Oilers open road schedule in Anaheim
EDMONTON OILERS (1-0-0) at
ANAHEIM DUCKS (0-3-0)
Start Time: 8:08 p.m. MDT
Television: TSN (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Game Notes | Oilers/Ducks Stats Comparison | Player Head-to-Head Statistics
by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
The Edmonton Oilers and tonight's opponent, the Anaheim Ducks, have both had slow starts to the season but in completely different ways.
Edmonton plays only its second game of the season nearly one week into the NHL campaign with all but five other teams having played three or more already.
The Oilers won their season opener by a 3-2 margin over the Colorado Avalanche thanks to Dustin Penner
's game-winning goal with five seconds left in the game.
Anaheim plays its fourth game of the season tonight but is looking for its first win - or even its first point. Anaheim's previous three games were against fellow Pacific Division opponents and resulted in losses to San Jose, Phoenix and Los Angeles.
Last night, the Ducks fell 6-3 to the Los Angeles Kings. Anaheim scored the game's first two goals but the Kings stormed back with five unanswered tallies to move ahead 5-2 and they never looked back.
“We’re not anywhere near accomplishing the things we’ve set out to do," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle after the game. "We’re not getting anything done in the work ethic side of the game. We’re swinging away and we're not working in the tough areas to get enough done.”
This is the first of four meetings this season between Anaheim and Edmonton. Last year, the Oilers won three of four meetings against the Ducks.
Just The Facts...
Will be available later today, following the morning skate.
OILERS TO WATCH:
Tonight is expected to be the much-anticipated NHL debut of Steve MacIntyre
. The 28-year-old spent the last seven seasons toiling in such leagues as the ECHL, CHL, UHL, CEHL, WHA2 and QSPHL but spent all of last season in the American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins. MacIntyre had 213 penalty minutes in 62 games for the P-Bruins and gives the Oilers an element of toughness they haven't seen since Georges Laraque left... Former Duck Dustin Penner
got off to a great start with a pair of goals on Sunday. Along with linemates Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani, the trio showed an ability to be a dominant third line.
DUCKS TO WATCH:
Former Oiler Chris Pronger is tied for the Ducks' lead in scoring with two points in three games. He also leads Anaheim with 10 penalty minutes... Most of Anaheim's big guns have been silent as the team has stumbled through its first three games. Teemu Selanne has only one point - a goal, while Scott Niedermayer, Chris Kunitz and Ryan Getzlaf are all looking for their first point of the season... Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere has a 4.38 GAA and .851 save percentage while starting all three of those games.
Edmonton – The Oilers are healthy; Anaheim - Brad Larsen (sports hernia) is out. Rob Niedermayer (bruised foot) is day-to-day.
Edmonton hits the road for the first time this season. The Oilers play only three of their first 15 games at Rexall Place to open the 2008-09 season... Former L.A. King Lubomir Visnovsky has 27 points in 40 career games against the Ducks...The last time Anaheim opened a season with three consecutive losses was in 2003-04 when it dropped five straight, including a 4-3 overtime defeat to Boston on Oct. 19, 2003... Teemu Selanne is Anaheim's leading career scorer against Edmonton, collecting 41 goals and 75 points in 62 games... Brendan Morrison is second with 15 goals and 34 points in 47 games.
The Other Side
- Parros on XM Radio - Ducks enforcer George Parros was the latest guest on the weekly Ducks feature on XM Satellite radio’s “Hockey This Morning” with Scott Laughlin. Show Archive ...more
- Get Carter - A healthy scratch in the season opener at San Jose, Ryan Carter was a bright spot for the Ducks against Phoenix and an increased role in the offense may be on the horizon. ...more
Odds and Ends
- Get your questions in to Sam Gagner! - Oilers second-year forward Sam Gagner will be our guest this Thursday on Ask an Oiler. If you've ever wanted to ask him a question, now's your chance! Follow the link to submit the form. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Anaheim Ducks weren't thrilled to get off to a slow start last season in defense of their 2007 Stanley Cup title, but their early struggles were at least understandable considering two of their best players were off the ice and mulling retirement.
Their early stumble this season is quickly becoming much more troubling.
The Ducks will again look for their first victory on Wednesday night when they host the Edmonton Oilers, a team they've struggled to beat in recent years.
Anaheim's 4-7-3 start to last season was hardly ideal, but it wasn't hard to find an explanation, as the team was trying to fill a pair of major voids while dealing with a championship hangover.
Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne, their Conn Smythe trophy winner and leading scorer, respectively, in 2006-07, both missed the early part of last season while considering retirement, but both returned and the Ducks rebounded for their second straight 100-point season and third straight playoff appearance.
With Niedermayer and Selanne both skating to start 2008-09, it's harder to explain Anaheim's problems out of the gate. The Ducks (0-3-0) have been outscored 14-6 in a trio of multi-goal losses.
Tuesday's 6-3 loss at Los Angeles was especially ugly, as Anaheim jumped out to a 2-0 lead before allowing five unanswered goals. The Ducks, who led the league in penalty minutes each of the past two seasons, took five consecutive penalties in the second period as their penalty kill allowed three goals in the game.
"It's not rust. There's no viable excuses. We're just not working as a team," goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere said. "We need to work together and rely on each other and be confident that the guy beside you is going to do his job. Right now we're just lacking that confidence."
Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Chris Kunitz - the Ducks' top three goal-scorers from last season - have each failed to score this season, while Niedermayer has been held without a point.
Coming off perhaps his strongest season, meanwhile, Giguere has a 4.38 goals-against average and .851 save percentage. He set career bests in both statistics last season, with a 2.12 GAA and .922 save percentage.
It may not get much easier against Edmonton, which has gone 8-3-1 against the Ducks in the last three seasons - not including its four-games-to-one victory over Anaheim in the 2006 Western Conference finals. Despite missing the playoffs last season, the Oilers won three of four versus the Ducks, including a 4-0 victory in their last visit to Honda Center on Dec. 2.
Mathieu Garon made 25 saves in that game for one of his four shutouts last season, and the Oilers (1-0-0) again received a strong performance from their goaltender in a 3-2 season-opening victory over Colorado on Sunday.
Coach Craig MacTavish's young club was outshot 33-19 and outplayed for much of the game, but two third-period goals by Dustin Penner - including the game-winner with 5.4 seconds to play - helped them win their fifth straight opener.
"Overall our team game wasn't very good, and we know that. We're not going to be satisfied with that just because we got the win," forward Kyle Brodziak said. "We know most nights if we like that we're not going to get the two points. So we've got some things to work on and we know we've got to be better come Wednesday."
Edmonton will also be looking for a strong performance in its road opener. The Oilers went 18-18-5 on the road last season, but they'll need to get comfortable quickly away from home this season. They play 12 of their next 14 games on the road.
The Ducks were 28-9-4 at home last year, but they lost their home opener 4-2 to Phoenix Sunday.