GAME: Vancouver Canucks (32-19-7-3) at Edmonton Oilers (24-26-9-1).
TIME: Saturday, 10 p.m. EST.
The slumping Vancouver Canucks look to snap out of their offensive funk when
they visit the Edmonton Oilers.
Vancouver has scored the third-most goals in the Western Conference this
season, but has had trouble finding the back of the net lately.
The Canucks lost 6-2 at Minnesota on Thursday to fall to 2-5-0-1 in their
last eight games. Vancouver, which averages 2.9 goals a game, has scored just
seven times in losing four of its last five.
To make matters worse, the Canucks are playing without left wing Markus
Naslund. Naslund, the NHL's second-leading leading scorer with 30 goals and 38
assists, suffered a concussion in an open-ice collision with Colorado's Steve
Moore on Monday.
"It was a bad performance by us," Canucks coach Marc Crawford said after
Thursday's loss. "We've got no excuses and we will all take the responsibility
for it. ... We have to be concerned with how we played tonight.
"We didn't play with any emotion. We didn't play with any type of
enthusiasm. If there's any consolation, it's that it was all the way through
the lineup. The only solace is that it was a total team misperformance."
Edmonton posted a 5-1 win at Colorado on Wednesday to snap a three-game
Ryan Smyth had a goal and two assists and Tommy Salo only had to make 14
saves as the Oilers won on the road for the first time since beating the
Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 on Jan. 10.
"This one helps us gain some confidence, knowing that we can play with the
better teams in the league," said Smyth, who leads Edmonton with 39 points.
The Oilers will also be without one of their top scorers after placing Radek
Dvorak on injured reserve Friday with a groin problem. Dvorak has 12 goals and
a team-high 25 assists in 58 games this season.
Vancouver has won its last five visits to Edmonton since a 3-2 loss on Oct.
STANDINGS (through Feb. 19): Canucks - 74 points, 2nd place, 4 PB, Northwest
Division. Oilers - 58 points, 5th place, 20 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Canucks - Naslund, 30 goals, 38 assists and 68 points; Jarkko
Ruutu, 112 PIM. Oilers - Raffi Torres, 17 goals; Dvorak, 25 assists; Smyth, 39
points; Georges Laraque, 91 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 19): Canucks - Power play: 16.1 percent (48 for
299), 15th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.2 percent (231 for 265), 1st. Oilers -
Power play: 11.4 percent (29 for 254), 29th. Penalty killing: 80.4 percent (218
for 271), 28th.
GOALTENDERS: Canucks - Dan Cloutier (24-17-3, 4 SO, 2.24 GAA); Johan Hedberg
(6-4-2, 1, 2.42). Oilers - Salo (13-16-5, 3, 2.48); Tyler Moss (no
SEASON SERIES: Canucks, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 27; Oilers, 6-2. At Vancouver, British Columbia, the
Canucks took a 2-1 lead at 10:40 of the second period, but the Oilers responded
with five unanswered goals to snap a four-game winless streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canucks - 18-9-2-3 on the road; Oilers - 15-12-3-0 at