NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 13th
(All times eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (16-10-3) at Edmonton Oilers (13-12-2), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks will bring their season-long road
trip to a close tonight, when they visit the Edmonton Oilers and Rexall Place.
The Canucks play their seventh straight as the visiting club tonight, and have
won just twice so far on the swing (2-3-1). However, that includes a 3-1
victory in Nashville on Tuesday, the last time they hit the ice.
Alexander Edler notched the game-winner early in the third period, with Daniel
Sedin and Kevin Bieksa both getting assists to stretch point streaks to five
games. Sedin has a goal and five assists on his run, with Bieksa posting two
goals and three helpers.
Pavol Demitra and Alex Burrows also tallied for the Canucks, who have won two
of three after a four-game losing streak. Curtis Sanford made 20 saves for the
win, improving Vancouver to 9-7-2 on the road this year.
Sanford should be in net for tonight's game as injured netminder Roberto
Luongo inches closer to his return. Luongo hasn't played since November 22,
when he suffered a strained left groin.
Luongo participated in Wednesday's warm ups, giving it a go for 20 minutes of
the one-hour session. His early exit caused for reports to surface that he
suffered a setback, but head coach Alain Vigneault insisted on the team's Web
site that is not the case. Still, Luongo is unlikely to play this weekend for
That isn't really bad news, considering Sanford is 5-0-1 with a 2.09 goals
against average in seven meetings with Edmonton.
After spending a good portion of the early schedule on the road, the Oilers
began a three-game homestand on Thursday for just their ninth game as the host
The residency didn't get off to a great start, as Edmonton was blanked, 2-0,
by Florida, which snapped a six-game winless streak versus the Oilers.
Mathieu Garon stopped 14-of-15 shots in the loss for the Oilers, who saw their
three-game win streak halted. Ales Hemsky did not record a point to end his
career-high eight-game point streak (4 goals, 7 assists).
Hemsky leads the Oilers with 28 points and has four goals and 16 assists in 27
career games versus Vancouver.
Edmonton is just 3-4-2 at home this year.
Garon allowed six goals in a loss to the Canucks on October 25, and Dwayne
Roloson will start tonight. Roloson is 12-12-2 with five ties, four shutouts
and a 2.30 GAA versus Vancouver.
The Canucks' October win was their third in the last four meetings with the
Oilers, who have lost five of their last seven at home versus Vancouver.
12/13 11:05:55 ET