A pair of Pacific Division teams from Western Canada renew their rivalry on the ice in British Columbia. The Edmonton Oilers head westward as they face off with the Vancouver Canucks Sunday night. Edmonton beat Philadelphia 4-1 at home on Friday night in their last game. Vancouver came up with a 5-1 win at home over the same Flyers squad Saturday night as the visitors closed a back to back set. The teams split four meetings last season with the home team prevailing in each contest. In the most recent matchup, it was Edmonton taking a 3-2 win in a shootout on April 7.
Edmonton Oilers Shoot to Keep Sizzling
Edmonton has been on a roll since bringing Ken Hitchcock on as their head coach. The Oilers have moved to fourth in the Pacific Division: they are tied with the Sharks for third but San Jose owns the head to head tiebreaker. The team does own the first wild card spot entering Sunday and stand three points clear of Minnesota. The Oilers are 20th in the league in scoring as they average 2.88 goals per game. Edmonton is 15th in the league as they allow 2.94 goals per game. The Oilers are 16th the league in power play percentage as they convert 20.4 percent of their chances with the man advantage. Edmonton is 20th in penalty killing as they kill off just 78.1 percent of their shorthanded situations.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 15, 2018
The Oilers improved to 8-1-1 in their last 10 games as they took care of the Flyers at home Friday night. Edmonton was outshot 9-7 in the opening period but skated off after 20 minutes with a 1-0 advantage. Alex Chiasson netted the lone goal of the period with his 14th of the season at the 12:37 mark. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid each drew an assist on that goal. In the second period, the Oilers were outshot 10-8 but outscored the Flyers 2-0 to take a 3-0 advantage after 40 minutes. Connor McDavid made it 2-0 at 12:37 with his 18th of the season. Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse drew the helpers on that marker. Later in the period, Adam Larsson put in his first of the year at 14:08 off assists from Ryan Spooner and Nurse. In the third period, the Oilers were outshot again, 13-7, but the teams each scored once. After the Flyers made it a 3-1 game, McDavid had his second of the night and 19th of the season into an empty net with Draisaitl drawing the assist. Mikko Koskinen made 31 saves for Edmonton, who was outshot 32-22 in the game. Cam Talbot is expected to be between the pipes here.
Vancouver Canucks Seek Back to Back Wins
Vancouver is playing solid hockey of late after a dismal stretch during most of the month of November. The Canucks enter this contest sixth in the Pacific Division, five points behind the Sharks for the final guaranteed playoff spot in the Pacific Division and four back of Vegas for the second wild card spot. The Canucks enter Friday 19th in the league in goals scored with an average of 2.94 per game while the team is 26th in goals against by allowing 3.32 per contest. Vancouver is 21st on the power play as they have cashed in 17.6 percent of their chances with the man advantage. They are 24th on the penalty kill by successfully killing off 76.5 percent of their shorthanded situations.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 16, 2018
The Canucks won for the fourth time in five games as they took care of the gassed Flyers team at home Saturday night. Vancouver was outshot 10-8 in the opening period but skated off after 20 minutes with a 3-1 lead. Chris Tanev opened the scoring at 4:13 with his first goal of the year off assists from Nikolay Goldobin and Bo Horvat. Loui Eriksson doubled the lead to 2-0 with his sixth of the season at 8:07 off assists from Adam Gaudette and Alex Biega. Josh Leivo made it a 3-0 game with his seventh of the season off assists from Brock Boeser and Troy Stecher at 11:12 of the period. The Flyers got on the board before the period was out to make it a two goal game. In the second period, Vancouver was outshot 9-8 but scored the period’s only goal. Boeser tallied his 11th of the year at 12:07 off assists from Stecher and Elias Pettersson to make it a 4-1 game after 40 minutes. In the final stanza, the Canucks were outshot 13-8 but tallied the only goal of the period to close things out. Markus Granlund scored his sixth of the year at 15:29 off assists from Tyler Motte and Jay Beagle to close out the scoring. Jacob Markstrom made 31 saves in the win for Vancouver, who was outshot 32-24 in the game.
- Canucks are 1-4 in their last 5 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation
- Canucks are 1-9 in their last 10 games playing on 0 days rest
- Canucks are 0-4 in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Oilers are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a losing record
- Oilers are 5-1 in their last 6 overall
- Oilers are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 1 day of rest
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Edmonton is on a roll right now as they have really turned things around since Hitchcock took over behind the bench. Since he took over the team, the Oilers are 9-2-2 to jump up in the standings. Vancouver is going to be a bit gassed here with their second game in as many nights and their third game in four nights here. The Canucks have struggled to keep the puck out of their own net and the Oilers are surging right now. You have to give them the upper hand in this contest.
Prediction: Edmonton Oilers -130
Full-Game Total Pick
Edmonton’s resurgence has to be a boost for the city as a whole given their early struggles. The Oilers have seen Draisaitl come back to life of late as McDavid continues to pile up the points. McDavid recorded his 34th career game with at least three points this season and is up to 48 points on the year. Vancouver has won four of five coming into this one but they still have ground to make up if they hope to have any success in making the postseason. Can the Canucks gain a couple more points in the standings in this contest or will Hitchcock keep the Oilers moving upward?
The under is 4-1 in the Oilers’ last 5 vs. Pacific Division opponents, 5-2 in their last 7 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 days situation, 5-2 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a losing home record and 7-3 in their last 10 overall. Vancouver has seen the under go 7-2 in their last 9 games playing on 0 days rest and 5-2 in their last seven on Sunday. The teams have seen the under go 3-0-1 in their last four meetings in Vancouver and 6-2-1 in their last nine meetings overall. Look for this one to be a one goal game that ends up under the number.
Prediction: Under 6