SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers expecting early barrage from Canucks

Edmonton Oilers' Ladislav Smid knocks Vancouver Canucks' Keith Ballard (4) off his feet during the...

Edmonton Oilers' Ladislav Smid knocks Vancouver Canucks' Keith Ballard (4) off his feet during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia April 2, 2011. (REUTERS/Ben Nelms)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:34 PM ET

Devan Dubnyk expects an early barrage.

Then, the Edmonton Oilers goaltender figures his team will come across a strong resistance through the middle of the contest. And if things are going well for the Oilers, he anticipates a late flurry.

Having beaten the best team in the NHL three nights earlier, the Oilers assume they’re going to see a fired up Vancouver Canucks team in the second game of a home-and-home Tuesday night (7 p.m.) at Rexall Place.

“They came pretty hard early the last game as well,” said Dubnyk. “They’re a high-flying team that has a top line that is always so dangerous.

“It’s going to be tough, I wouldn’t expect anything different and we just have to be ready to go.”

Having locked up first-overall two nights prior to their encounter on Saturday, the Oilers caught a Canucks team still relishing their accomplishment.

It proved to be a tough reality check for the Canucks who were humiliated on home ice by an Oilers team missing its top offensive players and destined to finish last for a second consecutive season.

Heading into Tuesday’s game, the Oilers are hoping reality doesn’t bite.

“These guys are capable of being unbelievable any night and they didn’t lock up the President’s Trophy by accident,” said Dubnyk. “They’re capable and we have to know that and be prepared for it, understand what we did right the other night that worked for us and continue to do those things while expecting a harder push from them as well.

“They’re probably not too happy with the way things went for them on Saturday.”

The Oilers' 4-1 win over the Canucks on Saturday was about as likely as experiencing spring-like temperatures around here in March.

The Oilers had lost 11-straight heading into Vancouver.

“We have to be ready, be alert and on our toes,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney about Tuesday's approach. “We can’t stand around and watch what Vancouver is going to bring.

“We have to make sure we don’t get consumed by their reputation and what they’ve achieved. This is all about us having an opportunity to play a real, good team and play within our structure.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/DerekVanDiest


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