Preview: Oilers at Ducks
EDMONTON OILERS (35-30-9) at
ANAHEIM DUCKS (37-31-6)
Start Time: 8:08 p.m. MDT
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Ducks Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison
Zack Stortini tries a wraparound attempt on Anaheim goaltender J.S. Giguere. (Getty Images)
Oilers Twitter Lineup Updates:
by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
After a disappointing loss last night in Phoenix that saw them drop out of the playoff picture, the Edmonton Oilers can redeem themselves immediately with a victory tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.
After building up somewhat of a cushion and knocking on the door of sixth-place Columbus last week following three straight wins, the Oilers have since lost three straight in regulation and are back in a dogfight for their playoff lives.
They are currently tied for ninth place in the West with St. Louis at 79 points. Anaheim and Nashville have 80 points and are tied for 7th. Minnesota has 78 points and is nipping on the heels of the Oilers as well.
While Edmonton has dropped three regulation games in a row for only the second time this season (the first was October 22 to 25), it's been a much different story in Anaheim. The Ducks are playing their best hockey and look poised to get into the postseason.
Anaheim has rattled off five consecutive wins to vault back into the playoff picture. Most recently, they waxed the Colorado Avalanche 7-2 on Wednesday night.
This is the third of four meetings this season between the Oilers and Ducks. The Oilers won in Anaheim 3-2 back in October and the Ducks won by that same score in Edmonton in December.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH: Zack Stortini
draws back in the lineup tonight as well as J.F. Jacques... Stortini hasn't played since March 10 in Montreal. He has five goals and 10 points in 46 games this season. In one game against the Ducks this season, Stortini has an assist and is +1... Jacques has played three games for the Oilers this season and has one goal - his only point in 56 career NHL games... Both of Edmonton's top scorers against the Ducks this season won't be in the lineup tonight. Erik Cole and Lubomir Visnovsky have two points each in the two games the Ducks and Oilers have played. The other Edmonton goal scorers are Kyle Brodziak, Shawn Horcoff
and Sheldon Souray
DUCKS TO WATCH:
Former Oiler Chris Pronger has been Anahem's leading scorer in March through the team's resurgence. He has eight points (all assists) in 10 games... Rookie forward Andrew Ebbett has seven points through 10 games in the month... Ryan Getzlaf is Anahem's offensive leader with 77 points in 73 games this season.
Edmonton—Lubomir Visnovsky (torn labrum) is out. Anaheim—Brad Larsen (Sports hernia/Hip surgery) is out. Francois Beauchemin (Torn left ACL) is out. Bret Hedican (Back spasms) is questionable..
Corey Perry has six goals and 10 points in 14 career games against the Oilers... Dwayne Roloson is 7-6-2 with one tie and a 2.46 GAA against the Ducks in his career... J.S. Giguere has had his struggles against the Oilers in his career. He is 5-11-2 with a tie and a 2.88 GAA throughout his career versus Edmonton. Jonas Hiller was the goaltender the previous two times these teams met this season.
Playoff Race Update: Oilers slip to 9th
- Updated March 27 at 10:32 p.m. MDT.
It went about as bad as it could possibly go for the Oilers on Thursday night as they dropped their third consecutive game in regulation time to Phoenix. Meanwhile, St. Louis and Nashville won. ...more
The Other Side - news from anaheimducks.com
- Getzlaf on NHL Live! - Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf was a guest on NHL Live! radio show on Thursday to discuss the team's recent success and playoff hopes.
- The Science of Hockey Special Preview - Ducks players J.S. Giguere, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry took part in a special preview of The Science of Hockey on Thursday afternoon at the Taco Bell Discover Science Center. Photo Gallery | ...more
- Playoff Ticket Strips on Sale Now - Playoff ticket strips for the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs are on sale now. Fans have the opportunity to secure a ticket to each playoff game held at Honda Center throughout the postseason by placing a deposit on a 2009-10 ticket plan. ...more
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
- The LINK: Autographs & Patrick + Ales - In this Friday edition of The Link, we mic up Jason Strudwick and Robert Nilsson for the annual Oilers Autograph Session. We also get to know O'Sullivan and Kotalik a little better in Part 2 of that feature. ...more
- 5 Questions with Dustin Penner - Stitches, Sunbirds, and Subway sandwiches are among the topics Dustin Penner addressed in his most-recent Off The Ice interview. Follow the link for his answers and more Oilers player features. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Anaheim Ducks are playing like a team that's serious about reaching the postseason. The Edmonton Oilers are not.
The surging Ducks look for a season-high sixth straight victory Friday night while trying to avoid a third consecutive home loss to the struggling Oilers in a matchup of clubs competing for the final Western Conference playoff spots.
Anaheim (37-31-6) rolled to a 7-2 victory at Colorado on Wednesday to continue its solid play down the stretch. The Ducks are tied with Nashville for seventh place, but have one more win than the Predators with eight games remaining.
"It's a perfect time to be going on a streak like this because you want to be going into the playoffs at your peak," defenseman James Wisniewski said of the Ducks, who last won six in a row from Feb. 17-March 3, 2008.
Edmonton (35-30-9), meanwhile, looks to avoid its fourth straight loss after falling 3-2 at lowly Phoenix on Thursday. The Oilers are just one point behind Anaheim, but currently tied with St. Louis for ninth place.
"Right now, we're getting down to the nitty-gritty in the schedule and can only look ahead," defenseman Sheldon Souray said of the Oilers, who have eight games remaining.
In their previous two games, the Oilers won 3-2 at Anaheim on Oct. 15 and the Ducks earned a 3-2 shootout victory at Edmonton on Dec. 19.
Corey Perry had a goal in regulation and the only one in the tiebreaker of that contest. He had two Wednesday for Anaheim, which has outscored its opponents 22-10 during the winning streak while going 9-for-19 on the power-play.
"We were getting some fortunate bounces," said Perry, who has six goals and four assists in 14 games against Edmonton. "It hasn't really happened in a while. You can't count on that every night."
Rookie Andrew Ebbett had a goal with two assists and Wisniewski added three assists Wednesday for the Ducks, who return home where they've won three of their last four contests. Ebbett has two goals and three assists in his last three games.
Jonas Hiller made 34 saves against Colorado to improve to 18-14-1 with a 2.29 goals-against average. He is 1-1-0 with a 2.54 GAA versus Edmonton, but Jean Sebastien-Giguere could be in net for this game.
Giguere is 19-17-5 with a 3.06 GAA and hasn't faced Edmonton this season. He is 5-11-2 with a tie and a 2.88 GAA against the Oilers.
Ales Kotalik and Ales Hemsky each had third-period goals as Edmonton tried to rally from a three-goal deficit against the Coyotes. Hemsky also added an assist for the Oilers, who have been outscored 9-4 during their skid.
Hemsky, who has a career-high 22 goals, has four points in his last four games overall and six goals with eight assists in 17 career matchups against Anaheim.
Dwayne Roloson made 20 saves against the Coyotes in his 30th straight start to extend his team record. Likely to be back in net, Roloson is 26-20-9 with a 2.76 GAA, and 7-6-2 with one tie and a 2.46 GAA against the Ducks.
The teams conclude their season series Tuesday in Edmonton.