NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 30th (All times Eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (19-9-6) at Edmonton Oilers (13-13-7), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It may have taken longer than expected, but Cory Schneider has looked as if he has entrenched himself as the Vancouver Canucks' No. 1 goaltender.
Schneider looks to lead the Canucks to a season-high seventh straight victory on Saturday night in a road clash with the Edmonton Oilers.
The Canucks were set to hand the starting role to Schneider at the start of the season despite having not moved netminder Roberto Luongo during the offseason. Schneider, though, struggled early on and Luongo saw his playing time increase to a near split.
However, Schneider has been in net for all six games of Vancouver's current winning streak, which ties a season high set from Jan. 30-Feb. 12. Luongo had four wins during that earlier run.
Schneider has allowed just six goals over Vancouver's last six games and has a pair of shutouts in that span. He allowed one goal on 33 shots in Thursday's 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
"I'm not trying to put too much into it," said Schneider regarding the streak. "I'm just worried about the next game. I think we're just as good as the next game."
Daniel Sedin had the go-ahead goal in the third period, while Henrik Sedin and Chris Higgins had empty-net goals. Both Sedin brothers also had an assist.
Vancouver will try to win seven in a row for the first time since March 22- April 3 of last season and is two points ahead of the Minnesota Wild for first place in the Northwest Division.
The Oilers have a much urgent need for points as they are tied for 12th overall in the Western Conference but just three points behind the eighth- place St. Louis Blues.
Edmonton has won two straight after dropping four of five, picking up a 6-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday to begin a three-game homestand.
Alex Hemsky potted the go-ahead goal with 3:08 left in the third and Sam Gagner capped a three-assist game with an empty-net tally. Magnus Paajarvi registered a goal and an assist, while Shawn Horcoff, Jordan Eberle and Corey Potter each scored once.
"If we're going to fight our way back into the playoff race, we need these regulation wins," Gagner said. "It's a big win for us."
Nikolai Khabibulin allowed all four goals on 21 shots before being lifted early in the third period. Devan Dubnyk was able to stop all nine shots he faced in relief to notch the victory.
The Oilers and Canucks have split the first two of five meetings this season, with each team notching a post-regulation victory on the road. Vancouver picked up a 3-2 overtime win at Edmonton on Feb. 4, its fifth victory in the past six encounters and 14th in the last 19 overall.
Christopher Tanev's first career goal game with 19.3 seconds left in overtime to lift the Canucks, while Luongo made 23 saves.
Hemsky had a goal and Dubnyk yielded all three Vancouver scores on 40 shots faced as the Oilers lost for the fifth time in their last seven at home against the Canucks.
03/30 10:35:42 ET