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Scenes from morning skate: Canucks make four changes to lineup for Game 5 against the Oilers

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
30 days ago
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This best of seven second round battle between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers has been boiled down to a best of three as the teams resume their series at Rogers Arena tonight.
The Canucks will be making a handful of lineup changes after dropping Game 4 in Edmonton 3-2 in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night. Evan Bouchard scored the winner with 39 seconds remaining just 62 seconds after Dakota Joshua had tied the game at 2-2 with less than two minutes to play.

What we saw

The Canucks will have four faces in their lineup that didn’t play in Game 4. Carson Soucy returns from his one game suspension while Nils Höglander and Phil Di Giuseppe get back into the series and Vasily Podkolzin makes his NHL playoff debut.
Ilya Mikheyev, Sam Lafferty and Linus Karlsson come out up front while Noah Juulsen will be a healthy scratch on defence.
Rick Tocchet admitted that part of the reason for change was to get Elias Pettersson more offensive-minded linemates. Pettersson, who will shift to the wing tonight, opened the scoring on the power play on home ice in Game 2 last Friday night. However, that is his only point of this series so far. He has seven shots on goal through the first four games.
Nikita Zadorov has scored in four consecutive home games and will look to extend that streak tonight. Brock Boeser carries a five-game point streak into action recording 3+4=7 over that span.
Arturs Silovs will make his eighth straight start in goal. The 23-year-old Latvian is 2-2 in the series with a 3.44 GAA and an .887 save percentage allowing 14 goals on 124 shots.
Starting with Game 3 of the last round against Nashville, the Canucks have played in eight straight one-goal games. They are 5-3 over that stretch. The Canucks have yet to allow more than four goals in any of their 10 playoff games this spring.
On the Oilers side, Leon Draisaitl has been unstoppable in the post-season leading the NHL with 20 points (8+12) through nine games. He has scored in three straight games and has at least a point in each of the Oilers outings in the playoffs. Evan Bouchard has also scored in three consecutive games. He had the winner with 39 seconds remaining on Tuesday and was the overtime hero in Game 2 of this series. The earliest of his three goals came at the 18:44 mark of the third period in Game 3 on Sunday.
Calvin Pickard will make his second straight start in goal for the Oilers. He made 19 saves for his first career Stanley Cup Playoff victory on Tuesday.
In the series so far, Draisaitl leads all players with 3+7=10 through four games. Connor McDavid (1+5), Evan Bouchard (3+3) and Brock Boeser (3+3) all have six points. Boeser, Elias Lindholm, Draisaitl, Bouchard and Mattias Ekholm all share the series lead with three goals apiece. Vancouver is three for 12 on the power play (25%) while the Oilers are five for 10 (50%) – and a remarkable 14 for 30 (46.7%) in the post-season overall. They have scored at least one power play goal in each of their nine playoff games this spring.
Game 6 of this series will be played back in Edmonton on Saturday. Game 7, if necessary, is set for Monday night at Rogers Arena. Times for both games are still to be determined.
 
Today’s referees: Dan O’Rourke & Francois St. Laurent (Tom Chmielewski is the stand-by official) 
Today’s broadcasters: Chris Cuthbert and Craig Simpson
Anthem singer: Elizabeth Irving

What we heard

Rick Tocchet on where he believes his new-look lines can impact the game: “Puck possession and forecheck. I think those are two areas we’ve talked about that we have to improve on.”
Tocchet on injecting youth of Höglander and Podkolzin into lineup: “Hoggy’s at his best when he’s forechecking and being a pest out there. We talk about dog on a bone. And Podz, same thing. If he can be first on the forecheck, get in on some people which is what we need. With those two guys, they can supply that for us.”
Nils Höglander on if he understood why he was a healthy scratch for the past two games and whether he feels he’s done enough with no goals and just one assist in eight postseason games: “No, I don’t think I’ve played my best hockey. That’s why I’m out, I guess. I know I can be better. Maybe it’s good for me, too, to get a bit of a rest and come back here tonight.”
Vasily Podkolzin on getting his first taste of Stanley Cup Playoff action: “Yeah, really exciting. Happy. Good to be back in the lineup. It’s a great opportunity for me and for the team, as well. I can bring some energy. Make some hits and make some shots. Try to create some moments for my teammates and try to be useful.” 
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