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Oilers at Canucks preview

Edler not expected to play for Vancouver; Edmonton seeks first win in three games

by Kevin Woodley / Independent Correspondent

OILERS (16-9-3) at CANUCKS (13-10-4)

10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNP, SNW, NHL.TV


The Game 

Top pair defenseman Alexander Edler isn't expected to play when the Vancouver Canucks try to sweep a home-and-home series against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena on Sunday.

Vancouver finished a season-long, six-game road trip with a 5-2 win in Edmonton on Saturday. Edler, who leads the Canucks in average ice time at 23:38, left late in the second period with an upper-body injury and coach Travis Green said after that Edler was "doubtful" to play Sunday. 

Goalie Jacob Markstrom could play again after making 28 saves on Saturday for Vancouver, which is 3-2-0 in its past five games after going 1-5-2 in the previous eight.

Mikko Koskinen is expected start for Edmonton after Mike Smith made 33 saves Saturday. The Oilers have been outscored 9-3 in consecutive losses after going 6-2-1 the previous nine games.

Edmonton is in first place in the Pacific Division, one point ahead of the Arizona Coyotes and five ahead of Vancouver, which is in fourth place.


Players to watch 

Oilers forward Connor McDavid has 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists) in his past 13 games.

Canucks forward J.T. Miller has seven points (four goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak.


They said it

"That's nice we have another one (Sunday) and hopefully we can go in with a chip on our shoulder and give with a little more juice." -- Oilers defenseman Ethan Bear

"It was a long trip, so to finish .500 (3-3-0) and get some momentum going back home was nice." -- Canucks forward Tanner Pearson, who had two goals and two assists Saturday.


Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Alex Chiasson

Jujhar Khaira -- Sam Gagner -- James Neal 

Markus Granlund -- Riley Sheahan -- Josh Archibald

Joakim Nygard -- Gaetan Haas - Patrick Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson 

Caleb Jones -- Matt Benning

Mikko Koskinen

Stuart Skinner

Scratched: Brandon Manning, Kris Russell

Injured: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Zack Kassian (back), Mike Smith (leg) 


Canucks projected lineup 

Loui Eriksson -- Bo Horvat -- Tanner Pearson

J.T. Miller -- Elias Pettersson -- Brock Boeser

Josh Leivo -- Adam Gaudette -- Jake Virtanen

Tim Schaller -- Tyler Graovac -- Zack MacEwen

Jordie Benn -- Christopher Tanev

Quinn Hughes -- Tyler Myers

Oscar Fantenberg -- Troy Stecher

Jacob Markstrom

Thatcher Demko

Scratched: Nikolay Goldobin 

Injured: Alexander Edler (upper body), Antoine Roussel (knee), Tyler Motte (upper body), Micheal Ferland (concussion), Brandon Sutter (groin), Jay Beagle (lower body)


Status report

Skinner was called up from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League after Smith sustained an injury on Saturday. Smith, who finished the game, is day to day. Kassian, who finished the game Saturday on the Oilers' top line, is also day to day. Russell left the team to be with his wife for the birth of their second child. Benning takes his spot after missing five games with a concussion. ... Granlund will play his first game in Vancouver since the Canucks did not give him a qualifying offer to retain his rights in the offseason, freeing him to sign with Edmonton as an unrestricted free agent. … Roussel, who had knee surgery in March to repair a torn ACL, rejoined the team after a one-week conditioning stint with Utica in the American Hockey League. He was one of five skaters on the ice with Demko on Sunday but isn't expected to play.


Stat pack 

Draisaitl doesn't have a point in his past two games after 32 (10 goals, 22 assists) in his previous 16 games. He has not gone without a point in three straight games this season. … Hughes has eight assists in his past five games and 25 points in 31 NHL games. 

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