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MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers at Canucks

The Oilers visit the Vancouver Canucks Monday at Rogers Arena before breaking for the holidays

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

The Oilers visit the Vancouver Canucks in their final game before the holiday break.

You can watch the game on Sportsnet West or listen to the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED.

Read the Preview then check back following Monday's avails for the Morning Skate Report.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Pre-Game at VAN 12.23.19

 

INSIDE THE OILERS

News and notes from Sunday's Oilers practice, including a feature on Josh Archibald and Riley Sheahan's recent success.

>> READ MORE IN THE INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG

PRE-GAME REPORT

VANCOUVER, BC - All the Oilers want for Christmas is two Pacific Division points. 

And maybe a season series win against their divisional rivals, the Vancouver Canucks.

Is that too much to ask?

Edmonton will break for the holidays but not before competing in their fourth and final installment versus Vancouver. The Orange & Blue have defeated the Canucks twice in three meetings this season, edging their opponent 3-2 in the last clash.

There's extra emphasis on this one tonight given the tight playoff race in the Pacific, as the Oilers currently employ the third spot with 44 points but are aware of how quickly things can change.

"When you can take points away from teams that you're in that battle with, those are bonus points," Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett said after Monday's morning skate. 

"Everybody recognizes that in the division and I'm sure they (Vancouver) are saying the same thing we are."

When the Oilers visited Rogers Arena on Dec. 1 in the second game of a home-and-home, the squad went 2-for-2 on the man advantage, got 30 saves from goaltender Mikko Koskinen and won 55 percent of the faceoffs. 

That will have to be duplicated again on Monday if the Oilers want to return to Edmonton with two points in the gift bag.

"The way we played the last game in here is how we're going to have to play if we want to give ourselves a chance to win," Tippett said.

Video: PRE-GAME RAW | Chiasson

JINGLE ALL THE WAY

December is always a busy month but the holiday festivities only compounds things. The Oilers have been putting in overtime hours, it seems, playing what will be their 12th outing in the opening 23 days of the month. 

The club has gone 4-6-1 in December and wants to have nothing in the gas tank left once the final buzzer sounds in Rogers Arena, which will begin a well-deserved three-day hiatus.

"Obviously you get a few days off but you got to just kind of put that on the back burner and not even think about it," Darnell Nurse, who has two goals and 18 points in 39 games this year, said. 

"This is a big divisional game, first and foremost."

The Oilers have liked how they've performed on the road this season, owning an 11-8-1 record away from Rogers Place.

"Tonight's a big game for both teams," forward Alex Chiasson said. "It's important to finish the first half before the break the right way. We've been good on the road. We've kind of figured out a way to play that's been good for us. 

"We'll bring that again tonight and then we got three days here of rest."

LINEUP NOTES

The Oilers will roll the same lineup as they did in Saturday's 4-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens.

Mikko Koskinen, who is 13-6-2 with a 2.68 GAA and .918 S%, is expected to get the start. He will combat Canucks keeper Jacob Markstrom in goal.

On the other side, Canucks defender Alex Edler is expected to draw back into the lineup.

Lines at morning skate appeared to be:

Draisaitl - McDavid - Kassian
Neal - Nugent-Hopkins - Chiasson
Nygard - Sheahan - Archibald
Granlund - Haas - P. Russell

Nurse - Bear
Klefbom - Larsson
K. Russell - Jones

Koskinen
Smith

-- Paul Gazzola, EdmontonOilers.com

PREVIEW

OILERS (20-15-4) at CANUCKS (18-15-4)

TV: 8:00 p.m. MT; Televised on Sportsnet West

Head-to-Head:

Tonight's game is the fourth and final meeting of the 2019-20 season between the Oilers and Canucks.

Edmonton took their home opener versus Vancouver with a 3-2 win then the two sides split a weekend home-and-home.

Five or more goals have been scored in every game between EDM and VAN this year.

Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid have five points apiece in three affairs with the Canucks in '19-20.

Canucks forward Tanner Pearson has three goals and two assists against the Oil this year.

Oilers team scope:

The Oilers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on Sunday, which ended a four-game losing slide.

The Dynamic Duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl combined to produce four points in the win while Josh Archibald and Riley Sheahan - who notched the game-winning goal - teamed up for three.

McDavid, who was named the Pacific Division Captain for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game on Saturday, heads all NHLers with 61 points in 39 games. Draisaitl is a hair behind with 60 points for the 20-15-4 Oilers, who sit third in the Pacific.

Canucks team scope:

The Canucks cruised past the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 to earn their second consecutive victory on Saturday.

Elias Petterson and J.T. Miller picked up a goal and assist apiece in the win, helping Vancouver improve to 18-15-4 on the year and 5-5-0 in their last 10 contests.

Petterson leads Vancouver with 17 strikes and 39 points while Brock Boeser has 13 goals and 35 points.

VAN is fifth in the Pacific Division with 40 points.

By the Numbers:

Edmonton is 16-for-16 on the PK in their past five road games. ... The Oilers are 13-5-3 vs. the Canucks since '15-16. ... McDavid (54 percent) and Draisaitl (53.1 percent) are first and second in the League in the highest percentage of team goals involved in. ... McDavid leads the NHL in multi-point games this season with 18. ... Draisaitl is second with 17. ... The Canucks own the second-highest faceoff percentage this year with a 52.8 percent rating. ... Vancouver is 10-5-3 at Rogers Arena in '19-20, outscoring opponents 65-50. 

Injury Report:

OILERS - Matt Benning (concussion) is on IR.

CANUCKS - Brandon Sutter (undisclosed) is day-to-day; Josh Leivo (fractured kneecap) is on IR; Thatcher Demko (concussion) is on IR; Micheal Ferland (upper body) is on IR; Tyler Graovac (lower body) is on IR; Alex Edler (upper body) is on IR.

-- Paul Gazzola, EdmontonOilers.com

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