Season Series: This is the first meeting between the teams this season. The Northwest Division rivals split last year's six-game series, alternating victories along the way. Edmonton and Vancouver did, however, meet twice during the preseason with each team grabbing a win.
Big Story: It's been quite a battle for the Canucks in the 10 days since they lost Daniel Sedin to injury. Vancouver escaped with a 4-3 shootout win over the Stars on Oct. 11, fell, 5-3, to the Flames last Friday and just edged the Wild, 2-1, on Saturday. While twin-brother Henrik has had at least an assist in each of those games, he has not found the back of the net without Daniel. The Canucks had 39 shots on goal against the Wild, but managed just two goals. The Oilers on the other hand, who played the Wild on Friday, scored five goals on 19 shots.
Canucks: After being pulled after two periods in the Canucks' 5-3 loss to Calgary, Roberto Luongo was back between the pipes on Saturday and rebounded, making a solid 17 saves and allowing just one goal. The tally was scored on a deflection off of Canucks center Kyle Wellwood's skate. The Vancouver captain also made a huge save on a point-blank shot through traffic from Brent Burns late in the third.
"We've had some good games this year but, obviously, I think in this one, from start to finish, we were pretty consistent in the way we have to play to be successful," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault told the Vancouver Sun. "I thought we worked really hard at both ends of the rink, generated a lot of scoring opportunities and didn’t give up much. This is the NHL. There are no easy games and this one was no different."
Oilers: Edmonton has come up big in the last four games with nine different goal scorers contributing to 17 tallies. Edmonton was outshot in all four games, but won three of them and was narrowly edged by the Blackhawks in the other. In Friday's 5-2 victory over the Wild, second and fourth liners, Dustin Penner and Gilbert Brule, each collected a pair of goals.
"My linemates made some really nice passes to me," Penner said. "I think the whole team is playing with confidence offensively."
Who's Hot: Mikael Samuelsson appears to have found his groove since being moved to a line with Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows. The off-season acquisition has two goals and two assists in his last three games and is second on the team in points. Henrik Sedin is currently sporting a five-game point streak and has racked up 11 points. For the Oilers, Penner and Brule lead the team in scoring with nine and seven points, respectively.
Injury Report: Oilers right wing Ales Hemsky, who was too ill to participate in Sunday's morning skate, is questionable for Monday, while defensemen Sheldon Souray and Steve Staios are out with concussions. Marc-Antoine Pouliot is out 8-10 weeks following hernia surgery and Fernando Pisani is still out with a back injury, but has resumed skating.
As previously stated, the Canucks are without Daniel Sedin, who has a broken foot. Defenseman Sami Salo is out for 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL, while Mathieu Schneider and Pavol Demitra also remain sidelined.
Stat Pack: Wellwood is pointless in his first seven games this season after a promising training camp. … Andrew Raycroft has made two appearances in goal for the Canucks but has yet to make a start. … Robert Nilsson had an assist for the Oilers on Friday after being inserted for Hemsky as a last-minute replacement.
Puck Drop: It's always must-see TV when these two rivals meet, and Monday night shouldn't be any different. The matchup of Luongo against Edmonton's depth is unquestionably an intriguing one.