Venue: Rexall Place
The Vancouver Canucks needed a late goal to prevent a collapse against the Edmonton Oilers last month.
The way the Oilers are playing now, the Canucks will likely need a more complete effort this time at Rexall Place.
After losing sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division, Vancouver looks to bounce back Sunday night when it faces Edmonton, which is trying to extend its season-high points streak to seven.
Looking for their first road win following four losses, the Canucks (15-8-4) left Edmonton on Nov. 2 with a 4-3 victory. Former Oiler Raffi Torres capped his first career hat trick as his go-ahead score with 9:07 left came after Vancouver squandered a 3-0 first-period lead.
After goaltender Cory Schneider made a rare start in Saturday's 5-4 overtime loss to Tampa Bay - a defeat that dropped the Canucks into a first-place divisional tie with Colorado - Roberto Luongo should get the call as Vancouver tries to improve to 7-1-1 versus Northwest foes.
The Canucks, who will go for their first 3-0 stretch on the road since Nov. 14-Dec. 3, 2009, will take on an Oilers club averaging 3.3 goals while going 5-0-1 over the last six. Edmonton (11-12-5) won its first shootout in five chances this season, 4-3 over the Lightning on Friday as rookie Linus Omark - who also had an assist - clinched the victory in his NHL debut with a nifty spin move in the third round of the tiebreaker.
"I was chuckling when they put him out there because I knew something was going to happen," first overall pick Taylor Hall told the Oilers' official website. "Sure enough, he did the spin-o-rama. It's great for our team and for our city."
Hall also tallied his team-high 10th goal in the victory. The 19-year-old forward, who did not score in his first seven games, has seven goals and two assists in the last 11. Despite the Oilers' recent success, and a chance at posting their first seven-game point streak going 4-0-3 from March 7-20, 2009, Hall and his teammates are not overlooking the two-time defending division champs.
"They have a lot of depth at forward and defense, and obviously their goaltending is very good," Hall said of Luongo, who is 16-5-2 with a 2.08 goals-against average in 23 starts against the Oilers since joining the Canucks in 2006-07. "It's going to take a very good game from us, but with the way that we've been playing - and we have some confidence now - if we play our game we should be good."
The Oilers, though, have to do a better job protecting Nikolai Khabibulin. Edmonton, which faces a league-high 34.8 shots per game, was outshot 41-23 on Friday with Khabibulin stopping 16 of 17 in the third period.
The Oilers, also among the most penalized clubs in the NHL with nearly 16 minutes per game, need to stay out of the penalty box as they face the Canucks' league-leading power-play unit.
Eight of Daniel Sedin's team-high 16 goals have come on the power play, and he has three scores with the man advantage while finding the back of the net in each of the last five games versus Edmonton.
Twin brother Henrik, who has more assists (233) than any player since the beginning of 2007-08, has two goals and eight assists during a six-game point streak in this matchup.
Vancouver is 5-1-0 in those contests.
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