Scenes from morning skate: Lineup changes likely for Canucks as Karlsson skates with Pettersson ahead of Game 3 in Edmonton

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
1 month ago
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EDMONTON – After splitting their games at Rogers Arena, the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers resume their second round Stanley Cup Playoff series at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
The Oilers took Game 2 of the series 4-3 in overtime on Friday night after the Canucks claimed the opener 5-4 on Wednesday.

What we saw

Based on the morning skate, it appears the Canucks may make a couple of line-up changes although Rick Tocchet wouldn’t confirm when he met the media on Sunday morning. 
Linus Karlsson who had 23 goals and led AHL Abbotsford with 60 points could make his Stanley Cup Playoff debut. He told the media he was going to text his family back home in Sweden and let them know they’d have to stay up all night because he was playing.
Karlsson appeared in four NHL games earlier this season and did not register a point. If he draws in tonight it will likely be in place of Nils Höglander who has no goals and just one assist in eight playoff games so far. 
The other change could be on the fourth line where Nils Aman skated in Phil Di Giuseppe’s place this morning. Tocchet said Di Giuseppe was not available this morning due to personal reasons, but would not speculate on his status for tonight.
There will be no changes on defence meaning the same six blueliners the Canucks have used in the first two games will be on patrol again tonight. It was interesting to note that black ace Christian Wolanin was among those that skated with the main group this morning.
Thatcher Demko took to the ice after the full group and took shots from goalie coach Ian Clark. Tocchet described Demko as ‘definitely’ making progress in his recovery from a knee injury suffered three weeks ago today.
The Canucks held three separate one-goal leads on Friday and took a 3-2 lead to the third period. Elias Pettersson scored his first goal of the playoffs on a first period power play. It was the first time the Canucks had scored a first period goal in the post-season and it was also the first time they’d cashed in with the man-advantage on home ice.
Brock Boeser, with his team leading fifth of the playoffs, and Nikita Zadorov also scored for the Canucks. Zadorov leads all NHL defencemen with four post-season goals. He has 4+3=7 in eight playoff games so far. He is the first defenceman in Canucks history to score four times in the team’s first eight games of a playoff year.
The Oilers got the split they were seeking when Evan Bouchard’s shot from the right wing boards deflected off Ian Cole and into the Canucks net at 5:38 of overtime on Friday. It was the Oilers first OT win of these playoffs.
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and three assists on the night. McDavid now leads the NHL playoffs with 17 points – one better than Draisaitl. McDavid logged 28:12 of ice time in Game 2 and had five shots on nine attempts.
Mattias Ekholm has scored in both of the games in this series and along with Bouchard and Codi Ceci the Oilers blueline has produced four of the team’s eight goals in the series.
Edmonton will make one line-up change for tonight with Connor Brown drawing back into the line-up in place of Adam Henrique. 
Stuart Skinner will once again be in net for Edmonton.
In the series so far, Draisaitl leads all players with 1+5=6 while McDavid has 1+4=5. Zadorov leads the Canucks with 2+2=4. Vancouver is one for six on the power play (16.7%) while the Oilers are two for four (50%). The Pettersson goal to open the scoring on Friday was the first power play goal the Oilers have surrendered in these playoffs. 
Today’s referees: Chris Rooney and Graham Skilliter (Tom Chmielewski is the stand-by official)
Today’s broadcasters: Chris Cuthbert and Craig Simpson

What we heard

Rick Tocchet on what Linus Karlsson would bring if he plays tonight: “A good wall, sticky guy who goes to the net. A net front guy. He really progressed as the year went on. Talking to some people, he had a really good (AHL) playoffs. He’s a viable option for us tonight, definitely. Something that could add some stuff for us if he does play.”
Tocchet on what Canucks need to do to slow Oilers attack: “Composure with the puck. I just think there were some times we had the puck and we could have skated or held onto it for an extra second or two to make a really good play. Edmonton had the full throttle down and there were some times if we made some plays we had a 3 on 1 or a 4 on 2. That’s a good way to counteract and make teams not as aggressive. Listen, if you’re not executing and dumping pucks out, I don’t blame the other team for going crazy and going for it. We just have to make these plays. They were there.”Linus Karlsson on potentially making his NHL playoff debut: “I want to make an impact. I want to play my game and help the team as much as I can. I’m ready for it and it’s going to be fun.”
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