oilers

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Oilers look to even things up after dropping first game of season 5-3

Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers
The Canucks picked up two points in game one. Can the Oilers even things up tonight?
Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (0-1-0, 7th, North) vs

Vancouver Canucks (1-0-0 1st, North)

14 January 2021

Rogers Place

7 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet 1, Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponents: Nucks Misconduct

TOO MANY COOKS

Brock Boeser scored twice for the Vancouver Canucks in the third period to help propel them to a 5-3 victory over the Oilers in both clubs’ 2021 season debut. The Oilers were forced to play catch-up from early on, but were never able to get solid footing. The Oilers had goals from Kailer Yamamoto, Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson, but an 0/4 result on the power play didn’t do them any favours. The Oilers will need to tighten up on defence and will need a better performance in net in order to change their fortunes tonight as they host Vancouver for the tail end of a double-header.

Can the Oilers get it straightened out tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“I think it just comes down to us, a lot of those goals are mistakes by us...They’re all correctable and once we do that, we’ll be good. It’s the first game. We haven’t played in a few months. It’s going to take a little bit of time”

Source

That’s Kailer Yamamoto on his club’s performance last night in a 5-3 loss to Vancouver

These mistakes will correct themselves, says Yamamoto. I hope he’s right, because there were a handful of moments last night that the defence looked like the club was still in the Chicago series. Kailer Yamamoto scored for the Oilers, he can keep that up as long as he’d like.

THE CANUCKS ARE SAYING

“I’m really happy with our game. It was a good start to our season,...I like how we responded in certain parts of the game. Obviously when they scored, we bounced back. It was a nice win”

Source

Darnell Nurse would help pull the Oilers back to a 2-2- tie just seconds into the third period. Less than two minutes later, Adam Gaudette would put the Canucks on top for good. Vancouver never trailed in the game, and it’s a good way to deflate the tires of your opposition when you score almost immediately after they do.

OILER LINES FOR TONIGHT

Once they’re out, they’ll go here. I’d expect a new face or two in the bottom six; the fourth line got caved most of the night.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

Some hot, some not.

  • SLATER KOEKKOEK: Koekkoek made me forget all about Kris Russell, and he might make you forget all about Kris Russell too. Koekkoek played the fourth most out of all Oiler defencemen last night, he had a shot on goal and a couple of blocks. And, he can pass the puck! Bar’s low, but I like what I’ve seen so far. Oilers are going to need it.
  • Edmonton is going to need their second line to keep on clicking. The trio combined for a goal and two assists. In the rare event the first line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian is kept off the board (like last night), the second line’s got to be your go-to. Yamamoto outworked Canucks defenceman Olli Juolevi, picked his pocket and got rewarded with a goal that not even a sprawling Tyler Myers could stop.
  • You take the good with the bad sometimes. Adam Larsson scored a goal and broke up a two-on-one, but this is probably going to be in his mind for a minute.
  • NET GAINS: Here’s where things get interesting, and it’s only game 2. The Oilers play the Canadiens on Saturday, so you’d expect Mike Smith to get at least one of those starts. I’d wager we see Smith tonight and Koskinen on Saturday. For the Canucks, expect to see Thatcher Demko after Braden Holtby turned aside 28 of 31 shots to pick up his first win of the year.
  • SCRATCHES: James Neal and Gaetan Haas are out for the Oilers today, while Jordie Benn and J.T. Miller are once again out for the Canucks.