|7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET3:00 GMT11:00 8:00 PM MST10:00 PM EST7:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ETNaN:� BRT, January 16, 2019
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia Attendance: 18,166
Lucic finding nets as Oilers prep for Canucks
Milan Lucic has done his best to turn the page following a lackluster first three months of the season.
The burly Vancouver native bids to continue his unexpected scoring surge on Wednesday night when the Edmonton Oilers (22-21-3) pay a visit to the Vancouver Canucks (21-21-5).
Lucic and Zack Kassian each doubled their respective season goal totals by tallying twice as the Oilers benefited from rare secondary scoring in Monday's 7-2 drubbing of Buffalo. The 30-year-old Lucic has netted three goals in his past four games after being held without a tally since Edmonton's season opener.
"I've said it before that I'm not even going to talk or go into 2018, so lots to play for here in 2019 to get ourselves back into the mix," Lucic said. "It's about stringing a few games together here moving forward."
Coach Ken Hitchcock praised Lucic's all-around play as one of the primary reasons that the Oilers have won four of seven following a season-high six-game slide.
"He looks like the player for me who he was around two or three years ago," Hitchcock said of Lucic, who has registered 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in 24 career games versus his hometown team.
"He's got speed, tempo to his game, both ends of the rink. He's able to pressure and control the boards, make good decisions off the boards, his back-checking ... he's breaking up play after play. I think scoring is the end product of how well he's playing."
Inconsistent secondary scoring has been a persistent problem throughout the season for Edmonton, with captain Connor McDavid (28 goals), Leon Draisaitl (24), Alex Chiasson (17) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (15) accounting for 64.1 percent of the team's goal total.
McDavid, who also leads the Oilers in assists (41) and points (69), scored and set up a goal versus the Sabres to extend his point streak to five games (five goals, three assists). The two-time reigning Art Ross Trophy winner had an assist in Edmonton's 4-2 setback in Vancouver on Dec. 16 before setting up two goals in another 4-2 loss to the Canucks on Dec. 27.
While McDavid serves as the crown jewel of a talent-rich 2015 NHL Draft class, fellow first-round selection Brock Boeser has done quite nicely for himself in Vancouver. The 21-year-old collected a goal and two assists in the first outing against the Oilers this season before tallying again in the rematch.
Boeser also scored to highlight the Canucks' four-goal third period on Sunday as the club snapped a three-game winless skid (0-2-1) with a 5-1 victory versus Florida.
Loui Eriksson recorded a goal and two assists against the Panthers after being held off the score sheet in 10 of his previous 11 contests -- including both encounters versus Edmonton.
"It hasn't come easy," Eriksson said of his inconsistent offense. "All you can do is just work hard and just keep working and things will turn around."
Fellow Swede Jacob Markstrom, who made 23 saves against Florida, improved his career mark to 7-4-1 against Edmonton after turning aside 50 of 54 shots to win both meetings last month.
All-Star rookie sensation Elias Pettersson, who leads the Canucks in goals (22) and points (42), did not practice with the team on Tuesday and could be in line to sit out his fourth straight contest with a knee injury.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 15, 2019