Oilers, Panthers to face Canucks

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

Can the Vancouver Canucks make it six in a row tonight?

They begin the second half of the NHL season when they host the Edmonton Oilers at GM Place tonight. The Oilers are seeking revenge after the Canucks gave them a fourth consecutive loss to end 2006.

The Oilers stopped their slide Tuesday against the Florida Panthers, the Canucks' Sunday night opponent.

Todd Bertuzzi is not traveling with the Panthers, so you can leave your "Good Riddance Bert" or "In Todd We Trust" signs at home. The ex-Canuck power forward, who was convicted of criminal assault for his March 8, 2004 attack on Steve Moore, remains in Florida where he is recovering from back surgery. He's not expected to return to the Panthers' lineup until February.

Bertuzzi was traded to the Panthers last June in exchange for goaltender Roberto Luongo and defenceman Lukas Krajicek. Fans will see ex-Canucks' defenceman Bryan Allen and goaltender Alexander Auld in Panthers' uniforms. They were also part of last summer's blockbuster deal.

Canucks increased ticket prices by as much as $40 a seat for Sunday's game in anticipation of Bertuzzi's return, but have not announced any measure to soften the blow on fans' wallets. The pitiful Panthers are hardly worth the premium-plus ticketing scheme: they entered last night's action as second-worst in the Eastern conference.

You'll have to pay to watch tonight and Sunday's 7 p.m. game telecasts unless you're a tech genius. Sportsnet West is beaming the Oilers' game back to Alberta while Fox Sportsnet Florida is Sunday's visiting telecaster.


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