Edmonton (12-15-6) at Vancouver (20-8-5)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Vancouver, BC
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Sun Dec 26, 2010
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There may be a 15-point gap between the first-place Vancouver Canucks and last-place Edmonton Oilers, but Vancouver only managed one-goal victories in the first two meetings this season.

The Canucks go for their seventh win in eight games against their Northwest Division rivals when the Oilers make their first visit of the season to Vancouver on Sunday night.

Vancouver (20-8-5) defeated Edmonton 4-3 on Nov. 2 and 2-1 on Dec. 12 in the teams’ two matchups. Each of the Sedin brothers has 53 career points against the Oilers, with 12 from Henrik during a seven-game run and 12 from Daniel in a six-game run.

The Oilers (12-15-6) are 1-6-1 in the past eight meetings and were outscored 13-4 in three losses at Vancouver last season. Roberto Luongo(notes) started all three of those wins and both this season. He’s 17-5-2 with a 2.03 GAA in 24 starts against Edmonton since joining the Canucks in 2006, including 6-1-0 with a 1.86 GAA in his last seven.

Vancouver is back home after capping a 2-0-1 road trip with a 7-3 victory at Columbus on Thursday. The Sedin brothers combined for seven points against the Blue Jackets, giving them 11 over the last two games.

“They made some plays that are going to be highlights,” coach Alain Vigneault said.

Each of the Sedins has six goals and 13 assists during the Canucks’ current 10-1-2 run.

Their linemate, Alex Burrows, added three points Thursday. Vancouver enjoyed a 3-0 lead and a 16-1 edge in shots in the first 13:13 and never looked back.

“I thought for our line we had a few good shifts right off the get go and we felt good about our game,” Burrows told the Canucks’ official website. “And next thing you know we had a couple points, so it’s good to see.”

Vancouver is tied for the league lead on the power play at 24.4 percent while Edmonton’s penalty kill ranks last at 71.4 percent. The Canucks are 2 for 8 against the Oilers this season.

Edmonton is a bit frustrated after losing 2-1 at San Jose on Tuesday and 3-2 in a shootout at Los Angeles on Thursday. The Oilers, who had won their previous three road games, outshot both opponents in strong third periods.

“We played well in these two games and certainly we should have gotten points out of both games naturally,” coach Tom Renney said. “We didn’t. That’s the way it goes.

“What we gotta do now is understand that this is what it takes to compete in the NHL against the premier teams in the league. And we have to do the same thing again against Vancouver and beyond that if we’re going to close the gap.”

Rookie Taylor Hall(notes) scored against the Kings, giving him points in three straight games for the first time. Sam Gagner(notes) has five points in his last four games.

Neither has registered a point against Vancouver this season.

Nikolai Khabibulin(notes) is 0-5-1 with a 3.79 GAA in his last six games at Vancouver while backup Devan Dubnyk(notes) is 0-1-1 with a 2.50 GAA in two career starts versus the Canucks.

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Sunday, Dec 26