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Canucks, Oilers renew rivalry in Edmonton

by Deborah Francisco
CANUCKS (52-18-9) AT OILERS (24-43-11)


Last 10: Vancouver 8-2-0; Edmonton 1-6-3.

Season Series – The Canucks and the Oilers will conclude a six-game season series on Tuesday night at Rexall Place. Tuesday night's game will complete the second of a home-and-home series between these Northwest Division rivals. Edmonton won the first of the back-to-back games on Saturday night by a margin of 4-1.

Big Story – These two squads may share the same division, but as far as the League standings are concerned, they couldn't be more opposite. Vancouver leads the League with a franchise-best 113 points on the season, but Edmonton has the fewest points with 59. While there are no postseason implications on the line in this final meeting between the Western Canadian squads, the brothers Sedin are both in the running for scoring titles with Daniel leading the overall points race (100) and Henrik leading in assists (73).

Team Scope:

Canucks – Vancouver has just three regular-season games left and has lost only two games in its last 14 contests. Despite clinching the Presidents' Trophy for the first time in franchise history, the Canucks took Saturday's loss with a grain of salt.

"This is kind of a good thing, I think," Canucks forward Raffi Torres said. "We need to humble ourselves a little bit. Things have been going almost too good lately."

Oilers – The Oilers snapped an 11-game losing streak with Saturday's victory over the Canucks. Edmonton's young guns came out strong in that performance as 20-year-old Jordan Eberle, 24-year-old Linus Omark and 19-year-old Magnus Paajarvi each notched goals, while 24-year-old Devan Dubnyk stopped 40 shots for the win.

"That's why you savor opportunities like this," Oilers coach Tom Renney said. "This is the best team in the National Hockey League and we get a chance to put our young guys through the acid test. Our young guys managed up to the task."

Who's hot – Aside from the consistent offensive play of Daniel and Henrik Sedin of late, their line mate, Alex Burrows, continues to produce as well, scoring the Canucks lone goal on Saturday night. In 68 games played this season Burrows has 47 points (25 goals, 22 assists).

Injury Report – For Vancouver, forwards Mikael Samuelsson (thigh) is expected to return and defenseman Christopher Tanev (upper body) is day-to-day. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis is out indefinitely with a concussion. Defensemen Alexander Edler (back) and Andrew Alberts (wrist)are practicing with the team again, but remain on the IR. Forward Manny Malhotra had eye surgery and is out for the season. … Edmonton is without its top-three scorers, who are out for the remainder of the season: Ales Hemsky (shoulder), Sam Gagner (hand) and Taylor Hall (ankle). Also sidelined are forward Shawn Horcoff (foot) and defensemen Ryan Whitney (ankle) and Taylor Chorney (knee).

Stat Pack – Historically, Edmonton has outscored Vancouver 407-314 when playing at Rexall Place.

Puck Drop – "(Saturday was) a confidence builder. It was awesome to beat the Presidents' Trophy winner, and now we get another shot at them." -- Oilers forward Jordan Eberle

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