The NHL is set for a quieter night on Wednesday night. Only five games are on the board for January 16 in the NHL. One of the games will be between the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks. These two Pacific Division rivals are both on the edge of the playoff picture, which should lead to a good matchup on Wednesday night. The game will start at 10:00 PM Eastern time.
The Oilers have started out the season with a record of 22-21-3, which has them in fourth place of the Pacific Division. Edmonton is coming off a big win against the Buffalo Sabres in which they won 7-2. The Oilers have won two of the last three games and will look to continue with another win on the road on Wednesday night.
Vancouver has gone 21-21-5 to start out the season. The Canucks have tied for the fourth spot in the Pacific Division with the Edmonton Oilers. Vancouver is coming off a solid win against the Florida Panthers, but have lost three of their last four games. The Canucks will look to bounce back and keep this winning streak going with a home victory.
Wednesday night’s matchup between the Oilers and the Canucks will be the third matchup of the season series. Edmonton and Vancouver will meet one more time after Wednesday on March 7. The winner of Wednesday night’s matchup will take sole possession of fourth place in the Pacific Division, which means both teams will be going all out to pull off the victory on Wednesday night.
The first matchup of the season series was on December 16 and it was hosted by Vancouver. Alex Chiasson and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored once for the Oilers. Brock Boeser had a goal and two assists. Alexander Edler and Bo Horvat each had a goal and an assist to help lead the Canucks to a victory. Jacob Markstrom had 20 saves to help give Vancouver a 4-2 win at home.
The Oilers hosted the second matchup of the season series on December 27. Leon Draisaitl scored a goal and an assist, while Connor McDavid had two assists for Edmonton, but it was not enough. Elias Pettersson and Antoine Roussel each had a goal and an assist. Nikolay Goldobin had two assists and Jacob Markstrom stopped 30 of 32 shots to help give the Canucks another 4-2 victory.
Vancouver has won their game at home and on the road against the Oilers this season. Both wins were by scores of 4-2. Markstrom has put up solid performances in both matchups. Edmonton will look to turn it around with a win on the road to give them a chance to finish with an even series at the end of the season.
Edmonton has had a solid performance on the power play, but have not been great on the penalty kill. The Oilers have scored on 21.4 percent of their power play chances. Edmonton’s penalty kill has been below the league average as it has stopped opposing teams power plays 77.7 percent of the time. The Oilers power play runs a lot through Connor McDavid, so Edmonton will look for him to give them an edge on Wednesday night.
The Canucks have not been great with their special teams this season. Vancouver’s power play has scored on 17.1 percent of their opportunities. The Canucks penalty kill has stopped their opponents’ power plays 78.6 percent of the time. Vancouver will need their special teams to step up on Wednesday night.
The Oilers have the edge when it comes to special teams in this matchup. Edmonton and Vancouver are both struggling on the penalty kill, but the Oilers power play has been doing much better this season. Edmonton will look for their power play to help give them the edge over the Canucks on Wednesday night.
I believe that Mikko Koskinen will get the start in net for Edmonton on Wednesday night. Koskinen has put up a save percentage of .915 and a 2.69 GAA in his starts this season. In those starts, he has a record of 13-8-1. Koskinen has done a really good job stepping up for the slumping Cam Talbot this season.
Jacob Markstrom will likely get the nod for the Canucks on Wednesday night. Markstrom has an 18-12-4 record in his games played this season. He has put up a .908 save percentage and a GAA of 2.83. Markstrom has done really well against the Oilers in their first two games this season and he will look to keep that trend going.
Koskinen has put up a better save percentage and a GAA this season, which could help give an edge to the Oilers. Both goalies have positive records this season, which is pretty good including both teams have lost more games then they have won. Overall, I believe these goalies are pretty well matched up together. This means that both teams will look to play solid defense to give their goalie some extra support to get the win.
Vancouver has had a lot of success in their first two games against the Oilers this season, but in Wednesday night’s matchup, the Canucks will be without Elias Pettersson. Pettersson has been the best player for Vancouver this season and it may show against Edmonton. The Oilers also have a slight edge in both goaltending and special teams, which could help lead them to a victory on the road.
BetOnline has the Canucks listed as a -113 against the money line on Wednesday night. This implies that Vancouver will win this game 53 percent of the time. With how the Canucks have been playing recently, I believe that this game should be just about even. I believe that Edmonton pulls off a win to keep them close in the season series on the road. I am taking the Oilers as a road underdog on Wednesday night.