An offensive outburst against a pair of inexperienced goaltenders helped the Vancouver Canucks end a season high-tying three-game losing streak.
The lowly Edmonton Oilers haven’t been able to stop anyone for some time.
The Canucks look for another strong showing Wednesday night when they visit the Oilers, who are on their longest slide in nearly three years.
Vancouver (28-18-2) averages nearly 3.2 goals per game, but totaled only six during their most recent slide from Jan. 9-13. That came after finding the back of the net 33 times during a 7-0-1 run, which included a 4-1 triumph over Edmonton on Dec. 26.
The Canucks broke out of their slump in a big way Saturday, beating Pittsburgh 6-2. Five Canucks scored in a span of 9:24 bridging the first and second periods to chase John Curry(notes), who got the start over injured netminders Marc-Andre Fleury(notes) and Brent Johnson(notes). Curry was replaced by 19-year-old Alexander Pechurski(notes), who gave up one goal on 13 shots over the final 35:31.
“It’s proof that you can be the Stanley Cup champions but if you get no goaltending, you stand no chance of winning,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “Their first goaltender obviously wasn’t good enough.”
Vancouver will try to capitalize on another struggling opponent in the Oilers (16-27-5), who own the fewest points in the Western Conference.
Edmonton has gone 1-14-1 in its last 16 overall, losing eight in a row for the first time since a 12-game skid from Feb. 25-March 21, 2007.
Nothing changed Monday, as the Oilers fell 6-0 at Colorado for their most lopsided defeat this season.
“I won’t be flashing my teeth, because I think they just got kicked in,” Edmonton coach Pat Quinn said. “After a game like that you’re pretty discouraged. There were a lot of people that didn’t compete very well.”
The Canucks have won three straight over the Oilers—all in Vancouver— after falling 2-1 at Edmonton on Oct. 19. Vancouver is 2-3-2 in its last seven visits to Rexall Place.
Playing on the top line with twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin(notes), Alex Burrows(notes) has been red-hot of late for Vancouver, scoring 11 goals in seven games. He’s tied with Henrik Sedin(notes) for the team lead with 21 tallies.
A member of the Swedish Olympic team, Henrik Sedin leads the NHL with 67 points. He also has six goals with 17 assists in 12 games, and has been held without a point only once in that stretch.
In 55 career games against Edmonton, the center has 11 goals and 46 points for his highest production against any club. He had a goal and assist in the most recent meeting with the Oilers.
Deslauriers is 1-10-1 with a 3.87 goals-against average in his last 12 starts, including a 24-save performance in Vancouver last month. He’s lost all three games to the Canucks with a 4.26 GAA.
Dubnyk is 0-4-0 with a 4.09 GAA in six games. He made his NHL debut against Vancouver on Nov. 28 after Deslauriers allowed four goals in the first 8:25 en route to a 7-3 loss.