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Preview: Oilers at Canucks

Edmonton looks to clinch at least second in Pacific; Vancouver tries to end 11-game home losing streak

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

OILERS (45-26-9) at CANUCKS (30-41-9)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, NHL.TV

 

Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers need at least one point against the Vancouver Canucks to clinch at least second place in the Pacific Division. If they get two points, they still could clinch the Pacific Division on Sunday with a win against the Canucks and a loss by the Anaheim Ducks against the Los Angeles Kings. "Lots on the line for us as a team," sai forward Milan Lucic, who has five goals in his past three games. "It gives us something to play for these next couple games and make sure we're ready for playoffs," said goaltender Cam Talbot, who will start his sixth straight and NHL-leading 73rd game. Talbot made 13 saves for his 41st win of the season, at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, surpassing the Oilers record set by Grant Fuhr in 1987-88. Captain Connor McDavid leads the NHL in scoring with 97 points (30 goals, 67 assists) and could become first player to win the Art Ross Trophy in his second NHL season since Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby in 2006-07. Coach Todd McLellan was asked if the chance to reach 100 points was added incentive for McDavid. "I'd rather see the team get 100 [points], but obviously Connor is a big part of the team and he has the ability and the skill to do it," McLellan said.

 

Canucks team scope

Canucks forward Sven Baertschi won't play the final two games of the regular season after sustaining a neck injury during a 4-3 loss against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. Left wing Reid Boucher will move up to take Baertschi's spot on the second line with center Bo Horvat and defenseman Alex Biega will play as a forward on the fourth line. Vancouver has lost six straight games (0-6-0), and has lost 11 straight at home (0-8-3) since their last win at Rogers Arena on Feb. 18, matching a franchise record winless streak set in 1970-71. "The fans have been behind us the whole year, through the ups and downs, so this is kind of our way to try and give it back to them and hopefully have a good win tonight," rookie defenseman Troy Stecher said. The Canucks are 2-11-2 in their past 15 games but said they can use the chance to play spoiler against a division rival as motivation. "We have to go in with that mindset," said Horvat, who leads the Canucks with 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists). "They are going to be coming hard, they're fighting for positon in the playoffs and the harder we play and tougher we are on them I think it's going to give our group confidence." Goaltender Ryan Miller will start.

 

Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot -- David Desharnais -- Zack Kassian

Drake Caggiula -- Mark Letestu -- Iiro Pakarinen

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Matt Hendricks, Eric Gryba, Anton Slepyshev

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (knee)

 

Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Nikolay Goldobin

Reid Boucher -- Bo Horvat -- Brock Boeser

Michael Chaput -- Brandon Sutter -- Jayson Megna

Griffen Molino -- Drew Shore -- Alex Biega

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Nikita Tryamkin

Ryan Miller

Richard Bachman                                                                             

Scratched: Philip Larsen

Injured: Sven Baertschi (neck), Loui Eriksson (knee), Joseph Cramarossa (lower body), Jack Skille (ankle), Markus Granlund (wrist surgery), Brendan Gaunce (hand), Jacob Markstrom (knee surgery), Anton Rodin (knee), Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Derek Dorsett (neck)

 

Status report

Roster decisions, including the possibility of Talbot starting again on Sunday, could change depending on what is at stake in the standings, McLellan said.

 

Who's hot

McDavid has 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) during a career-high 12-game point streak. Draisaitl has 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in his past 12 games. … Henrik Sedin had three assists in Arizona on Thursday.

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