Oilers battle Canucks on Boxing Day
EDMONTON OILERS (15-14-3) at
VANCOUVER CANUCKS (19-13-3)
Start Time: 8:08 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes
LINEUP UPDATES: Dwayne Roloson will start in goal tonight for the Oilers... Ethan Moreau will not play tonight due to a bruised hand. Robert Nilsson is also likely to return with Liam Reddox a potential healthy scratch.
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
'Twas the night after Christmas and all through Oil City
We remembered our last Canuck meeting with pity
When we suffered a 4-2 loss to Vancouver,
a quick turnaround we couldn't manoeuvre.
For the night before, when our sticks were askew
we had our worst home loss since '92.
But our last two games have been better by far,
three points out of four and we're one game over par.
The Oilers are coming off a 4-2 win
against the Phoenix Coyotes,who were feeling chagrin
When Edmonton capitalized on two power plays
and Stortini got his first goal after 19 gamedays.
While the Canucks' last game was a 5-0 defeat
to the San Jose Sharks who are proving elite.
But the Canucks have flourished against the Northwest
going 7-3-2, leaving many impressed.
They've won two out of three against the Oilers this season
Both coming at home for whatever the reason.
They've allowed the fewest home goals during the NHLrace
only 27 goals in 15 games at GM Place.
But the Oilers have some of their own good news
for Captain Moreau's arm will not need to have screws.
We are 5-3-1 in the month of December
and finding our stride, it might help to remember.
Despite the Oilers' special teams dismay
They are ninth in powerplay when playing away.
And the all-time series the Oilers do hold,
92-71-27 when all is told.
We next come back home to battle Nashville
Where the Oilers hope to showcase their skill.
'Gainst the Sens and Flames We'll round out the year,
Happy 2008, Oilers fans! Spread Oiler cheer!
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH: Andrew Cogliano
is coming off a two-point performance agaisnt Phoenix and has been increasingly in the action of late...Lubomir Visnovsky has three points in his last two games...Shawn Horcoff
hasn't scored a point in three games but has a good game versus Phoenix. He led all forwards in ice-time and was 17-30 in the faceoff circle (57%)... With the injury to Ethan Moreau, Robert Nilsson draws back into the lineup after being a healthy scratch last game.
CANUCKS TO WATCH:
Daniel Sedin leads Vancouvers in goals (17) and points (35)...Pavol Demitra has 10 goals and eight assists in 18 games this season and 31 points in 38 games versus Edmonton...Curtis Sanford is 6-1-0 versus Edmonton and made 24 saves in Vancouver's 4-2 win on Dec. 17.
Edmonton— Steve MacIntyre
(orbital bone) is out; Fernando Pisani (ankle) is out. Ethan Moreau (wrist) has been upgraded to probable Vancouver--Sami Salo (Ribs) is out;Roberto Luongo (Groin) is week-to-week; Ryan Johnson (foot/hand) is out; Rick Rypien (hernia) is out.
Vancouver has allowed only four goals in 53 penalty kills for a 92.5% PK eficiency...newly-acquired Mats Sundin is 22nd on the all-time goal-scoring list with 555 goals...Kyle Wellwood is has the best shooting percentage in the league at 32.4% (12 goals in 37 shots)...Zack Stortini
scored his first assist and first goal of the season in consecutive games.
Oilers head out on holiday break
- The Edmonton Oilers practiced on Tuesday prior to heading their separate ways for a brief two-day Christmas break. We spoke with Sheldon Souray
, Sam Gagner
and Craig MacTavish prior to departure and also got an injury update on Moreau. ...more
The Other Side - news from canucks.com
- A Special Visit - The Canucks reach out to the community and find perspective during their annual visit to BC Children's Hospital. Sometime it's the smallest things that make the biggest difference, as the Canucks see first hand. ...more
- Twas the night before Christmas - Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Vancouver, Not a creature was stirring, the snow too hard to maneuver. A Christmas poem for the Canucks as the team gets a deserved two-day break. ...more
Odds and Ends
- Best of The Link: Oilers visit EA Sports - On today's special episode of The Link, Sam Gagner, Zack Stortini and Mathieu Garon visit EA Sports. We also play Guitar Hero with Tom Gilbert and visit a local school with Erik Cole. ...more
- Holiday plans and wishes from the Oilers - To cap off our holiday episode of The Link, Oilers players talked about their plans for the holiday break following an 8:00 a.m. practice. They also took the time to wish season's greetings to Oilers fans everywhere. ...more
- Happy Holidays at Inner City High - The festive spirit was alive and well within the Edmonton Oilers in early December as the entire team enjoyed the second annual Christmas luncheon with students and staff of Inner City High School (ICHS). ...more
From the Wire (AP)
A brief holiday break might have been the best way for the Vancouver Canucks to recover from their worst game of the season.
The Canucks return to the ice on Friday night as they open their final three-game homestand of the calendar year against the Edmonton Oilers.
Vancouver, whose defense ranks among the league's best with 94 goals allowed, headed into its most recent contest having won five of eight and limited opponents to 2.5 tallies per game in that span.
But the Canucks (19-13-3) failed miserably in an attempt to contain one of the NHL's highest-scoring teams, falling 5-0 at league-leading San Jose on Tuesday. They were blanked for the third time this season, and for the second time in six games after a loss 3-0 on Dec. 13 at Edmonton (15-14-3).
Vancouver was playing its third contest in four days and allowed all five goals in the first 20:43.
With captain Roberto Luongo still nursing a groin injury, rookie Cory Schneider stopped just five of 10 shots before being replaced by Curtis Sanford for the Canucks, who fell out of the lead in the competitive Northwest Division after Calgary won earlier that night.
Sanford has compiled a 2.20 goals-against average in winning six of his last eight outings versus the Oilers. Schneider has allowed 12 goals in losing two of his last three starts and has never faced Edmonton.
With 41 points, the Canucks are one point behind the Flames - idle until Saturday against Ottawa - and have an eight-point lead over last-place Edmonton.
"I guess you have to work harder and get better, we've got a couple days to regroup and refocus, and get ready for our next game," Schneider told the Canucks' official Web site.
That comes in Vancouver, where the Canucks have outscored their opponents 32-20 while going 8-2-1 in their last 11.
Contributing to the Canucks' overall home success has been left wing Daniel Sedin, who has notched 10 goals and nine assists in 15 games there. Overall, he leads the team with 17 goals and 35 points.
Edmonton, meanwhile, has scored 87 goals this season to tie division rival Minnesota for second-fewest in the Western Conference.
After being outscored 16-6 in three straight losses, the Oilers headed into the holidays with a 4-2 home victory over Phoenix on Monday. Sheldon Souray and Andrew Cogliano scored power-play goals in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie.
Souray, Edmonton's second-leading scorer with 23 points, was relieved by the victory.
"When you lose these kind of games, especially with the situation we are in, it can kind of fester when you have a few days off," the defenseman said.
The Oilers have won six of their last nine road contests, and head to GM Place for the second time in 10 days following a 4-2 loss on Dec. 17. Edmonton is 2-5-1 in its last eight visits to Vancouver.
Right wing Ales Hemsky, who leads the Oilers with 10 goals and 23 assists, has five goals and 17 assists in 26 career games versus the Canucks.