The Edmonton Oilers will look for their third win in a row Saturday night when they host the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks aren’t in playoff contention but beat the Oilers 3-2 in a shootout when they last met on New Year’s Eve.
“They can create a frustrating environment if you’re not on top of your game,” said Oilers head coach Todd McLellan. “They’re a team that plays well with the lead in my opinion. If they get out front, then they can check their way from that point to a win.”
The Oilers are coming off back-to-back seven goal outbursts. Benoit Pouliot, who has had a frustrating season, scored in both games and has found new life on a line with David Desharnais and Zack Kassian.
“There’s some speed, skill, and grit to our line,” said Pouliot. “Actually, our whole lineup is like that.”
The Oilers will be hoping to improve their penalty kill, which is 28th in the NHL since December 1 at just 74%.
“Right now, it’s just little breakdowns, little coverages,” said centre Mark Letestu. “We know it. It’s stunk here for a while. It’s been something that’s hurt us. We’ve lost some games because of it recently.”
The Oilers expected lineup is:
Maroon – McDavid – Draisaitl
Lucic – Nugent-Hopkins – Eberle
Pouliot – Desharnais – Kassian
Caggiula – Letestu – Slepyshev
Sekera – Russell
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Benning
The Oilers and Canucks are on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6:30pm Saturday night. The game starts at 8pm. (jrw)