NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 26th
(All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (15-18-4) at Vancouver Canucks (21-16-0), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks will try to wrap their season-long
homestand tonight with one more victory in a matchup with the skidding
Edmonton Oilers at GM Place.
The Canucks are a solid 5-2-0 on the residency, improving their home mark on
the season to 15-6-0. They were last in action on Tuesday, when brothers
Daniel and Henrik Sedin guided the club to a 4-1 triumph over Nashville.
The twins each had a goal and two assists, with Henrik moving into third in
the NHL in scoring with 47 points off 16 goals and 31 assists.
"I didn't think they played their best game, but we didn't give them a whole
lot, either," Henrik Sedin said. "Our [defensemen] were moving the puck really
well, forwards came back, helping them out. We played a really solid game."
Steve Bernier and Sami Salo also scored for the Canucks, while Roberto Luongo
turned aside 20 shots in the victory.
The Canucks will try for their third straight win this season over the Oilers,
as they lost a one-goal matchup in Edmonton before consecutive home wins in
the series. That includes a 7-3 victory when the teams last met on November
Edmonton, which has lost four of its last five in Vancouver, has stumbled to a
season-high five-game losing streak following Wednesday's 3-1 loss in
Minnesota. To compound matters, the Oilers' current slide follows a five-game
winning streak, the club's best of the season.
Robert Nilsson scored for the Oilers, who have lost 11 straight at Minnesota.
Jeff Deslauriers stopped 24-of-26 shots in defeat.
"We got a lot of rebounds, but we have to go to the net and capitalize on
those rebounds," Nilsson said. "Feels like every shot we make we have to keep
low to get rebounds."
Edmonton has been outscored 23-10 over its current slide and will try to avoid
losing six straight tonight for the first time since December 18-31, 2007.
Deslauriers, who continues to start in the place of Nikolai Khabibulin (back),
is 0-2-0 with a 5.34 goals-against average in two career starts versus the
Canucks, allowing six goals on 40 shots, while Luongo is 14-7-2 with a tie and
2.33 GAA in his career versus the Oilers.
12/26 11:07:50 ET