NHL Betting Preview (May 16): Oilers vs. Canucks Game 5 Predictions

Calvin Pickard of the Edmonton Oilers squares up against Elias Pettersson in Game 3 of the series (Canucks/Oilers predictions)

The all-Canadian Stanley Cup Playoffs series has not disappointed. Once again, Tuesday night gave us another exciting, nail-biting sixty minutes of NHL action, which ultimately saw the Edmonton Oilers tie their series with the Vancouver Canucks. While both teams stole a piece of home ice from each other, they sit deadlocked with no more than three games to figure out who will advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Tonight, Rogers Arena off the Seawall is the scene of the action as both teams push for a 3-2 series lead.

Bet on Canucks vs. Oilers GM 5

EDM -143
VAN +132

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The moneyline favourites are the Oilers, coming in between -140 and -163 on the top Canadian sportsbooks.

Canucks vs. Oilers Best Odds

Canucks Moneyline Odds+132 @ Betano
Oilers Moneyline Odds-140 @ Bet99
Puckline oddsOilers -1.5 (+172) @ Pinnacle
Canucks +1.5 (-192) @ Pinnacle
Series oddsOilers -200, Canucks +165 @ Bet365
Total Over 6.5 goals (+106) @ Pinnacle
Under 6.5 goals (-115) @ Betway
Time/DateMay 16, 10:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

Last Matchup

The Oilers made a bold decision going into Tuesday, removing starting goaltender Stuart Skinner from the mix and putting 32-year-old Calvin Pickard in for his first career playoff start. It wasn’t just an attempt to shake up the results between the pipes, but a wake-up call to the whole team that they needed to step their game up.

Ultimately, it was effective, though not without a moment of nerves. Leon Draisaitl continued his torrid hot streak by scoring his eighth goal of the playoffs on a first-period Oilers powerplay, and with 40 seconds remaining in the second period, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added a bit of insurance. The Canucks made a push in the third, halving the lead at the seven-minute mark and tying the game with two minutes to go, instantly shifting most people’s minds to overtime. Evan Bouchard, the OT hero in Game 2, did not have the patience for that. Instead, he opted to fire home his fourth of the postseason with 39 seconds to go in regulation, securing victory for Edmonton.

Betting Vancouver Canucks (6-4 SU, 8-2 ATS, 5-5 o/u)

“Passengers” is the phrase of the week in Vancouver right now after head coach Rich Tocchet voiced some frustrations following Game 5. “It’s not about X’s and O’s. Sometimes, players know where the puck is going; they just need to get there first,” said Tocchet “I think we’re hesitating. Some guys are playing passive hockey, and you can’t win if you have 5 or 6 passengers versus seven or however many. We’ll take a look, but there’s at least a half a dozen passengers tonight. Quite frankly, that’s what it was. But saying that, in playoff hockey, it’s a new game next time. So some of those guys can be heroes for us. They’ve got to step it up.”

Many eyes veered towards Elias Pettersson, who is having a disappointing playoff so far. The 25-year-old superstar has just a goal and four assists through ten games and is struggling to contribute on and off the puck. Tocchet has alternated between taking minutes away when they can’t afford his slumps and adding them when he thinks he can get him some room to create and shake himself out of it. “I think he sends a message to the group that we all need to be better,” Pettersson said of Tocchet’s comments. “And mostly myself, I know I can be better. I’m trying out there. Maybe it’s not going the best way right now, but I’m trying. I want to win.”

Pettersson, who had 89 points in 82 games this season and signed an eight-year contract extension over the spring, is not known for struggling at this time of year. When the Canucks were last in the playoffs in 2019/20, Pettersson produced 18 points in 17 games as a 21-year-old sophomore.

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

While passengers dominate the talk in Vancouver, the quote of the night might have come from Calvin Pickard. “I get drafted in Colorado, play there for a couple of years.” said the Edmonton netminder. “You think you’re going to be on the same team your whole career, then, ten teams later, you’re here.”

It might feel like hyperbole, but if you include stints in the minor leagues, it lines up. From 2017 on, Pickard went from the Avalanche to the Toronto Maple Leafs & Marlies, to the Philadelphia Flyers, to the Arizona Coyotes & Tuscon Roadrunners, to the Detroit Red Wings & Grand Rapids Griffins, mixed in a six-game stint in Vienna, Austria, and split his time over the last two seasons between the Oilers and the Bakersfield Condors. Ten teams, and now he’s here.

Playoff experiences have been few and far between along the way, too. Pickard played just one playoff series in his rookie year of major junior, played three games of relief en route to a Calder Cup with the Toronto Marlies in 2018, and had two appearances in a best-of-three loss with Bakersfield last year. In total, Tuesday brought him to a little less than a dozen games of playoff action in 15 years. But he made the most of it, stopping 19 of 21 to get Edmonton back in the series.

As a result, the journeyman, who has a great reputation for being a supportive backup on the ice and on the bench, will get another look tonight. The potential is here for this to become one of the better feel-good stories in recent memory – let’s see what he does with it.

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 – Corey Perry
Mattias Janmark – Derek Ryan – Connor Brown

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

Starting In Goal
Calvin Pickard
PO: 1-0-0, 1.57 GAA, 0.917 SV%
Season: 12-7-1, 2.45 GAA, 0.909 SV%
Pius Suter – JT Miller – Brock Boeser
Ilya Mikheyev – Elias Pettersson – Sam Lafferty
Dakota Joshua – Elias Lindholm – Conor Garland
Nils Aman – Teddy Blueger – Linus Karlsson

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

Starting In Goal
Arturs Silovs
PO: 4-2-1, 2.71 GAA, 0.907 SV%
RS: 3-0-1, 2.47 GAA, 0.881 SV%

Both teams did a little lineup shuffling on Tuesday, though most of it involved placement in the lineup rather than personnel replacement. The only major change in the latter regard was Noah Juulsen coming in for Carson Soucy in Vancouver after the latter was suspended for a cross-check on Connor McDavid.

That suspension is over, so expect Soucy in tonight. The biggest question for me would be whether or not he comes in for Juulsen or Ian Cole, who has struggled mightily in the series. At the same time, Juulsen wasn’t much better, getting outshot and out-chanced in Game 2 and finding himself on the ice for a goal against.

Leon Drasaitl to score a goal


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Canucks vs. Oilers Injury Concerns

The Oilers and Canucks remain as they were on the injury front. We’re considering Adam Henrique to be injured again. Henrique played in Game 2 of this series and all of Round 1 but has missed Games 1, 3, and 4 with what is believed to be a lower-body injury.

  • Dating back to December 2022, the Canucks have a 7-3 edge in the head-to-head matchup between these two teams. Two of the three Oilers wins have come in the last three games. Vancouver has a 9-1 edge against the puckline and the total goals over has hit in five of ten.
  • The Oilers are 6-4 in their last ten games, with a 2-8 record against the puckline and with seven overs hit on total goals.
  • The Canucks are also 6-4 in their last ten, with an opposite 8-2 record against the puckline and a 5-5 split on the total goals line.
  • The spring of Leon Draisaitl continues. The German superstar leads the Oilers in points (20) and shots on goal (39, shared with Zach Hyman) over their last ten games, producing at an insane rate. Draisaitl has split this production with eight goals and a dozen assists.
  • Leading the Oilers in assists in that ten-game stretch is Connor McDavid (16), and leading them in goals is Zach Hyman (9). Evan Bouchard is also a weapon to watch out for, with four goals and 11 assists from the blue line over his last ten appearances.
  • Brock Boeser and JT Miller are the most productive Canucks in their last ten, both with twelve points. Boeser leads the team with seven goals and 25 shots on goal, while Miller co-leads the team with nine assists. Quinn Hughes also has nine assists.

Canucks vs. Oilers Predictions

  • I might develop some whiplash here, but I’m going straight from the over to the under on total goals tonight. The later these series get, the tighter that teams tend to play each other. Silovs has looked solid, and Pickard rose to the occasion on Tuesday, so a low-scoring affair wouldn’t be too shocking. Your best value will be on Betway at -115.
  • Not that there hasn’t been pressure on him already, but I want to see how Elias Pettersson responds to slightly more dialled scrutiny tonight. The best value for a single point can be found on Sports Interaction at -140, but if you want to stretch it out a bit, you can grab a powerplay point on theScore Bet for +275.
  • Leon Draisaitl feels inevitable right now. Odds are shifting towards the bettors’ favour this morning on an anytime goal – the best value right now is at bet365, who are offering him up at +135.

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