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Game Preview: Vancouver Canucks vs. Edmonton Oilers

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Apparently some kid named Connor McDavid is coming to town. I've heard he's a decent hockey player

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks (3-1-1) vs. Edmonton Oilers (1-4-0)

Time 6:00 PM PT TV Sportsnet
H2H (2014/15) 5-0-0 Canucks Last Meeting 6-5 Canucks (OT) - April 11
The Enemy The Copper & Blue Scoring Leaders

VAN: Brandon Sutter (2-3-5)

STL: Connor McDavid (3-1-4)

Canucks Category Oilers
3-1-1 Season Record 1-4-0
7 Points 2
2nd Division Position T-4th
Lost 1 Streak Won 1
14 Goals For 10
9 Goals Against 15
5.5 Power Play % 11.1
92.3 Penalty Kill % 88.2
31.8 Shots Per Game 27.4
28.8 Shots Against Per Game 32.4


The Canucks are coming off their first regulation loss of the season on Friday night after falling to the Blues 4-3 at Rogers Arena. The Blues led 4-1 with 3:46 left in the third before Jared McCann and Daniel Sedin scored late goals to bring the Canucks back within one, but Vancouver couldn't complete the comeback.

Vancouver's power play continued to struggle as the Canucks went 0-for-5 on the advantage against the Blues. The Canucks are 1-for-18 on the power play this year (5.5%), which is the worst percentage in the NHL among teams with at last one power play goal so far this year.

The Canucks swept the season series against the Oilers last year, but the games were far from lopsided. Vancouver's biggest win over the Oilers last year was a 2-0 decision on October 17. Every other game was decided either by one goal or a shootout. Two of the five games went past regulation.

Jared McCann will likely be out of the lineup after suffering an undisclosed injury against the Blues on Friday. Willie Desjardins said it wouldn't totally rule out McCann for Sunday night, but his status looks doubtful. In his place should be Sven Baertschi, who will skate with Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen. If you like Vancouver's youth movement, that line is like a dream come true. This line had an incredible night against the Oilers in the preseason, combining for 10 points back on October 1.

With the Canucks off for the next three days following this game, Ryan Miller will likely get the start in net again. Miller has a .938 save percentage with a GAA of 1.77 to start the season.


The Oilers are coming off their first win of the season after losing their first three games to start the year. Connor McDavid led the way with his first multi-point performance of the year (two goals, one assist) to help the Oilers defeat the Flames 5-2 on Saturday. McDavid said that he's already starting to feel more and more comfortable each game.

McDavid is now on the second line, centering Benoit Pouliot and Nail Yakupov. This will be the first time the Canucks have seen McDavid split from fellow No. 1 pick Taylor Hall.

All five of Edmonton's goals against the Flames came from their four No. 1 overall picks.

Cam Talbot earned his first win of the year, stopping 22 shots on net. It could be likely that Anders Nilsson gets the start in net tonight for the Oilers. In Nilsson's first appearance of the year, the backup goalie stopped 48 shots in a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.

Edmonton has struggled defensively so far, allowing 15 goals in their first five games. Andrej Sekera and Mark Fayne, Edmonton's two highest paid defensemen, were a combined minus-10 going into their matchup with the Flames. Andrew Ference, their third highest paid defenseman, has appeared in just one game so far.