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.