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Game P6: Canucks at Oilers (10.02.14)

by Daniel Fung / Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks open up a home-and-home series against the Edmonton Oilers tonight at Rexall Place as they inch closer towards the end of the pre-season.

It's probably not too wise – or too healthy for that matter – to put too much stock in pre-season results but winning definitely helps to highlight the positives. Unfortunately, there were very few positives to speak of following Monday's 4-2 loss to the Coyotes for Vancouver outside perhaps of the play of the Sedin twins and Radim Vrbata, and a strong shift or two from the "Kid Line" of Shinkaruk, Horvat and Jensen. Even if tonight's game doesn't count for anything in the grand scheme of things, you can bet the Canucks will want to do everything to avoid having to answer questions about a losing streak heading into Saturday's pre-season finale.

Vancouver will head into Edmonton without their top line of the twins and Vrbata as the three veterans will get what is expected to be their final game off before the start of the regular season. Frank Corrado, who was injured in Monday's loss to the Coyotes, will also be unavailable while Brad Richardson and Zack Kassian are doubtful to suit up as well. Eddie Lack will get the start in net for Vancouver. The Oilers, who are coming off a 3-2 home victory last night over the Coyotes, are looking to extend their pre-season win streak to three games. Goaltender Ben Scrivens went the distance for the Oilers yesterday so he'll likely get tonight off. Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did not suit up for Edmonton against Arizona so expect them to draw back in.

Puck drop at 6 pm PT – Live on Sportsnet 360, TSN 1040, or online at tsn1040.ca.

Pre-Season Record

3-2-0 4-2-0

2013.14 Season Series

3-2-0 2-3-0

All-time Series

90-103-28 112-80-29
 

Keys to the Game

Don't forget to skate. The Canucks got caught flat-footed on a number of occasions against the Coyotes on Monday and they paid for it by surrendering odd-man rushes and goals against a result. They'll need to clean that part of their game up especially against an Oilers team that knows how to score on the rush.

Start with the puck. Another aspect of Monday's game the Canucks won't be happy with is their prowess in the faceoff circle. Only one centre – Nick Bonino – managed to win more than 50 percent of his draws taken. If the Canucks aren't better in this department, they'll be spending a lot more time tonight puck chasing.

Leon shows he's ready. Leon Draisaitl, the third overall pick in this past June's NHL Entry Draft, has earned praised for his solid play as a two-way centre so far in pre-season. Edmonton will want to see him continue to impress and maybe even chip in a few points if he continues to get a chance to skate with the likes of Perron and Eberle.


By the Numbers

.458

Vancouver's all-time win percentage in pre-season. The Canucks' all-time pre-season record is 157-153-33.

0

Career regular season games played for Eddie Lack against the Oilers, who will start tonight.

1.000

Career win percentage for Ryan Miller against the Oilers. Miller has a career record of 7-0 versus Edmonton.

2

UFAs signed by Edmonton this summer: Keith Aulie (TBL) and Mark Fayne (NJD).

7

New number that Linden Vey will be sporting this season. He began training camp wearing No. 44.

27

Players remaining on the Canucks' main camp roster (17 F, 8 D, 2 G). The opening day playing roster can be no more than 23 players.

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