Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers face off Saturday in a rarity for this season: a single game between series versus other opponents.

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NEXT GAME

Edmonton Oilers (17-11-0) vs. Vancouver Canucks (12-16-2)

Saturday: 7 p.m., Rogers Arena. TV: CBC, Sportsnet. Radio: Sportsnet 650 AM


FIVE KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Spirit: The Canucks were listless Wednesday in their loss to Montreal. “Unacceptable,” Brock Boeser called his team’s effort. The Canucks started flat and never found their feet as the Canadiens gave them no space to play and peppered Thatcher Demko with shots. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl had their way with the Senators on Wednesday and would have had similar success against the Canucks.

2. Point pursuit: Lots has been said about the Oilers’ depth being better this season, but the bigger story is the dominance of McDavid and Draisaitl. They’re leading the league in scoring and, inside and outside of the market, everyone can see they’re back to their dominant best. The Canucks have had great goaltending from Demko of late, but they’ll need to defend better against the Oilers than they did against Montreal.

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3. Rest: The Canucks last played Wednesday. The Oilers will fly to Vancouver after facing the Senators again on Friday. Saturday will be the third game in four nights for Edmonton, so the Canucks being rested could be a great equalizer.

4. No Pettersson: Elias Pettersson remains out with a suspected wrist or forearm injury. The Canucks put him on injured reserve Wednesday, which wasn’t much of a surprise given coach Travis Green said the day before that his No. 1 centre would be out another week. J.T. Miller looked great sliding into the middle in Pettersson’s absence versus the Leafs but his play slowed against the Habs.

5. Free solo: A one-game set? What is this? In a season where most games come as part of a multi-game series against the same opponent, the Oilers and the Canucks will play each other only Saturday. The Canucks fly to Ottawa on Sunday to begin a four-game swing through the nation’s capital and then on to Montreal, while the Oilers head to Calgary for a two-game set.

PROJECTED OILERS LINEUP

Forwards

Leon Draisaitl — Connor McDavid — Kailer Yamamoto

Tyler Ennis — Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Jesse Puljujarvi

Patrick Russell — Jujhar Khaira — Devin Shore

James Neal — Gaetan Haas — Alex Chiasson

Defence

Darnell Nurse — Tyson Barrie

Kris Russell — Adam Larsson

William Lagesson — Ethan Bear

Goalies: Mike Smith, Mikko Koskinen


PROJECTED CANUCKS LINEUP

Forwards

Nils Höglander — J.T. Miller — Brock Boeser

Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Jake Virtanen

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Marc Michaelis — Brandon Sutter — Adam Gaudette

Antoine Roussel — Jay Beagle — Jayce Hawryluk

Defence

Alex Edler — Nate Schmidt
Quinn Hughes — Travis Hamonic
Jordie Benn — Tyler Myers

Goalies:Thatcher Demko, Braden Holtby


SPECIAL TEAMS

Oilers: PP 26.6% (8th), PK 76.7% (20th)

Canucks: PP 20% (18th), PK 80.4% (13th)

SICK BAY

Oilers: Zack Kassian (upper-body), Slater Koekkoek (collarbone), Josh Archibald (undisclosed), Kyle Turris (lower-body) and Oscar Klefbom (shoulder).

Canucks: Elias Pettersson (upper-body), Tyler Motte (high-ankle sprain), Micheal Ferland (post-concussion) and Justin Bailey (shoulder).

SEASON SERIES

Oilers (3-1-0) GF 15

Canucks (1-3-0) GF 10

PREVIOUS SCORES

(Home team in caps)

Jan. 13: Vancouver 5, EDMONTON 3

Jan. 14: EDMONTON 5, Vancouver 2

Feb. 23: Edmonton 4, VANCOUVER 3

Feb. 25: Edmonton 3, VANCOUVER 0

TEAM SCORING LEADERS

OILERS vs. CANUCKS

Leon Draisaitl 0 9 9 +6

Connor McDavid 5 2 7 +1

Kailer Yamamoto 1 4 5 Even

CANUCKS vs. OILERS

Bo Horvat 2 1 3 -2

Elias Pettersson 1 2 3 +2

Quinn Hughes 0 3 3 -1

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