Vancouver Canucks vs Edmonton Oilers NHL Betting Preview and Odds
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
by Frank Martin
The Vancouver Canucks remember all too well what happened the last time they faced the Edmonton Oilers. The defending Western Conference champions overcame a hat trick from rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in a narrow victory more than a week ago, and will look to limit the 18-year-old's scoring chances Tuesday when the clubs meet for a second time in Edmonton.
It could be one of the final NHL games for Nugent-Hopkins this season, depending on whether Edmonton decides to keep him around or return him to the Western Hockey League. It is possible the club has already made up its mind, but a second straight sensational outing against the powerhouse Canucks could force the Oilers' hand.
Vancouver Canucks (4-3-1): Vancouver is starting to round into form after a slow start. They will welcome some reinforcements Tuesday in the form of forwards David Booth and Steven Reinprecht, who were acquired from the Florida Panthers in a blockbuster trade over the weekend. Booth has plenty of chemistry with Vancouver star Ryan Kesler, having played with him throughout their time in the United States development program.
Edmonton Oilers (3-2-2): If nothing else, shipping Nugent-Hopkins back to his junior club might force some of Edmonton's struggling forwards to step up their games. The rookie has five of the team's 12 goals this season - an impressive showing for him, but a sad state of affairs for the rest of the team. Taylor Hall has scored only once in six games, while Shawn Horcoff and Jordan Eberle are both looking for their first goals of the season.
1. Booth and Kesler will get reacquainted as fixtures on the second line. They'll likely pair up with Chris Higgins behind the top unit of Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin, and Alex Burrows.
2. The Oilers have lost consecutive games after going into the third period with a 1-0 lead in both. Edmonton is 1-1-2 when scoring first this year; they were 18-8-6 when doing so last season.
3. The Canucks have dominated division play, winning 42 of their last 59 games against Northwest opponents.
NHL PREDICTION: Oilers 3, Canucks 2. Edmonton will hold a lead this time, with either Hall or Eberle breaking out of the early season doldrums to pot the game winner.
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