VANCOUVER – Following their 5-3 win last night, the Vancouver Canucks (1-0) look to complete the season-opening sweep of their two game battle with the Edmonton Oilers (0-1) when the teams hit the ice for the rematch at Rogers Place tonight.
Brock Boeser scored a pair of third period goals as the Canucks broke a 2-2 tie and secured their first victory of the season. Rookie Nils Hoglander scored in his NHL debut while Adam Gaudette and Bo Horvat had the other Vancouver goals. Braden Holtby was sharp in his first game in a Vancouver uniform stopping 28 of the 31 Edmonton shots he faced.
Holtby will likely watch from the bench tonight as Thatcher Demko is expected to make his first start of the season. With no morning skate, it will likely be closer to game time before any line-up news is revealed.
Boeser had a pair of multi-goal games last season scoring a hattrick in Los Angeles on October 30, 2019 and netting a pair of goals in Buffalo on January 11, 2020. He scored just three goals over his final 20 games last regular season, but is off to a quick start with a pair last night.
Veteran Alex Edler led all Canucks in ice-time last night logging 25:32 including 10:12 of the third period. He also led all Vancouver skaters with 4:50 of penalty killing duty. The Canucks held the best power play in the NHL last season scoreless in four attempts on Wednesday night.
At even-strength, the Canucks controlled 58.2% of all shot attempts and held a 31-25 edge in shots on goal. All eight of the goals in Wednesday night’s contest were scored 5-on-5.
Connor McDavid was held off the scoresheet in 26:24 of ice although he did register a game-high five shots on goal on nine attempts. Last season’s scoring leader Leon Draisaitl picked up an assist on the Oilers first goal of the season setting up Kailer Yamamoto for a quick shot from the slot 5:39 into the second period. Defensemen Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson scored the other Edmonton goals last night.
Mikko Koskinen stopped 30 of the 35 shots Vancouver shots on the night. It’s not known if the Oilers will come back with Koskinen tonight or turn to 38-year-old Mike Smith who is entering his 15th NHL season.
This is the second of 10 meetings between these North Division rivals this season. After tonight, they will next see each other for a two-game set in Vancouver on February 23rd and 25th.
As they did last night, referees Kevin Pollock and Eric Furlatt will again work tonight’s contest.
POSSIBLE CANUCKS LINE-UP
POSSIBLE OILERS LINE-UP