The Oilers have knocked off two straight contenders to start this four-game homestand heading into Tuesday night’s matchup with the Northwest Division-leading Canucks.
Vancouver (44-24-4) fell 2-1 at Edmonton (23-42-7) on Oct. 19 before winning the next four meetings. Western Conference points leader Henrik Sedin(notes) has eight of his 95 points against the Oilers this year and brother Daniel has the same total in three games versus Edmonton.
The Canucks are 10 for 19 (52.6 percent) on the power play during the four-game run, with nine different goal scorers connecting on the man advantage. Roberto Luongo(notes) has a 1.50 goals-against average while starting every victory.
The league-worst Oilers, however, are playing with confidence as they look for their first three-game win streak since a five-game run Dec. 3-11. They beat Detroit 3-2 in a shootout on Friday before a 5-1 victory over San Jose on Sunday.
“This is as close to playoff hockey as we’re going to get this year, playing teams that are battling for playoff spots,” forward Sam Gagner(notes) said. “We want to treat these situations like playoff games for us, and in the future maybe pull from these experiences.”
Rookie Devan Dubnyk(notes) earned his first victory Friday and nearly recorded his first shutout Sunday before Ryane Clowe(notes) scored with 3:02 left. Dubnyk, 2-8-2 with a 3.75 GAA, made 27 saves against the Sharks.
“When it was 5-0, the thought started to creep in,” Dubnyk said. “Just a little bit. I didn’t get too excited about it. Maybe if I had 20 wins, I might have been a little more desperate to get my first shutout. I was just happy to get another win. Right now I’m just happy to have that winning feeling.”
The Canucks completed a 3-1-1 homestand with a 4-3 overtime loss to Detroit on Saturday. Kyle Wellwood(notes) and Shane O’Brien(notes) each had a goal and an assist for Vancouver, which was outshot 54-32.
“I think we were to some extent fortunate to get a point tonight,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “Our puck management in our zone and in their end was not good. (It) led to numerous turnovers that they jumped on.”
Luongo was not happy after making a season-high 50 saves. He’s 6-2-1 with a 3.22 GAA in nine starts since the Olympic break.
“We gotta do better I think in general as far as when we’re trailing, and we carry the play and tie the game and then they’re all over us,” Luongo said. “So we gotta play the same way for 60 minutes.”
The Canucks, who remain without 30-goal scorer Mikael Samuelsson(notes) (upper-body injury), have not been good on the power play in their last 11 road games, converting 7 of 42 (16.7 percent) chances.
The Oilers own one of the league’s worst penalty kills at 77.4 percent, but have killed off the last 11 chances.