NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, October 19th
(All times eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (3-4-0) at Edmonton Oilers (4-2-1), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Canucks feel as though they are coming off their best
game of the season. Hopefully they can carry that momentum with them Monday
night on the road, where they have yet to win a game.
Vancouver visits the Edmonton Oilers tonight for a tough battle at Rexall
The Canucks opened the season with three straight losses, but have rebounded
to win three of their last four games. That includes Saturday's 2-1 home win
over the Wild.
Mikael Samuelsson and Ryan Kesler both scored, while Roberto Luongo bounced
back with 17 saves on 18 shots faced. That came one day after Luongo gave up
five goals on 19 shots in two periods versus Calgary.
"This was by far our best game of the year," said the netminder. "We set a
tempo right off the hop and we sustained it for 60 minutes. This is the effort
we need on a nightly basis, we're not going to win every game but if we like
we did [Saturday] we'll win most of them."
Vancouver will hope to duplicate that effort tonight, as it goes for its first
road win. The Canucks, who play in Chicago on Wednesday, are 0-3-0 as the
guest and have been outscored 13-6 on the road thus far.
They'll face an Oilers club that is 3-1-1 at home this year. The club was last
in action on Friday, when Edmonton handed Minnesota a 5-2 loss thanks to two
goals each from Dustin Penner and Gilbert Brule.
Mike Comrie also scored and Nikolai Khabibulin made 29 saves in the victory,
the Oilers' third in four games as well.
"We're not playing the way we want to right now. We're starting slow, our
system play needs work," said Penner, who has three goals and three assists
over his last three games.
"But the positive note is that when we get a chance we're burying them, we're
playing pretty good "D" and [Khabibulin] is keeping us in the game and giving
us a chance to win."
Edmonton played without Ales Hemsky, who is questionable again tonight due to
flu-like symptoms. Defensemen Steve Staios and Sheldon Souray both remain out
due to concussions.
These two clubs split six games a season ago, though the Canucks have lost
four of their last six (2-2-2) in Edmonton.
Khabibulin is just 6-16-1 with two ties and a 3.39 goals against average in
his career versus the Canucks, but he did go 2-0-1 with a 1.95 GAA in three
games versus them last year.
Luongo, meanwhile, split two games in 2008-09 against the Oilers and is 12-6-2
versus them lifetime with a tie and 2.42 GAA.
10/19 10:50:55 ET