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PREVIEW: Oilers vs. Canucks

In today's Boston Pizza Preview, the Oilers wrap up the 2016-17 regular season at home against Vancouver

by Marc Ciampa /

The Oilers end their 2016-17 regular season on home ice tonight against the Vancouver Canucks with a chance to take the Pacific Division title with a win plus an Anaheim Ducks loss to L.A.

You can watch tonight's game on Sportsnet across Canada or listen via 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network. 

Read the game preview below.  


News and notes from Friday's Oilers practice and media availability.



OILERS (46-26-9) vs. CANUCKS (30-42-9)

TV: 7:00 p.m. MDT; Televised on Sportsnet


This is the fifth and final meeting of the season between the Oilers and Canucks. The Oilers defeated Vancouver last night at Rogers Arena by a score of 3-2. 

Edmonton is 3-0-1 in the previous four meetings against the Canucks this season and have picked up at least a point in each of their last 10 against Vancouver (6-0-4)

Oilers team scope:

Edmonton can win the Pacific Division with a victory of any kind tonight coupled with an Anaheim Ducks regulation loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Anaheim's game starts 30 minutes before Edmonton's does. 

The Oilers have been on a roll with wins in 10 of their last 12 games. The win against Vancouver on Saturday night clinched home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Incredibly, 12 games ago back on March 12 the Oilers were 10 points behind the Sharks but now they sit two points ahead with the Sharks having played all 82 games. 

Mark Letestu touched on the possibility of winning the division tonight with a win and some help.

"(Saturday) a win got you home ice and tomorrow a win potentially gets you a division. But we have to play a team that's played us tough all year. It's not going to be easy," Letestu stated. 

Aside from first place, the biggest milestone being talked about is Connor McDavid's quest to 100 points. McDavid currently has 98 points and was asked about potentially reaching the milestone. 

"It's not weighing on my mind," he said. "It's about the team. We clinched home ice and the team is more important than the individual so it's good that we did that."

Oilers head coach Todd McLellan was asked about what his lineup might look like tonight. 

"We'll see after I get a medical report and talk to the players to see what they might need heading into playoffs," McLellan said after the win on Saturday. 

"We'll make some decisions on the plane and in the morning. We'll definitely have 20 players available we just don't know who they are."

McLellan did confirm that Laurent Brossoit would be starting in goal. 

"LB's going to start, we know that. He's going to get an opportunity to play. He's an important part of our team. Based on my experience in playoffs, to win four rounds you might have to play 28 games and a lot of times your secondary goaltender comes into play so we need him to be sharp."

Canucks team scope:

The Vancouver Canucks will be looking to end their season on a positive note tonight after a tough stretch to wrap things up. 

Sitting in second last in the entire NHL with 69 points, the Canucks have lost seven games in a row with their last win coming on March 25 against Minnesota. 

Bo Horvat is the team's leading scorer with 20 goals and 51 points. The 20 goals and 51 points are both career highs for the 22-year-old centre. 

Vancouver is by far the weakest offensively in the first period of games. Through 81 games, they only have 39 goals in the opening period. In the second period, the Canucks have 68 and in the third period they have 62. 

In terms of goals against, the third period is their achilles heel. The Canucks have surrendered 62 goals in the first period, 71 goals in the second period and 96 goals in the third. 

Vancouver is 29th in the NHL on the power play at 14.2% and 28th on the penalty kill at 76.6%. 

Rookie from UND and former teammate of Oilers forward Drake Caggiula Brock Boeser is off to a good start in his NHL career. In eight games this season, Boeser has four goals and five points. 

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