NHL Betting Preview (May 18): Canucks vs. Oilers Game 6 Predictions

Carson Soucy #7 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period in Game Five of the Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 16, 2024 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Vancouver Canucks are just one win away from advancing to the Western Conference Finals, an accomplishment that would cement this year as one of the biggest single-season turnarounds for a team in recent memory. On the other side of this all-Canadian matchup, however, an Edmonton Oilers team with Stanley Cup aspirations since opening night has a home crowd behind them and an eagerness to force a Game 7. Let’s break down this marquee matchup.

Bet on Canucks vs. Oilers GM 6

VAN +155
EDM -190

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The moneyline favourites are the Oilers, coming in between -187 and -222 on the top Canadian sportsbooks.

Canucks vs. Oilers Best Odds

Canucks Moneyline Odds+167 @ Pinnacle
Oilers Moneyline Odds-187 @ Pinnacle
Puckline oddsOilers -1.5 (+136) @ Pinnacle
Canucks +1.5 (-150) @ Betway
Series oddsOilers +155, Canucks -105 @ Bet365
Total Over 6.5 goals (+110) @ Bet99
Under 6.5 goals (-104) @ Pinnacle
Time/DateMay 18, 10:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

Last Matchup

Once again, this was a game with little margin for error, defined by it’s closing seconds. Most of the scoring came in the first period, with Evander Kane opening up the festivities four minutes in, followed by the back-from-suspension Carson Soucy trading goals with Mattias Janmark in the eighteenth minute of the frame. Phil Di Giuseppe tied the game for Vancouver early in the second, and scoring then went into a standstill.

The Canucks controlled most of the game, looking for opportunities but struggling to crack Calvin Pickard. The game looked bound for overtime, but for the second time in three days, a hero stepped in with seconds remaining in regulation. This time, a pass to the slot from Elias Lindholm bounced off of the foot of Elias Pettersson, off of the goal post, and directly onto the stick of JT Miller, who made no mistake in burying the game-winner in front of a jubilant home crowd.

Betting Vancouver Canucks (7-4 SU, 9-2 ATS, 5-6 o/u)

It was fitting for Miller to be the hero in this one, as it adds another legacy play to a season that has been one of the great turnarounds for a player in recent memory. That may sound weird to say about a player who scored 99 and 82 points in his previous two seasons, but in many ways, Miller’s arc comes down to energy. Especially through last year’s struggles, his frustrations felt like a point of concern and a contributor to a vicious circle. In a winning environment, however, he’s been rocket fuel to the team’s confidence and stepped up in huge ways. Full credit to him and to Rick Tocchet, who once channelled a similar 180 with Phil Kessel back in Pittsburgh.

Beyond his heroics, this game had several other positives for Vancouver. Their penalty kill had a fantastic showing, shutting down all five of Edmonton’s powerplays. Arturs Silovs had another strong night between the pipes, and an attempt to get Elias Pettersson going by putting him on the wing with Nils Hoglander and Elias Lindholm showed some promise – not sending him back to his dominant self, but he seemed a little more comfortable in his play and was a positive contributor once more.

Betting Edmonton Oilers (6-4 SU, 2-8 ATS, 7-3 o/u)

Conversely, you have to imagine the Oilers are feeling pretty nervous right now. After months of feeling destined to turn an awful start until a very deep Stanley Cup run, they now have their backs against the wall, needing to win the next two games to move on.

To make matters more concerning, a team that’s been known to pile on and blow the roof off of their opponents hasn’t had a multi-goal win since Game 3 of the Los Angeles series – that’s seven games in a row of one-goal wins or losses, for those counting. Not that the Canucks are slouches – they did have home ice, after all – but they were the slight underdogs going into this series and especially without their starting goaltender, they’re likely fine to keep riding the coin-toss results, especially if they get the last swing of the pendulum.

A big focus point tonight will be on Edmonton’s top players. It’s hard to point fingers at their stars, given how great they’ve been throughout the playoffs. Still, it was an uncharacteristically quiet night for Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, Evan Bouchard, and Mattias Ekholm. You wonder if they’re starting to tire out a bit after being leaned on so heavily. Certainly, the Oilers hope more gas is left in those tanks.

Lastly, I’m very curious about what happens in goal. It sounds like Edmonton will Stuart Skinner to the net, which is a bit of a shock given that Calvin Pickard’s performances haven’t been a detriment to them. At the same time, he’s not used to a starter’s workload, and there’s something to be said about dancing with the one who brought you when your season is on the line.

Projected Canucks vs. Oilers Lines

Today’s Edmonton Oilers LinesToday’s Vancouver Canucks Lines
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Connor McDavid – Zach Hyman
Dylan Holloway – Leon Draisaitl – Evander Kane
Warren Foegele – Ryan McLeod – TBD*
Mattias Janmark – Derek Ryan – Connor Brown

Mattias Ekholm – Evan Bouchard
Darnell Nurse – Vincent Desharnais
Brett Kulak – Cody Ceci

Starting In Goal
Stuart Skinner
PO: 5-2-1, 3.22 GAA, 0.877 SV%
Season: 36-16-5, 2.62 GAA, 0.905 SV%
Nils Hoglander – Elias LIndholm – Elias Pettersson
Pius Suter – JT Miller – Brock Boeser
Dakota Joshua – Teddy Blueger – Conor Garland
Phil Di Giuseppe – Nils Aman – Vasily Podkolzin

Quinn Hughes – Filip Hronek
Carson Soucy – Tyler Myers
Nikita Zadorov – Ian Cole

Starting In Goal
Arturs Silovs
PO: 5-2-1, 2.62 GAA, 0.907 SV%
RS: 3-0-1, 2.47 GAA, 0.881 SV%

As is tradition at this stage of the playoffs, both teams stay pretty mum about changes beyond their previous night’s arrangement. Vancouver shook their lines up slightly in Game 5, while Edmonton’s stayed largely the same. The Oilers are the ones being looked to for a potential change, though – according to Frank Seravalli and our friends at Daily Faceoff, Corey Perry could come out of the lineup for Adam Henrique tonight.

Connor McDavid over 1.5 points


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Canucks vs. Oilers Injury Concerns

There aren’t any significant injury updates for either team. Thatcher Demko has made “significant progress” this week for the Canucks, but it’s unlikely that he gets dropped in at less than 100% while Silovs has a good grip on things between the pipes. As mentioned above, Adam Henrique (undisclosed, day-to-day) could return to the lineup.

  • The Canucks are 7-3 in their last ten games against the Oilers, dating back to January 2023. They’ve got the 9-1 edge on the puckline, and the total goals over has been hit in five of the ten games, with four unders and a push.
  • Vancouver is 6-4 in their last ten games, with an 8-2 record against the puckline and a 4-6 record of overs against the total goals line.
  • Edmonton is also 6-4 in their last ten, with an opposite 2-8 record against the puck line and seven overs on total goals in that span.
  • Leon Draisaitl leads the offensively this series, with the most goals (tied, 3), assists (8), and points (11) across the five games thus far. Zach Hyman leads the pack with 21 shots on goal.
  • Evan Bouchard and Mattias Ekholm share the Edmonton goals lead with Draisaitl – something you don’t expect from both halves of a defensive pair. Both have found ways to contribute to the offence and the Oilers will need more of that tonight.
  • For the Canucks, Elias Lindholm and Brock Boeser share the series lead in goals with three a piece, and the two of them share the points crown with JT Miller, with all three players producing six in five games. Miller and Quinn Hughes each have four assists. Lindholm shares the shots on goal lead with Nikita Zadorov with twelve. In other words, the Canucks have spread out the love in this series!

Canucks vs. Oilers Predictions

  • The Oilers are going to be laying it all on the line tonight. The only way I don’t see Connor McDavid stepping up is if Edmonton’s support players storm out of the gate faster than he can, and he gets the green light to relax a bit. Otherwise, they’ll need him to be himself tonight. Look to Fanduel for an anytime goal at +115, or bet99 for over 1.5 points at -160.
  • If you’re feeling especially bullish on McDavid, bet365 has a boosted Same Game Parlay, which features him getting a goal, 3+ points, and 4+ shots at +500, up from +425.
  • I’m still in disbelief at Filip Hronek’s points drought, which has stretched to 14 games now. Maybe I shouldn’t be, given how front-loaded his season is and that his total stretches to just three points in his last 29 games. I’m going to recommend taking the under on 0.5 points for him at -220 on DraftKings, knowing full well that this will probably be the jinx that snaps it.

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