Edmonton faces elimination down 3-2 in their second-round series vs. Vancouver and looks to rebound after a loss just as they've done each time in the playoffs so far

The Oilers will face elimination for the first time in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday at Rogers Place with Game 6 of their second-round series against the Vancouver Canucks.

You can watch the game on Sportsnet & Hockey Night in Canada at 6:00 p.m. MT or listen live on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED.

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Game previews during the 2024 Oilers playoffs are presented by Pizza 73 ????

Kris addresses the media from Vancouver on Friday morning

PREVIEW: Oilers at Canucks (Game 6)

EDMONTON, AB – The Oilers have won every game that followed a loss so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and they'll need to keep that trend going on Saturday to stay alive against the Canucks.

The Blue & Orange had 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the first period of Thursday's Game 5 in Vancouver, but the Canucks outshot them 24-12 over the final two periods en route to a 3-2 win courtesy J.T. Miller's go-ahead goal with just 33 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Oilers lost Game 2 to the Los Angeles Kings in the first round and rattled off three straights victories to win the series. They were defeated by the Canucks in Game 1 and Game 3 before responding with wins in Game 2 and Game 4.

They'll look to showcase that resiliency once again in Game 6 to set up a seventh and deciding showdown back on the West Coast on Monday with a berth in the Conference Final up for grabs.

"You just have to take it one game at a time," Leon Draisaitl said of the do-or-die scenario before the team flew back to Edmonton on Friday. "We've got to go home and win one game at home. That's all we have to do. Don't think about the next game. Focus on tomorrow and bring our best tomorrow. Get a win and come back here."

"We've battled back all year long," Cody Ceci added. "We had our backs against the wall early on this season, and battled all the way back to the position we're in now. We've dealt with adversity throughout the year and handled it pretty well. Now it's time for all of us to bring our 'A' game."

Leon speaks to the media from Vancouver on Friday morning

According to Natural Stat Trick, the Oilers dominated the opening 20 minutes of Game 5, leading even-strength scoring chances 10-3 and high-danger scoring chances 6-2, which translated to their 2-1 lead on the scoreboard.

The final two frames were fully flipped, though, as the Canucks led even-strength scoring chances 22-13 and high-danger scoring chances 8-3, with the Oilers unable to slow down the surging home side.

"Vancouver was the better team last night," Head Coach Kris Knoblauch said Friday morning. "Through a series there's going to be times or games where the other team is better. Especially a team that finished with over 100 points in the regular season. That was their game and they were better than us last night. And we'll have to find a way to be better for Game 6."

"We were on our heels too much last game and just let them pressure us too much," Draisaitl added. "They were the better team last night."

The five-on-five numbers told the tale of Game 5 quite well, but the power-play results were also pivotal as the Oilers went 0-for-5 with the man advantage after going 5-for-10 in the first four games of the series and 14-for-30 in the playoffs prior to Thursday.

"We just weren't sharp," Draisaitl said of the team's usually-lethal PP corps that also ranked fourth in the NHL during the regular season with a 26.3 percent success rate. "They put a little more heat on us, but nothing that we can't handle. We just weren't sharp enough."

"A little lethargic, just standing, watching and not being playing on our instincts," Knoblauch said of Thursday's PP efforts. "But we'll make little adjustments like we have for every game, noticing what they've changed. They've tried doing this, and how can we counter that?"

Cody talks to the media in Vancouver on Friday morning

After Stuart Skinner tended the twine for the first seven games of the playoffs, Calvin Pickard has been between the pipes for the previous two. Coach Knoblauch said Friday morning he and the coaching staff had not yet decided which netminder would start Game 6.

"We've always wanted to sit on it and not make any rash decisions," the bench boss said. "Picks has been great in the two games he's played in. He gave us an opportunity to win both those games. We've slept on it and we'll get together today and make that decision and decide who's going to play tomorrow."

Pickard has posted a 2.21 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in his two starts, while Skinner has a 3.22 GAA and .877 save percentage in his seven, though he was the team's go-to goalie in the regular season with a 36-16-5 record, 2.62 GAA and .905 save percentage.

Knoblauch said he and the staff are also considering some changes among the position players, with Adam Henrique nearing a return from injury up front, along with Sam Carrick and Sam Gagner as options.

The Oilers also have Troy Stecher and Philip Broberg available as options on defence.

"We'll definitely look at adding fresh legs if that's something we feel will help our team," Knoblauch said. "Whether it's the lines or a fresh body or two coming in, those are things we'll assess and make decisions on tomorrow."