Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/8/14
For the NHL Bettors! Headline: Canucks Invade Edmonton With 1st Place on the Line The Vancouver Canucks head Northeast on Monday night to take on one of their threats in the Northwest Division of the NHL. The Canucks enter Monday’s contest having won 2 straight games while the young Oilers return home after losing two of three games on the road, and having played their worst game of the season Saturday. Vancouver Canucks (4-2-0-2) at Edmonton (4-3-0-1) When: 9:30 PM ET, Monday, February 4, 2013 Where: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta Broadcast: RDS2, SNET-P, SNET-W Canucks vs. Oilers Betting Lines from Bodog.ca Vancouver Canucks -1½ +230 -116 Edmonton Oilers +1½ -275 +105 Over/Under: 5.5 *NHL ATS Matchup Report* It’s not like the Vancouver need extra motivation in this shortened season but the Canucks will be looking to avenge a 3-2 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers on the second night of the NHL season. The goaltender they defeated that night? Roberto Luongo who has gone on quite a tear since and may have wrestled the starting gig away from Cory Schneider at least for the time being. Luongo has started three straight games for Vancouver and has gone 2-0-1 over that stretch and whispers are that he is poised to make his fourth straight start. He has been terrific allowing just three goals total in his last three starts – he’s even been a standout in the shootout – an area of his game that he has traditionally struggled in. The Vancouver defense has clamped down in front of hi as well – there figures to be little issue in the Canucks end of the rink Monday based on recent play. Vancouver’s offense has yet to find its groove early in the abbreviated season and it all starts with the twins. Daniel Sedin has gone four straight games without a point while Henrik Sedin has one assist in that span. It is a good thing for Zack Kassian who has five goals and an assist so far this season and for Alex Edler who has a goal and three assists in his last five games. On the whole, Vancouver is averaging just 2.38 goals per game – a far cry from the totals that put them at or near the top of the NHL in offense last season. On the whole, Vancouver is averaging just 2.38 goals per game – (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) The Edmonton Oilers are a young team and it shows in their effort night in and night out. Sometimes they are lights out and some nights they struggle to find any rhythm. They, like the Canucks are averaging 2.38 goals per game. Overall they have scored three goals or more just once in its first eight games. Nial Yakupov leads the way with three goals and an assist in his last four games – most of his points coming at crucial points of the game. That said Edmonton has four effective lines going at the moment. Sam Gagner has at least one point in every game and is tied for the Oilers’ lead with nine on the second line. Taylor Hall also has nine, but was held without one for the first time Saturday. Names like Eberle, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Gagne, Hemsky and Ryan Smyth make the Oilers more-than-formidable despite their struggles to fill the net with any consistency. Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff could return after missing two straight games with a neck injury to provide an added spark. Like Edmonton’s offense, the defense and goaltending has struggled to find any sort of consistency although Devan Dubnyk has come on of late and is 2-1-1 in his last four starts with a terrific 1.46 goals against average and .958 save percentage. The Oilers allowed a season-high 40 shots in the finale of a three-game road trip. But they took three points from the first two games in Phoenix and San Jose before their ugly performance Saturday in Colorado. Dave’s Won’t Cost You Anything Free Betting Prediction: A few trends to consider: • Under is 10-2-5 in VAN last 17 road games. • Under is 10-2-4 in VAN last 16 vs. Northwest. • VAN are 39-13 in their last 52 vs. Northwest. • Under is 20-6-1 in EDM last 27 overall. • EDM are 5-13 in their last 18 home games. • EDM are 15-36 in their last 51 vs. Northwest. • Under is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings The Oilers have won two of three at Rexall Place this season and have gone 7 for 20 (35.0 percent) on the power play – something that could be the difference in this game. That said the Canucks did not allow a goal on five chances on the penalty kill against the Blackhawks. That unit has allowed three goals in its last 23 opportunities after yielding five in 12 chances in Vancouver’s first three games. The bottom line here is that Vancouver has found a sense of optimism with Roberto Luongo between the pipes. He is and will likely continue to be a difference maker as long as he is a member of the Canucks. Lou gets his revenge Monday and shuts down the young and upstart Oil! Free NHL Pick: Canucks -116 CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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