The Edmonton Oilers host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night in a matchup pitting two of the Pacific Division's top teams head to head. Edmonton is second in the Western Conference in points but fell to Colorado 4-1 on on Wednesday night. That marked the end of a bruising five-game road trip that took the Oilers around the west coast. Edmonton features the NHL's top two points leaders in Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.
Vancouver is coming off one of the wildest games in the 2019-20 NHL season, a 8-6 loss at Pittsburgh in which the Penguins scored six goals in the third period. The Canucks had a comfortable 6-3 lead three minutes into the final period but then gave up four goals in the course of 10 minutes to fall behind. The late collapse elucidated Vancouver's at-time rocky defensive play. The Canucks allow three goals a game which puts them square in the middle of the league.
Canucks look to end road trip on topThe Vancouver Canucks must be home sick as they prepare for their sixth and last road game of a season-long trip. Vancouver showed some on-ice fatigue in its third period collapse against Pittsburgh and will need to start strong to have a chance Saturday. The Canucks are at their best on the power play, where they convert on 26.7% of chances, a mark that is fourth best in the NHL. Five players have 20 or more points led by a team-high 21 from Elias Pettersson. J.T. Miller overtook Pettersson for the team-high in goals (12) with two against Pittsburgh.
Top goalie Matt Murray was pulled Wednesday after allowing four goals on 14 shots. The 25-year old up until then had been off to a great start to the year. He currently boasts a 2.72 goals allowed average with a .901 save percentage. Goalie Jacob Markstrom was a late scratch Wednesday due to an illness. He's currently listed day-to-day. Markstrom has a .272 GAA and a .913 save percentage, both above his career marks. His health will obviously determine his availability Saturday.
Edmonton looks to rebound at homeThe Edmonton Oilers are surely happy to be back home after a five-game road trip that included two losses by margins of three or more goals. The latter occurred Wednesday night when Edmonton jumped out to an early 1-0 lead before giving up four unanswered goals. It was one of those rare nights where neither Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl recorded a point. The loss served as a reminder that no matter how good those two guys are, Edmonton still needs production down the line. The Oilers weren't the same without center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (five goals, 11 assists) who remains out with a hand injury.
Edmonton's defense has been rock solid for most of the season and especially so on the penalty kill, where it staves off opponents at a 87.5% clip. Goalie Mikko Koskinen is having a stellar year with a 2.56 GAA and .920 save percentage but is coming off a couple rough outings. He's allowed seven goals in the last two games. Mike Smith is also off to a good start with a 2.66 GAA and .911 save percentage.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on covers.com, are:
- Oilers are 6-0 in their last six home games following a road trip of seven or more days.
- Oilers are 5-1 in their last six Saturday games.
- Oilers are 4-1 in their last six games following a loss of three or more goals.
- Canucks are 9-19 in their last 28 games playing on two days rest.
- Canucks are 1-5 in their last six games as an underdog of +110 to +150.
- Canucks are 2-6 in their last eight games vs. the Western Conference.