Canucks-Oilers Preview

The Vancouver Canucks have been getting outstanding goaltending
from Cory Schneider during their winning streak. If the top line of
Henrik and Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows can pick up the pace,
there’s no telling how much further they can extend their run.

Vancouver goes for a seventh consecutive victory Saturday night
when they visit an Edmonton Oilers team trying to go unbeaten in a
season-high three straight games.

With Roberto Luongo on the bench – and possibly on his way out
of town with Wednesday’s trade deadline looming – Schneider has
taken a firm hold on the No. 1 goaltender spot, giving up six goals
and recording two shutouts during the Canucks’ run.

Vancouver (19-9-6) has won six straight despite scoring just 13
times, going 1 for 15 on the power play in that span. The club may
have gotten a positive sign Thursday, however, as the Sedins and
Burrows each had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory over

The line totaled two goals and three assists in the previous
five contests.

“They’ve been playing well,” coach Alain Vigneault said.
“They’ve been spending some time in the other team’s end and
they’ve been getting some chances. They weren’t getting a lot of
reward for their effort but tonight they did.”

Vancouver could use another big effort as it goes for its first
seven-game winning streak since last March 22-April 3.

The Canucks are also looking to extend a four-game road win
streak, and they’ll be trying for their sixth victory in eight
visits to Rexall Place following a 3-2 overtime win Feb. 4.

Chris Tanev’s first NHL goal completed the Canucks’ rally from
two down in that contest after Luongo stopped a Taylor Hall penalty
shot earlier in the extra period.

The Oilers have been outscored 20-11 while losing five of six in
this Northwest Division series, but they enter this contest with
some momentum and are three points outside the top eight in the
Western Conference.

After ending an 0-2-1 skid with a 3-0 victory at St. Louis on
Tuesday – which coach Ralph Krueger called the “most complete game
of the year” – Edmonton overcame 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 deficits in a 6-4
win over Columbus on Thursday.

“With the mistakes we made, finding a way to stay in it and
continue to push and shut it down in the third (scoring three
unanswered goals), it’s a good feeling,” said center Sam Gagner,
who had a goal and two assists.

” … We need to find ways to win here at home and playing with
energy and creating chances for ourselves. When we do that you can
see how loud it gets in this building.”

Devan Dubnyk, who stopped all nine shots faced as Nikolai
Khabibulin’s third-period replacement Thursday, should be in net as
the Oilers go for their first three-game run since Jan. 31-Feb. 4,

Dubnyk has turned aside 64 of 69 shots against the Canucks this
season, as well as both shootout attempts in a 3-2 road win Jan. 20
that ended a four-game losing streak to Vancouver.

Daniel Sedin has three goals and three assists in a five-game
point streak in this series, while Henrik has three goals and 10
assists in his last nine road games against Edmonton.

Schneider hasn’t faced the Oilers since last season. He’s 1-0-0
with a 1.31 goals-against average in three appearances – one start
– in Edmonton.