|VAN||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||5|
|EDM||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
The Vancouver Canucks usually don't have a hard time defending the power play, especially against the Edmonton Oilers.
Coming off their worst loss in nearly a year, the Canucks look to set a franchise record with their sixth straight win over the Oilers when the Northwest Division rivals open a home-and-home series Friday night.
Vancouver's 8-2 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday was its largest margin of defeat since Nov. 9, when it fell 6-0 to Anaheim.
The Canucks (1-2-0) were short-handed four times against the Flyers, giving up two goals. They had killed off 12 of their opponents' previous 13 opportunities on the power play, and led the league in penalty killing last season at 86.9 percent.
"This is as bad as I've seen this team play," Vancouver captain Markus Naslund said. "We talked about getting back into good habits, like we had last year, but we haven't done that so far."
A matchup with the Oilers (2-2-0) gives the Canucks a good opportunity to bounce back. Vancouver has matched a team record with five straight wins against Edmonton since a 4-0 loss on Dec. 4, killing off all 25 of the Oilers' power-play opportunities in that span.
Edmonton, which was 27th in the league with a 14.2 power-play percentage last season, has not scored in 16 opportunities with the man advantage this season.
Roberto Luongo has started every game during Vancouver's run against Edmonton, posting a 1.99 goals-against average, but gave up four goals on 13 shots before being pulled Wednesday. He has a 4.22 GAA on the season.
Luongo gave up three goals in the Canucks' only win of the season, 4-3 over Calgary on Saturday, but Vancouver got a goal from four different players. On Wednesday, only Ryan Shannon and Lukas Krajicek found the back of the net for the Canucks.
Shannon leads Vancouver and already has matched a career high with two goals, which he set in 53 games with Anaheim as a rookie last season.
Edmonton, meanwhile, has scored just two goals in its last two games, losing both after opening with wins over San Jose and Philadelphia. The Oilers took a season-low 21 shots in a 2-0 loss to Minnesota on Wednesday, going 0-for-4 on the power play.
A postgame question about the team's struggles with the man advantage angered Oilers coach Craig MacTavish.
"Are you just going to point out the negatives every time here?" MacTavish said.
Edmonton's problems seem to have carried over from its terrible finish to last season, when it lost 18 of its final 20 games to finish in last place in the Northwest Division. The Oilers expected to improve after adding defensemen Sheldon Souray and Joni Pitkanen, and wingers Geoff Sanderson and Dustin Penner over the summer.
Souray, coming off a career-best 64-point season, has only one assist and captain Ethan Moreau hasn't played since bruising his ankle in an exhibition game last month.
Edmonton, though, has gotten strong play from Dwayne Roloson, who stopped 24 of 26 shots Wednesday. He is 1-2-0, but has a 2.32 GAA.
Roloson is 11-10-2 with two ties and a 2.20 GAA all-time against Vancouver.
The Canucks went 6-2-0 against the Oilers last season. These teams will meet again Saturday night in Vancouver.
|Apr 03 '08||EDM 2 at VAN 1||J. Stoll|
|Mar 20 '08||VAN 4 at EDM 1||M. Pettinger|
|Feb 16 '08||EDM 2 at VAN 4||D. Sedin|
|Dec 15 '07||VAN 1 at EDM 2 - SO||F. Pisani|
|Nov 20 '07||VAN 4 at EDM 5 - SO||S. Horcoff|
|Nov 14 '07||EDM 1 at VAN 0 - SO||A. Hemsky|
|Oct 13 '07||EDM 1 at VAN 4||D. Sedin|
|Oct 12 '07||VAN 5 at EDM 2||A. Burrows|