Who's Next? Canucks vs Oilers

 

 
 
 
 
VANCOUVER, BC — JANUARY 6: Alex Biega #55 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on from the bench during their NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Rogers Arena January 6, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
 

VANCOUVER, BC — JANUARY 6: Alex Biega #55 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on from the bench during their NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Rogers Arena January 6, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Photograph by: Jeff Vinnick, NHLI via Getty Images

RECENT RUN

After a promising start to their recently concluded four-game homestand, the Canucks have dropped two straight games. The Oilers will be playing the fourth game of a five-game homestand. They are coming off a 6-4 win Wednesday over the St. Louis Blues. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, pictured, had two goals in that game. The Oilers have played a league-high 73 games and are tied for last in the West with 63 points, three back of Vancouver.

INJURY REPORT

Defenceman Alex Biega, pictured, who sat out Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to Colorado with an injury, practised Thursday and could play tonight. Winger Jannik Hansen, who has missed the last eight games with a rib injury, did not make the trip. Head coach Willie Desjardins said Hansen, who had been skating with the team, suffered a setback of sorts and would not be back any earlier than next week.

OFFENCE MISSING

Both the Canucks and Oilers are struggling to score goals. The Oilers stand 26th in the NHL, averaging 2.37 goals per game. The Canucks are 27th, at 2.36 goals per game. Vancouver’s power play has gone 0-for-17 in the last five games. “Our power play has to be better,” Desjardins said Thursday. “Plus we have to get more power plays. We just don’t get enough power plays.” The Canucks drew just one penalty Wednesday against the Avalanche.

NOTABLE

This will be the third of five meetings between the teams. The Canucks dropped a 2-1 overtime decision on home ice on Oct. 18 and beat the Oilers 2-1 on a pair of Jannik Hansen goals at Rogers Arena on Dec. 26. The teams meet in Edmonton on April 6 and close out the season April 9 at Rogers Arena ... Jacob Markstrom, pictured, will start in goal for the Canucks.

QUOTABLE

“I do know that if you take them lightly, even though they have a lot of young guys, they are incredibly skilled. So if you take this team lightly they are going to light you up and make you look stupid.” — Vancouver defenceman Matt Bartkowski, pictured, on playing the Oilers.

bziemer@postmedia.com

 
 
 
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VANCOUVER, BC — JANUARY 6: Alex Biega #55 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on from the bench during their NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Rogers Arena January 6, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
 

VANCOUVER, BC — JANUARY 6: Alex Biega #55 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on from the bench during their NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Rogers Arena January 6, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Photograph by: Jeff Vinnick, NHLI via Getty Images

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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