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Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks Playoff History by the Numbers – Hockey Writers – Edmonton Oilers

This is only the third time the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks have met in the Stanley Cup Playoff series. Despite being on the same team since the Oilers joined the NHL in 1979, the two Western Canadian teams have crossed paths in the postseason twice – and the last time was more than 32 years ago. In 1986, the Oilers swept Vancouver in the best-of-five Smythe Division Semi-Finals. After six years, Edmonton beat the Canucks 4-2 in the Smythe Division Final. That's all.

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Since that last playoff meeting in 1992, it's only the fourth time the Canucks and Oilers have both advanced to the postseason in the same year. With Game 1 of their Round 2 matchup set for Wednesday, May 8, at Rogers Arena, here's a look at some numbers in playoff history when these teams squared off.

0 – Oilers Home Loss to Canucks in Playoffs

The Oilers have never lost a postseason home game to Vancouver. Edmonton has a 5-0 record against the Canucks at Northlands Coliseum, where the Oilers played for decades before moving to Rogers Place in 2016.

Edmonton opened the 1986 Smythe Division Semi-Final against Vancouver by winning Games 1 and 2 at home before sweeping the series with a Game 3 victory at the Pacific Coliseum. In 1992, the Oilers defeated Vancouver in Games 3 and 4 at the Northlands and clinched the series with a Game 6 victory in front of their fans.

But despite never winning a playoff game in the Northlands, the Canucks enjoyed postseason success in Edmonton; In 2020, when Rogers Place served as the Western Conference “bubble” during the crisis, Vancouver defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-1 in a best-of-five contest, then knocked off defending champion St. Louis Blues 4-2 in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs before being eliminated 4-3 by the Vegas Golden Knights.

1 – Oilers Playoff Hat Tricks Against Vancouver

Joe Murphy scored three goals in Edmonton's 5-2 win over the Canucks at Northlands Coliseum on May 6, 1992, giving the Oilers a 2-1 lead. Murphy's three-goal performance proved to be the difference in the game and was the only hat trick the Oilers scored against Vancouver in the playoffs.

Murphy also had an assist in the win, giving him four points, the most by an Oiler in a postseason game against the Canucks. The closest a Vancouver player came to a playoff hat trick against Edmonton was in 1992 when Canucks forward Cliff Ronning had three two-goal games in the Smythe Division Final.

2 – Oilers Who Equaled Franchise Record vs. Canucks

Edmonton's franchise record for most game-winning goals (GWG) in a single playoff series is 2. That has been accomplished 17 times by 14 different players and happened in both series against Vancouver. Murphy did it in 1992, scoring at 8:36 of overtime in Game 1 and picking up a second GWG as part of his Game 3 hat trick.

Oilers forward Mike Krushelnyski accomplished a rare feat against the Canucks in 1986 when he hit GWG in both the first and last game of a playoff series.

3 – Players Who Were Oilers in Both Series vs. Vancouver

Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish, and Esa Tikkanen were the only players to suit up for the Oilers in the 1986 and 1992 playoff series. Only Doug Lidster and Jim Sandlak were on the Canucks' roster in both series.

Esa Tikkanen Edmonton Oilers
Esa Tikkanen, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images)

Randy Gregg played in both series, but on a different side each time: the five-time Stanley Cup champion blueliner played for Edmonton from 1982 to 1990 before joining the Canucks in 1992 for the final season of his NHL career.

4 – Oilers Third Period Goals in Game 1 of 1986

The Oilers set the tone for their 1986 Smythe Division Semi-Final by winning the opening game 7-3, exploding with four goals in the final 20 minutes. Krushelnyski scored twice, and Lowe and Kevin McClelland also scored for Edmonton in the third period, turning a one-goal game into a blowout. Edmonton's four-goal outburst tied for the fifth-most goals scored by the Oilers during the playoffs at the time, and today is tied for the third-most goals scored in the third period of a playoff game in franchise history.

5 – Years Without Playing in Edmonton After 1992

Their victory against Vancouver in 1992 was the Oilers' 16th series win since the 1987 postseason, but it was also their last for five years. Edmonton missed the playoffs the next four seasons and did not return until 1997 when the Oilers upset the Dallas Stars in the opening round before falling to the Colorado Avalanche 4-1.

Vancouver, on the other hand, was just two years away from a championship run, losing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to the New York Rangers in 1994.

The Oilers are hoping that this time the win will spark their rivalry and add another number to the franchise's history book: Six Stanley Cups.

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