The second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will feature the eight teams that advance out of the first round in four best-of-7 series. Today, NHL.com previews the Western Conference Second Round between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers.

(1P) Vancouver Canucks vs (2P) Edmonton Oilers

Canucks: 50-23-9, 109 points; defeated Nashville Predators 4-2 in the first round

Oilers: 49-27-6, 104 points; defeated Los Angeles Kings in the first round

Season series: VAN 4-0-0, EDM 0-4-0

Game 1: TBD

The Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers will meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third time and first since 1992 when they play in the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round.

The Canucks, who have lost both series to the Oilers, were first in the Pacific Division and defeated the Nashville Predators in the first round in six games. The Oilers finished second in the Pacific and won in five games against the Los Angeles Kings.

“They’re a good team, they won the division, so it’ll be a good test for us,” Oilers forward Zach Hyman said. “It’s a new season, new team, the playoffs are different, so it’ll be a fun series.”

Three of the Canucks’ four wins against the Oilers this season came in Edmonton’s first 11 games. The Oilers started the season 3-9-1 through 13 games and fired coach Jay Woodcroft and assistant Dave Manson on Nov. 12, replacing them with Kris Knoblauch and Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey, respectively. Edmonton went 46-18-5 after the coaching change.

“I think it showed our group that when we do stick together and stick to the process, and focus on everyday things, and keep our picture small as we used to say, we can be a really, really good hockey team,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. “When we start looking ahead and thinking about other things and get distracted, we struggle. So I think it’s a good reminder for our group what we need to do to be successful.”

Vancouver got off to a 12-3-1 start by Nov. 15 and led the Pacific for most of the season.

Against the Predators, the Canucks were down to their third goalie, Arturs Silovs, after Thatcher Demko and Casey DeSmith sustained injuries. Silovs won two of his three starts, which included a 28-save shutout in a 1-0 win in Game 6 at Nashville.

“I mean, this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs and you’re the third goalie, and you’ve got to go in there,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said. “That takes a lot of, you know what I’m saying, to do that and have the guys have confidence in him.”

If Demko is not able to play in Game 1 because of an undisclosed injury, Silovs is expected to start.

“We’re obviously prepared,” McDavid said. “We look at everything and we’ll have to be ready for whoever’s in the net. Ultimately, they have a great team that’s in front of those guys, they make it hard to get to the net. They have three good goalies and they showed that the last series.”

Game breakers

Canucks: Quinn Hughes, the Canucks captain, had a breakout season with 92 points (17 goals, 75 assists), the most among NHL defensemen, in 82 games. Hughes is a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the League’s best defenseman, along with Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche. Hughes is an amazing talent and dominant at both ends of the ice. The Predators were physical with him in the first round but were unable to knock him off his game, and he had five assists in six games.

Oilers: Leon Draisaitl had another impressive playoff series with 10 points (five goals, five assists) in five games. As impressive as the forward was offensively, it was his defensive play that stood out. Draisaitl was part of the penalty kill that did not give up a goal to Los Angeles in 12 opportunities. He also won 57.4 percent of his face-offs. Draisaitl had a strong regular season with 106 points (41 goals, 65 assists) in 81 games, but he really shines in the playoffs. In 54 playoff games, Draisaitl has 87 points (36 goals, 51 assists).


Canucks: Silovs saved the Canucks with Demko and DeSmith injured, finishing with a 1.70 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. Vancouver is confident Silovs can continue to do the job if needed. The 23-year-old played most of the season with Abbotsford of the American Hockey League, where he was 16-11-6 with a 2.74 GAA, .907 save percentage and four shutouts in 34 games.

Oilers: Stuart Skinner considers himself a different goaltender than he was a year ago, getting the start for the Oilers in the playoffs as a rookie. Skinner is confident and more composed this season, and he displayed his growth in the first round. Skinner overcame a few bad bounces in Game 1 and shaky moments in Game 2 to shut the door in the next two games. He gave up one goal in Game 3 and earned his first playoff shutout in Game 4, both victories, before helping Edmonton to a 4-3 win in Game 5 to end the series. Skinner had a 2.59 GAA and .910 save percentage in the first round, significantly better numbers than the 3.68 GAA and .883 save percentage he had in 12 playoff games last season.

NHL Tonight on the performance of Stuart Skinner

Numbers to know

Canucks: Vancouver spent a lot of time short-handed in the first round but was 20-for-22 on the penalty kill (90.9 percent). Taking that many penalties is not a road the Canucks want to go down against the Oilers, but it did highlight the strength of their penalty kill. Conversely, the Canucks power play was 2-for-13 against the Predators (15.4 percent). Vancouver likely will need to stay out of the penalty box and draw more penalties than it takes if it is to have success in this series.

Oilers: The special teams were incredible for the Oilers against the Kings. Edmonton’s power play was 9-of-20 (45 percent), including a goal on its lone opportunity in Game 4, a 1-0 win that allowed the Oilers to return home to close out the series. As good as the power play was, the penalty kill was even more impressive at 12-for-12. Combined, the Oilers power play and penalty kill were at 145 percent, which is almost unheard of in the NHL, where being just over 100 is considered excellent.


Canucks: Elias Pettersson may be seeing a lot of Draisaitl in the series as Vancouver’s second-line center and will be counted on to perform well on both sides of the puck. Pettersson had three assists in six games against Nashville and assisted on the winning goal in Game 6 after intercepting a clearing attempt along the boards. Pettersson was minus-2 in the series and likely will have to be better against Edmonton. Pettersson had 89 points (34 goals, 55 assists) in 82 games this season and has 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in 23 playoff games. His play in this series will go a long way toward determining how Vancouver fares.

ARI@VAN: Pettersson buries equalizer off feed from Hughes

Oilers: Mattias Ekholm’s all-around game is crucial to Edmonton's hopes of making a Stanley Cup run. The Oilers and Kings each scored 12 goals at 5-on-5 in the first round, with Edmonton making quick work of Los Angeles because of its special teams. Ekholm was held to one assist in five games, and the defenseman’s shot-attempts differential (minus-16) will need to be more like it was in the regular season (plus-509; fourth in the NHL) for the Oilers to defeat the Canucks and even more daunting opponents in the following rounds. Ekholm had NHL career highs in goals (11), points (45), rating (plus-44; third in the NHL) and shots on goal (177) in the regular season. -- Pete Jensen

They said it

“Who is kidding who? We can’t get into a penalty fest against Edmonton. We can’t give them four, five or six power plays. Hopefully we’re allowed to play the game 5-on-5, hopefully it’s not a penalty fest, but that’s on us too.” -- Canucks coach Rick Tocchet

“I don’t think we’re going to have that same (special teams) advantage in this series, we’re going to have [to get] more offense 5-on-5. But as far as what we need to do to be successful is match their work ethic. They’re a very hardworking team, but they have a lot of skill.” -- Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch

Will win if…

Canucks: They can keep McDavid (12 points; one goal, 11 assists in five first-round games) and Draisaitl in check and play at even strength as much as possible. The Canucks also will have to be better on the man-advantage against a team that did not give up a power-play goal in the first round. Silovs is going to have to be outstanding and steal a game or two if he has to play in place of Demko and DeSmith. Forwards Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller, along with Hughes, will have to continue driving the offense.

Oilers: They can continue to draw penalties and score on the power play at an impressive rate. The Canucks were not able to generate much offensively in the first round, scoring 13 goals in six games. The Oilers scored 22 goals in five games. If Skinner outplays whoever is in net at the other end, Edmonton will have an excellent chance of moving on to the Western Conference Final.

How they look

Canucks projected lineup

Pius Suter -- J.T. Miller -- Brock Boeser

Nils Hoglander -- Elias Pettersson -- Ilya Mikheyev

Dakota Joshua -- Elias Lindholm -- Conor Garland

Phillip Di Giuseppe -- Teddy Blueger -- Sam Lafferty

Quinn Hughes -- Filip Hronek

Carson Soucy -- Tyler Myers

Ian Cole -- Nikita Zadorov

Arturs Silovs

Casey DeSmith

Scratched: Mark Friedman, Nils Aman, Noah Juulsen, Vasily Podkolzin, Nikita Tolopilo

Injured: Thatcher Demko (undisclosed)

Oilers projected lineup

Adam Henrique -- Connor McDavid -- Zach Hyman

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Leon Draisaitl -- Evander Kane

Dylan Holloway -- Ryan McLeod -- Corey Perry

Warren Foegele -- Derek Ryan -- Mattias Janmark

Mattias Ekholm -- Evan Bouchard

Darnell Nurse -- Cody Ceci

Brett Kulak -- Vincent Desharnais

Stuart Skinner

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Philip Broberg, Connor Brown, Jack Campbell, Sam Carrick, Ryan Fanti, Sam Gagner, Troy Stecher

Injured: None

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