(2P) Oilers at (1P) Canucks 

Western Conference Second Round, Game 7

9 p.m. ET; ESPN, CBC, SN, TVAS

Best-of-7 series tied 3-3

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks will attempt to reach the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2011 when they host the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round at Rogers Arena on Monday. 

But they will have to do it without forward Brock Boeser, who will miss the game because of an undisclosed issue. 

“He’s been a big part of our team. He’s scored some big goals for us. It’s a tough one but it’s next man up,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said Monday. 

“That’s the way you’ve got to approach it. That’s the way we’ve approached it all year.”

Tocchet said he learned Sunday that Boeser, the team’s co-leading scorer in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 12 points (seven goals, five assists), would not be available but would not elaborate about the nature of the ailment. In any event, center J.T. Miller, who also has 12 points (three goals, nine assists), will be leaned upon even more to provide offense for a Canuck team that has scored 18 goals in the first six games of this best-of-7 series.

The Canucks have not won a Game 7 in 13 years, their previous one coming in the Western Conference First Round in 2011 when they defeated the then-defending champion Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on an Alex Burrows overtime goal.

They are 6-6 all-time in Game 7 situations including 4-3 on home ice.

The Oilers, meanwhile, were in the Western Conference Final two years ago when they were swept in four games by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. Edmonton is 7-4 in Game 7s all-time including 3-3 on road.

“I haven’t played in too many of these Game 7s and I feel you have to go through your regular routine, but you also have to understand that the intensity is going to go up,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. “You’ve got to be ready for that.”

The winner Monday will face the Dallas Stars, who last played on Friday when they eliminated the Avalanche in six games. The Western Conference Final will open in Dallas on Thursday.

Home teams have a 115-81 record (.587) in the 196 all-time Game 7s including 2-0 this spring.

Here are 3 keys to the game:

1. Power Play Prowess

The Canucks lost 5-1 in Game 6 but had a chance to claw their way back when they got a two-man advantage for 55 seconds late in the second period trailing 3-1. They squandered it. Their power play went 0-for-5 in the loss including two opportunities in the first period where they failed to register a shot on goal.

Now they come into a do-or-die situation without Boeser, who often has served as the trigger man in the left face-off circle, a role he’s played effectively.

“There’s going to be certain guys who have to play certain positions at certain times,” Tocchet said. “It’s something we’re going to have to do. So there might be different combos at different times. It’s a big piece we’re missing but there’s opportunity for a lot of guys and we’re excited about that.”

Tune in to see the Oilers battle the Canucks for Western Conference Final berth

2. Something’s Stu’ing

So which Stuart Skinner will be the Oilers be getting in this all-or-nothing game?

Will it be the goalie who was beaten 12 times on 58 shots through the first three games of the series before being benched for backup Calvin Pickard in Games 4 and 5?

Or will it be the guy who looked much steadier upon his return to the starting role for Game 6, a 5-1 Oilers victory.

This much is certain: a good chunk of Edmonton’s Stanley Cup aspirations, let alone coming out on top in Game 7 against the Canucks, rests on Skinner’s ability to overcome the yips he had early in the series.

“I feel he’s great a recognizing when he needs to be a notch better or when he knows he’s at his level,” Oilers defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. “He’s already gone through a lot in his career and he knows what to do out there. 

“I’m not worried about him. It was great to see him come back in Game 6 and play the way he did.”

3. Seize the moment

“There’s no tomorrow.”

“It’s do-or-die.”

“Everything’s on the line.”

Use whatever cliche you want, but they all hold true in a Game 7. And whether it’s a superstar or a fourth liner, the stage is set for someone to step up and be a hero, Tocchet said.

“Obviously there are expectations of star players,” he said. “But often it’s the role players who come through big.

“You just never know.”

Such is the beauty of a Game 7.

Canucks projected lineup

Pius Suter -- J.T. Miller -- Ilya Mikheyev

Dakota Joshua -- Elias Lindholm -- Conor Garland

Nils Hoglander -- Elias Pettersson -- Sam Lafferty

Phil Di Giuseppe -- Teddy Blueger -- Nils Aman

Quinn Hughes -- Filip Hronek

Carson Soucy -- Tyler Myers

Nikita Zadorov -- Ian Cole

Arturs Silovs

Casey DeSmith

Scratched: Mark Friedman, Noah Juulsen, Linus Karlsson, Christian Wolanin, Vasily Podkolzin

Injured: Thatcher Demko (undisclosed), Brock Boeser (undisclosed)

Oilers projected lineup

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Connor McDavid -- Zach Hyman

Dylan Holloway -- Leon Draisaitl -- Evander Kane

Warren Foegele -- Ryan McLeod -- Derek Ryan

Mattias Janmark -- Sam Carrick -- Connor Brown

Mattias Ekholm -- Evan Bouchard

Darnell Nurse -- Vincent Desharnais

Brett Kulak -- Cody Ceci

Stuart Skinner

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Corey Perry, Sam Gagner, Troy Stecher

Injured: Adam Henrique (lower body)

Status report

The Canucks held a sparsely attended morning skate Monday, so it’s unclear how their lines will look without Boeser. Pettersson played right wing with Lindholm the past two games and could line up with Miller in Boeser’s spot on the top line, or he could resume centering his own line, something he’s done for all but a few games this season. … Mikheyev and Lafferty are back in the lineup after being scratched the past two games. Podkolzin, a forward, comes out after averaging just over eight minutes of ice time the past two games, his first two in the NHL playoffs. … The Oilers held an optional morning skate but aren’t making any lineup changes, meaning Perry, a forward with 10 Game 7s in his career, will be scratched for the second straight game. h Herb Brooks called him.

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