SUN Hockey Pool

That's special!

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

If the first five games between the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks mean anything, special teams will play a big part in the outcomes of the next three meetings.

The Oilers have torched Vancouver's penalty killing so far, scoring nine goals on 33 power-play attempts, which accounts for more than one-third of the 24 goals they've scored in the series.

The Canucks have been prolific with the extra man, as well. They've lit up the Oilers for 10 goals on 35 attempts.

"Stats don't lie. Special teams are huge. We've talked about that all year," said Ryan Smyth. "In particular against Vancouver, we've been successful. If you get a chance, you want to bury it."

The Canucks scored five power-play goals in a 7-6 loss to the Oilers in Vancouver Dec. 21. The Oilers, meanwhile, connected three times in a 5-4 win Dec. 17 and have scored twice on three other occasions.

"Winning that battle is going to be a key," Michael Peca said of special teams. "Our power play has worked great of late, and in this series. We need that to continue."

Vancouver's power play is ranked 12th, while the Oilers sit 14th.


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