NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, April 4th
(All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (16-13-7) at Vancouver Canucks (19-11-6), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Taylor Hall's current tear has helped vault his Edmonton
Oilers into the eighth spot in the Western Conference.
The Vancouver Canucks know all too well just how hot the forward is right now.
Hall will look to lead the Oilers to a sixth straight victory on Thursday
night with a second win in less than a week over the Canucks.
The 21-year-old Hall is seventh in the NHL with 41 points and 15 of those have
come during a six-game point streak. That run includes a hat trick in a 4-0
home victory over the Canucks last Saturday and a career-high five-point game
in Wednesday night's 8-2 victory over the Calgary Flames in the back end of a
Hall had a goal and an assist in Sunday's home win over the Flames and he had
one of three second-period power-play goals last night. He also logged four
assists as Edmonton rallied back from an early 2-0 hole with eight straight
"To be down 2-0 and win 8-2 is pretty cool," said Hall. "We have a great group
in here. I think today was kind of a weird day in here with the trade
deadline, but I think everyone kind of settled down and realized this is the
group that we have for this year and I think we're all excited about that."
Nail Yakupov and Jordan Eberle each scored twice, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
posted a goal and three assists as the Oilers moved one point ahead of the St.
Louis Blues and Nashville Predators for the eighth spot in the West. Devan
Dubnyk turned away 15-of-17 shots in the win.
Edmonton, looking to make the postseason for the first time since a run to the
Stanley Cup Finals in 2006, is on its longest win streak since taking six
straight from Oct. 22-Nov. 3, 2011.
The Oilers are set to continue their postseason push with their current roster
after having a quiet deadline. Sellers in years past, Edmonton only acquired
forward Jerred Smithson from the Florida Panthers for a 2013 fourth-round
Edmonton has won two of three versus Vancouver this season and Hall set a
franchise record for the fastest hat trick in last weekend's win. Hall put
home this third goal of the game at the 7:53 mark, breaking Wayne Gretzky's
previous record of 12:38 set in 1986.
The Oilers also set a franchise mark by scoring three goals in the game's
first 2:43, passing the old record of 3:25 set on Dec. 16, 1981.
Edmonton also snapped a three-game series road losing streak with a shootout
victory at Vancouver back on Jan. 20, but has still lost eight of its last 10
as the guest in this series.
The Canucks' loss to the Oilers last weekend snapped a six-game winning streak
and the club dropped its second in a row with Monday's 3-2 loss at the San
Jose Sharks. Vancouver, though, remains tied with the Minnesota Wild for first
place in the Northwest Division with 44 points, but has two fewer wins.
The Wild visit the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
Chris Higgins had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, while Alexandre
Burrows also scored. Cory Schneider, pulled after allowing two goals on two
shots versus the Oilers, made 32 saves in Monday's loss.
Vancouver has been playing without forwards Ryan Kesler (broken right foot),
David Booth (left ankle) and Dale Weise (shoulder), but added center Derek Roy
from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday for defensive prospect Kevin Connauton and a
second-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Roy was in his first season with the Stars and had four goals and 18 assists
in 30 game. He goes from a team on the fringe of the playoff race to a
"I'm going to try and bring leadership to the team, as well as speed and
playmaking ability, finish goals," said Roy. "I'll try to be an all round two-
way player and hopefully we can go deep in the playoffs. Like I said, we have
good team here and we can do it, so we just have to believe in ourselves."
Vancouver also signed Higgins to a four-year extension on Tuesday. He has nine
goals and 14 points in 35 games this season.
04/04 11:00:48 ET