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GAME PREVIEW: Game 50/56 Edmonton Oilers @ Vancouver Canucks

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Oilers meet Vancouver for the first time since March 13

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (29-17-2, 2nd in North) vs

Vancouver Canucks (19-23-3, 7th in North)

03 May 2021

Sportsnet West

8 PM MST

TV: CBC

Radio: 630 CHED

Nation Opponent: Nucks Misconduct

GOOD FOR 30

Leon Draisaitl had four assists, while Connor McDavid’s three point night help propel the Oilers to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. The win was Edmonton’s 30th of the year. The Oilers picked up a power play goal from Connor McDavid to get the party started in the first, they would double their score with a goal from Ethan Bear just minutes later. Mike Smth finished with 29 saves on 30 shots and the Oilers would add a couple of empty net goals to seal the deal.

Edmonton is on track to make the playoffs officially for just the second time since 2006 (third if you count last year’s play-in debacle). Can they get there a little more quickly by picking up some points tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

Personally, I want to continue to play good hockey, our group wants to continue to play good hockey...We want to go into the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs on a good note. Personally, it’s a number. Obviously, it’d be kind of different to be able to do it in a shortened season, but I’m not going to change anything. I’m just going to keep playing my game, and if I get there, I get there. And if not, whatever.

Source

That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid after his club’s 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

Another three point night for McDavid, it’s just another day for him. The game’s best player is 13 points away from 100 in a 56 game season.

THE CANUCKS ARE SAYING

We wanted to come up with at least a win on this road trip and it is disappointing...At the same time, we can’t dwell on it and just say we’re going to pack it in. We got to still come to the rink and be willing to play these last 11 games and play hard. I mean, we’re not out of it until we’re mathematically out of it, and as long as you still have a chance we’ve got to come to the rink every single day and play hard.

Source

That’s Canucks captain Bo Horvat after his club’s 5-1 loss to the Canucks on Saturday night.

Toronto is just cruising right now, and the Canucks finished their road trip at 0-4. They are 3-4 after missing nearly three weeks of play due to a Covid outbreak that began in March.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • It’s Connor McDavid’s world, and we’re just living in it. For his benefit and his benefit alone, I hope the Oilers are able to at least win a round in this year’s playoffs. For our benefit, I hope they can win three more rounds after that first one.
  • BOUCHARD: The Oilers and Canucks haven’t met in nearly two months, they’ll rekindle their relationship this week when they meet four times between now and Saturday. If ever there was a time to get Evan Bouchard into the lineup, a four-in-six sounds like a good time to get him in.
  • Jujhar Khaira is looking like he’ll be returning to the lineup sometime this week. It would be great to see Jujhar Khaira back in the lineup, but there’s plenty of concern after he suffered his second concussion in about a month just two weeks ago. Khaira has eleven points in 33 games so far this season.
  • Since Edmonton’s week off (the week they would’ve played Vancouver) in April, they’re averaging 3.43 goals a game. They’ll get plenty of opportunities against this Vancouver club to make that number look even nicer. Scoring three and a half per game is a good look heading into the playoffs, whether it’s against Winnipeg or Montréal.
  • ARROWS UP: Only the Hurricanes (27%) have a better power play than the Oilers right now (26.6). The Oilers were 1-for-2 in Saturday’s win over the Flames.
  • NET GAINS: Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen will likely split tonight and tomorrow, it’s likely Vancouver will do the same with Braden Holtby and Thatcher Demko. Both Smith and Koskinen have good showings in their in their last appearances, it’s in Edmonton’s best interest to get the goalie rotation going before the playoffs come in two weeks.
  • The Habs are chasing the Jets. Montréal’s just two points behind the Jets with a game in hand. Could the Habs be Edmonton’s round one opponent?

Set in for a week with the Canucks, enjoy McDavid’s chase to 100 points.

It all starts tonight.