Oilers-Canucks Preview

The Vancouver Canucks have fared well no matter who’s been in

net lately, and that could make coach John Tortorella’s decision on

his starters for a set of back-to-back games less stressful.

Tortorella might choose to give No. 1 netminder Roberto Luongo

the task of helping the Canucks extend their season-high win streak

to six games or let Eddie Lack build on his first NHL shutout

Friday night against the Edmonton Oilers.

Vancouver (18-10-5) has outscored opponents 14-6 in its last

five games, with Luongo starting three of them. Lack, though, drew

the assignment Monday against Carolina and stopped 31 shots in a

2-0 win.

“The thing I like most about Eddie is just his presence. I think

he settles the team down,” Tortorella said. ”There’s not a lot of

extra movement in his game. … He doesn’t get rattled.

“I hope it continues. As a coach you’re looking at the present

but you’re also looking at the future, too, as you go through a

long year with a condensed schedule that we have with the


With the Canucks wrapping up their five-game homestand Saturday

against Eastern Conference-leading Boston, Lack might get another

start Friday versus the last-place team in the West.

Edmonton (11-19-3) had gone 2-0-1 in its last three games before

losing 4-2 to Boston on Thursday. David Perron scored both of the

Oilers’ goals in the second period to help them cut an early 3-0


Edmonton, however, couldn’t find the equalizer despite

outshooting the Bruins 13-3 in the final frame.

“I don’t know if we were, ‘The Bruins are in town, they’re one

of the best teams in the league and we need to play cautious,'”

coach Dallas Eakins said. “You can’t play cautious against anybody.

You’ll get killed if you give them too much time and space.”

The Canucks handled the visiting Oilers 6-2 on Oct. 5 in the

only matchup this season. Henrik Sedin provided three assists and

Luongo made 21 saves in that victory.

The Canucks are 10-1-1 in their last 12 home games against the

Oilers, and Luongo is 7-0-1 with a 1.60 goals-against average in

those matchups. Luongo, though, also gave up seven goals in a loss

in Edmonton on April 27.

Lack has never faced the Oilers.

It’s also unknown which goaltender Edmonton will start after

Devan Dubnyk was pulled after one period Thursday. Former Canuck

Jason LaBarbera stopped all 12 shots he faced.

Dubnyk is 1-2-1 with a 3.22 GAA in his last four games in

Vancouver while LaBarbera is 4-1-1 with a 2.11 GAA in six career

starts against his former club. LaBarbera appeared in nine games

and started eight for the Canucks in 2008-09 after being acquired

from Los Angeles in midseason for a seventh-round draft pick.

Henrik Sedin’s 72 career points against Edmonton are his most

versus any opponent, and Daniel Sedin’s 33 goals against the Oilers

are his most versus any other team. Current linemate Jannik Hansen

has two goals and five assists in his last eight matchups with

Edmonton, but he has only one goal and two assists in his past 10


Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle has seven goals and seven assists in 17

career games against Vancouver, while Taylor Hall has five goals

and eight assists in his last 12 matchups.

The Canucks had two six-game win streaks last season, and

Edmonton ended the most recent one with a 4-0 home victory March