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Win could push Canucks into West lead

by Sergei J. Feldman /
OILERS (12-15-6) at CANUCKS (20-8-5)

TV --

Last 10 -- Edmonton 5-3-2; Vancouver 7-1-2

Season Series -- These Northwest Division rivals will meet for the third time this season. The Canucks have won both previous meetings, beating the Oilers 4-3 and 2-1 in the first two meetings. Canucks forward Raffi Torres, a former Oiler, recorded a hat trick in the first game.

Big Story -- Staring at the Oilers is an opportunity to close a three-game road trip on a winning note, after going 0-1-1 in the first two games. Meanwhile, the Canucks will look to take their recent good fortunes back to Vancouver, after collecting five of a possible six points on their most recent road trip.

Team Scope:

Oilers --
Edmonton has had a busy December, but has played like a young team that has discovered an identity. The proof has been in their recent play. Despite sitting 15th in the Western Conference, the Oilers have been playing better and providing stiff competition on a nightly basis.

Canucks -- Vancouver comfortably atop the Northwest Division and has been one of the League's hottest teams of late. Losing just once in regulation in their last 13 games, the Canucks have emerged as a bona fide contender in the West. Leading the way have been twin brothers Henrik and Daniel Sedin, who have propelled themselves into the top five in League scoring behind Sidney Crosby and another dynamic duo, Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis.

Who's Hot -- Henrik and Daniel Sedin have been putting up points all season, but have each taken their game to new levels lately. Daniel has points in 12 of his past 13 games, while Henrik has points in seven of eight games, including a goal and 3 assists against Columbus on Tuesday. … Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney is tied for seventh in the League in assists (25) and is riding a four-game point streak.

Injury Report -- Flu-like symptoms have made Oilers forward Gilbert Brule questionable for Sunday’s game. … Vancouver will enter the game with a healthy lineup.

Stat Pack -- Henrik Sedin leads the NHL in assists with 35, while Whitney is tied for most assists among defensemen with former Pittsburgh teammate Kris Letang.

Puck Drop -- With a win, the Canucks can overtake Detroit and Dallas for the top spot in the Western Conference.
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