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Scenes from morning skate: Silovs starts; Pettersson ready; Tocchet insists Canucks aren’t hiding injuries ahead of Game 1 against Oilers

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
1 month ago
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The Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers open their second round Stanley Cup Playoff series tonight at Rogers Arena. It’s a battle of the last two Canadian teams standing in the 2024 playoffs and the first post-season meeting between these teams since 1992.
The Canucks have been idle since eliminating Nashville in six games on Friday night while the Oilers have been off since last Wednesday after taking care of the Los Angeles Kings in five games. 

What we saw

It was a highly optional morning skate for the Canucks ahead of Game One. Elias Pettersson and JT Miller added a little star power to the mix. Pettersson will play tonight after missing practice Monday with a head cold. The Canucks need to get Pettersson going. He had 0+3=3 in the opening round. He has gone eight games without a goal and has just one in his last 19 games. 
Arturs Silovs continues his improbable journey getting the Game 1 start for the Canucks after making his NHL playoff debut in Game 4 in Nashville. Silovs is coming off a 28-save shutout in Game 6 against the Preds. He is 2-1 in the post-season with a 1.70 GAA and a .937 save percentage and rides a 67:14 shutout streak into action tonight.
With Silovs in net, the Canucks will go with the same line-up they have used in their last three playoff games. Brock Boeser leads the Canucks with four playoff goals, while he and JT Miller share the team lead with six points apiece. Only six Canucks accounted for the 13 goals the team scored in the first round.
The Canucks penalty kill was a huge part of the team’s opening round win successfully thwarting 20 of 22 Nashville power plays. On the other hand, the Canucks power play needs to find its groove after scoring twice in 13 attempts against the Preds. Both power play goals came in a 2-1 victory in Game 3 in Nashville.
As they were in the regular season, the Oilers were led by Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman in their opening round triumph against LA. McDavid had 1+11=12 while Driasaitl had 5+5=10 and Hyman led Edmonton with seven goals. 
The Oilers did much of their damage on the power play converting on nine of 20 (45%) opportunities against the Kings. They also killed off all 12 of their short-handed situations. Overall, Edmonton outscored Los Angeles 22-13 in their five game battle.
Stuart Skinner has started all five games for the Oilers in these playoffs posting a 4-1 record with a 2.59 GAA and a .910 save percentage. He allowed nine goals in the first two games of the opening round, but has surrendered just four goals over the past three games.
The Oilers may have to start this series without forward Adam Henrique who missed practice on Tuesday. If he can’t go, Mattias Janmark will skate in his place on the top line with McDavid and Hyman. The Oilers will likely start the series with Leon Draisaitl between Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Evander Kane.
The Canucks won all four regular season meetings between these teams with three of the victories coming in the first three weeks of the season. They also won the most-recent match up 3-1 on April 13th in Edmonton.
Game 2 of this series is set for Friday night.
Today’s referees: Kyle Rehman and Steve Kozari (Tom Chmielewski is the stand-by official)
Today’s broadcasters: Chris Cuthbert and Craig Simpson
Tonight’s anthem: Elizabeth Irving

What we heard

Rick Tocchet on reports the Canucks are hiding an injury to Elias Pettersson: “Petey is fine. I know some people are speculating we’re hiding an injury. He had an illness. We don’t lie here. For you guys that want to make it ‘he’s got a broken wrist or a broken back, he doesn’t. He’s just a little sick, so that’s it.”
Pettersson ready to get Round Two started against the Oilers: “Very excited. It’s a good opportunity for us. It’s a good team over there. We’re underdogs. So yeah, I’m excited for it.”
Nikita Zadorov has done his homework and knows who’s in charge tonight: “We’ve got two experienced referees Steve (Kozari) and Kyle (Rehman), so we expect them to let us play hard, but inside the rules so that it’s a fair and hard game.”
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