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
“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