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GAME PREVIEW: Game 51/56 Edmonton Oilers @ Vancouver Canucks

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Oilers right back at it after clinching playoff berth last night

Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (31-17-2, 2nd in North) vs

Vancouver Canucks (19-24-3, 7th in North)

04 May 2021

Sportsnet West

8 PM MST

TV: CBC

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Nucks Misconduct

PLAYOFFS!

The Edmonton Oilers clinched a playoff berth with their 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks last night. Connor McDavid enjoyed a four point night (2-2-4) in the win, while the Oilers also got goals from Dominik Kahun and Jesse Puljujärvi. Mikko Koskinen turned aside 20 saves to pick up his twelfth win of the season. The Oilers are headed to the playoffs, and it looks like they’ll face one of the Jets or Canadiens in the first round. They’ve got the Canucks once more tonight, and they’ve got their best player chasing a milestone in the process. Can the Oilers handle Vancouver once more?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

I’m trying to play the best that I can and make sure my game is where it needs to be heading into the playoffs...“It’s a number. If I get [100 points], great, if not, it’s not the end of the world either. The most important thing is making sure our team is gearing up for the playoffs and [firing] on all cylinders when we get there.

Source

That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid on possibly reaching 100 points on the season.

A four point night (2-2-4) puts Connor McDavid at 91 points on the season. The Oilers captain has just nine points to go to hit triple digits, there are six games remaining in the season. You never count your chicks before they’re hatched, but it really is starting to feel like “when” in stead of “if” it happens.

THE CANUCKS ARE SAYING

“We’re not playing bad; we’re doing good things, but we need to do more if we want to win against these teams in the playoffs...They’re playoff-ready. These games are hard. We take a lot of pride in playing well, competing in these games, and we had our looks. We had our chances, but just a couple mistakes obviously cost us.”

Source

That’s Canucks forward J.T. Miller on his club coming up short in last night’s game.

Miller had a goal and an assist last night. The Canucks are 3-5 since returning to play after missing nearly three weeks due to Covid.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • LUCKY 13: That’s Jesse Puljujärvi’s thirteenth goal of the season. This one comes on a nice little pass from Connor McDavid, who would earn his first of four points on the night. It’s nice when you can be part of the process setting up a goal and then be the one to score it.
  • THE ROAD TO 100: McDavid needs nine points for triple digits. Six games seems like forever when you’ve already got 91 points in 50 games, there’s reason to believe he could have it cinched up in the next three games. He keeps putting these four point efforts in, and 105 points might not be out of the question.
  • Tippett got Tyler Ennis back into the lineup last night, he and Ryan McLeod seem to mesh well. Ennis hadn’t played since April 10th, and is at worst a good bottom six left wing. Ennis had two shots in under 11 minutes of play, the Oilers should keep him in the lineup over other options like Devin Shore.
  • Oilers’ power play only got one kick at the can last night, but when you score four goals plus an empty netter, it doesn’t so much matter.
  • NET GAINS: Switch ‘em up from last night. Mike Smith will be in net for the Oilers tonight (18-6-2, .924 SV% / 2.30 GAA / 3 SO), while the Canucks will give Thatcher Demko (12-15-1, .913 SV% / 2.88 GAA / 1 SO) the nod.
  • CATCHING THE LEAFS? Hey, it might happen. Oilers have two games in hand over Toronto, but are eight points out of first. The Oilers would probably need to go 5-1 or better over their remaning six games to have a chance.