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Preview: Canucks at Oilers

Edmonton has chance to win Pacific Division; Vancouver tries to end on positive note

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent

CANUCKS (30-42-9) at OILERS (46-26-9)

9 p.m. ET; SN, NHL.TV

 

Canucks team scope

The Vancouver Canucks failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive year season. Vancouver has lost its past seven games in regulation and is 2-12-2 in its past 16 games, including a 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at home on Saturday. "It's a disappointing year when you look at where we are in the standings," coach Willie Desjardins said after the game. "It's a good year when you see some of the progress of some of the young players. I think a lot of the young players have progressed, and I think that's good to see. But for me, when I look at it, I'll be disappointed where we finished." Vancouver is seventh in the Pacific Division, one point behind the Arizona Coyotes. "That's been the case this year; we haven't scored enough," captain Henrik Sedin said Saturday. "That's on me and [twin brother Daniel Sedin] first and foremost, and that's been why we lost a lot of games this year." Vancouver has lost back-to-back games and three of seven during the streak by one goal. "You can say you're close, but if you keep losing by one goal, that's the difference in this league," Sedin said. "When we were at our best, we won a lot of one-goal games. We didn't outplay them in all, but we kept doing the right [things] all the time and that's how you win these games. But if you keep making bad decisions or keep making the bad play, just one bad play is going to cost you games."

 

Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers will finish first in the Pacific Division with a win if the Anaheim Ducks lose to the visiting Los Angeles Kings in regulation. Edmonton is two points behind Anaheim in the Pacific Division; if they end in a tie, Edmonton owns the head-to-head tiebreaker because it won the season series six points to four. The Oilers clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with its 3-2 win at Vancouver on Saturday. The Oilers qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2006. If Edmonton wins the Pacific Division, it will play the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference First Round; if the Oilers come in second, they'll play the San Jose Sharks. "It doesn't really matter," captain Connor McDavid said Saturday. "Everyone in the playoffs is so good, it doesn't really matter who you're playing. It's going to be a tough matchup either way." McDavid leads the NHL in scoring with 98 points (30 goals, 68 assists); he's nine points ahead of Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (44 goals, 45 assists) and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (34 goals, 55 assists). McDavid has 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) during a 13-game point streak and is on track to become the first player to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer in his second season since Crosby did it in 2006-07. If McDavid reaches 100 points, he would be the first Oiler to do so since Doug Weight had 104 points (25 goals, 79 assists) in 1995-96. "We'll see. It's not weighing on my mind," McDavid said. "It's about the team; we found a way to win and clinch home ice, and it's more important the team get 100 points than an individual. It's good that we did that."

 

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

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Philip Larsen

Injured: Derek Dorsett (back), Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Anton Rodin (knee), Markus Granlund (lower body), Loui Eriksson (leg), Brendan Gaunce (upper body), Markus Granlund (wrist), Joseph Cramarossa (foot), Jack Skille (ankle), Sven Baertschi (upper body)

 

Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

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

Drake Caggiula -- Mark Letestu -- Zack Kassian

Benoit Pouliot -- David Desharnais -- Iiro Pakarinen

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot
Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Anton Slepyshev, Matt Hendricks, Eric Gryba

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (knee)

 

Status report

Neither team held a morning skate … With a division title at stake, Talbot could get the start in the second game of a back-to-back. … Pakarinen replaced Slepyshev on the fourth line in Vancouver and is expected do so again.

 

Who's hot

Henrik Sedin has five assists in his past two games … Draisaitl has 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in his past 13 games. Lucic has six points (five goals, one assist) during a four-game point streak.

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